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Your phone rang and you received a call from a company you have applied for a job, inviting you for an interview. Although you are very happy about it and you already start dreaming a day at your new job, you also feel anxiety and you doubt your ability to conduct a professional job interview. First of all, your joy shouldn’t be ruined, because now you’re just a few steps away from reaching your goal to find a job. If you are willing to work very hard and also follow some of the tips you’ll read below, this will surely help you get that job you so covet.

Plan Your Professional outfit. The night before the interview day, it is always good to plan what you are going to wear. It need not be expensive clothing; just something neat, formal and professional-looking is enough. Make sure, however, that you feel comfortable in what you are going to wear and you don’t feel like being a soul in somebody else’s body. Keep your clothing style as modest as possible and make sure you avoid wearing too may accessories and overdoing it. Neutral color are the best choice for playing safe and a few pieces pearl or silver jewelry, for the women, will do. Model your total look, from your hairstyle to your shoes, the night before, standing in front of a full-length mirror. And when the big day comes, use a breath freshener just before the interview, because part of the good first impression is also your fresh breath!

Make a list. Create a checklist with all the necessary things you have to prepare and to bring with you in the interview. Remember to bring an extra resume, just in case the interviewer asks for it even though you have already submitted one. Also, keep a pen and paper handy, because you may need to write something.

Make a research. Before going to the interview make a research on the company. Check out their website to see information such as how long they have been in the business what is the structure of the company, its nature and everything else you need to know to make you feel comfortable while talking with the interviewer and be able to answer questions, in a professional way, showing you have a familiarity with the company. If the interviewer asks something you don’t know about the company, be honest and say you don’t know the answer and don’t make up stories.

Be on Time. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes earlier in order to have time to relax and reduce your anxieties and worries.

Give a smile to everyone. Smile at everyone who greets you while you are on your way to the building and while waiting for the interview to start. You'll never know if one of the persons you will bump into is your interviewer. And after all, being nice can only bring positive outcomes.

Be Considerate and Courteous. When it’s your time to be interviewed, be sure your cell phone is turned off or in silent mode. Extend a handshake and wait till you are asked to take a seat before sitting down.

Be Confident. Feel good about yourself and remember that you are there because your potential employer has seen something in you that would assist the company’s interests. So this is a reason to feel confident already. As long as you know what you have written in your resume, and everything reflects the truth, you don’t have to feel insecure. Now it’s your chance to prove to them that they made the right decision to call you for an interview and as a consequence to hire you. Learn to market yourself and remember that your product to promote and sell is you. And what is the best way to market a product? Believing in its value first! So believe in your own value as professional and support it with confidence.

Make your long stories short. While it is understandable that you need to sell yourself, overdoing it with long conversations that usually get off-topic isn’t going to impress your interviewer but on the contrary is going to annoy her or him. Keep your answers short and simple but with valuable content. Be attentive and listen first to what the interviewer has to say before you answer and never interrupt her or him before she or he has finished what was saying.

Ask Questions. It is almost a common procedure at the end of every interview for the interviewer to ask if you have any questions to ask. Most of the times, this is an awkward situation for the interviewee because she or he doesn’t know how to react. See it as an opportunity and ask sensible questions and address concerns that you may have in mind but avoid asking issues you have already discussed about, except if you need further clarifications about a specific issue, and also avoid asking questions that are obvious. Ask questions about the company and also about the job position you have applied for.

Follow up. Usually, the interviewer informs you about when to expect a notification. If not, don’t be afraid to ask when you will be notified, asking also if it is ok to call them to follow up, in case you don’t hear from them. This is a good way to avoid limiting yourself with waiting for an answer for that job, while you may want to contact other companies that have called you up or they expect you to give them an answer. If the turnaround time has already lapsed, call up the HR department to ask about your application.

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It’s your mindset that will determine how successful you’ll be or not. By having a positive mindset you are able to handle difficulties before they become too big.

It may seem difficult to believe in yourself when everything around you seems to be falling apart, but keeping faith is the only way to overcome the tough times and see yourself having better days again.

Try these strategies to help you remain positive and motivated when you're feeling the pressure of tough times:

Look back on the past. Surely you've come across seemingly many challenging situations in the past. How have you succeeded in the most difficult and challenging scenarios? Obviously, your ability to handle these situations speaks louder than the feeling of insecurity you’re experiencing at the moment.

In some cases, the way you solved a problem in the past, may be a solution to your current problem as well, with some adjustments to fit your current situation. While, in other situations, your past experience will act as a guide of what not to do this time that you did before and didn’t help you overcome a problem.

· Your past needn't dictate your future. It's possible to handle what you’re going through now without working up old, unresolved feelings. Think of it as a positive exercise. Become aware of your negative feelings, explain to your mind that you’re feeling this way because this is the way you felt last time you experienced the same situation in the past and without dealing with them, make a shift in your thoughts and feelings to more positive ones. This technique will help you increase self-confidence in your abilities.

Act immediately. Rather than shutting in when a situation becomes intimidating, take prompt action. The longer you allow a situation to exist without facing it, the more urgent it will become.

· Design a proactive plan now to avoid unpleasant surprises. Or, better yet, have a just-in-case plan before such surprises ever occur. You may need few hours to have your “action plan” ready but the outcome worth all the work.

· You are the only one who can give you a solution. You are in charge of managing your life and you have full responsibility to make it successful. Take pride in this power. After all, you're your own boss; no one gives you orders on how to live! Your life is what you make it. And you can use your power to start off on the right foot each and every day.

Believe you can make it through. You've found your way out of a difficult situation in the past. You'll do it again now and you’ll do it in the future if you need to. There is always a way to swim up to the surface of the water. And each time you do so, you’ll get better because you’ll become more experienced.

· Remember that you have your family and friends. Your children, spouse, and other family members are cheering you on every day. Chances are that no one doubts your abilities and you are the only who does so. In fact, they have faith in your abilities because you've proven your strength in the past, many times, and they’ve seen you getting out of difficult situations.

· Now is your chance to show yourself what you can do. Confirm to yourself that you're as strong and tenacious as you’ve been telling yourself till now. Now it’s the time to turn words into action!

Everyone encounters tough times, because this is how life is. And a very important part of how you will handle these tough times is dependent on your mindset and your ability to believe in yourself, even throughout the hardest times of your life.

It’s up to you to decide whether you want your mindset to be your best friend or your worst enemy. If you adopt a negative mindset, you'll end up with a negative outcome. Remember, you attract what you think; positive or negative! "Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are." -- Bernice Johnson Reagon

 

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Are you the type of person who finds it hard to control his anger and each time you get angry you feel like you’ve reached the end of the rope? But you know, you can have total control of your feelings, and manage your anger to prevent it from being expressed. As a guide for you on how to do that, here are some simple steps to remember so you don’t let anger take you over.

Breathe and count backwards. When on the verge of losing your wits, it is much better to pause for a while, count backwards from twenty to zero keeping a slow pace and breathing in and out until you have released all the tension you’re feeling inside. You may not believe it, but this actually works, trust me!

Keep your mouth shut. When you feel like bursting and you have the intense urge to shout as loud as you can, bite your tongue to avoid adding oil to the fire. Give yourself a moment to calm first, before you open your mouth to say something. Remember that it takes time to build a relationship and only a word to destroy it. Be careful with the words you use, so you won’t regret anything afterwards.

Think of the unpleasant consequences. I understand that making your mind work, especially when you’re furious, is hard. Nevertheless, learning to control your emotions will do wonders. It’s just putting your mind over what matters. Think of the possible consequences if you act driven by your anger. Try to visualize the things that might happen if you leave your anger take over the situation. What will the consequences be to the other people’s feelings and to your relationship with them? How this will affect the outcome of something you’ve been working so hard on, for a long time? Through pausing to think, you will be able to control your emotions while the anger subsides. Take responsibility in what you do and what you say. Have you seen the movie “The Butterfly Effect”? Then you probably remember the Chaos theory saying that “Everything, even the flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause chaos” so be careful with your actions and words, as they will affect everything that will happen in the future.

Detach yourself and do something else. If you find it hard to keep your mouth shut when angry, taking a distance from the situation in the meantime might be a good alternative for you. When your feel that your anger has subsided, talk things over with the person you are angry with like mature and civilized adults that you are. Take a walk or write a letter, that you’ll destroy as soon as you feel calmer, to avoid being read by someone else, to express your emotions and let go of them. Keeping your emotions suppressed might lead to anxiety and depression, but going the other extreme and exploding is also as destroying. Allowing yourself to explode may damage your relationships irretrievably and also may cause problems to your work. Walking away doesn’t mean that you won't handle the issue at a later time or suppress your emotions forever. This means distracting yourself from extreme anger, calming yourself down, and then dealing with the issue when your mind is able to think logically and take the right decisions. This is when, it is the opportunity for you to express your feelings to the other person and solve any differences or misunderstandings that may have arose and finally forgive the other person and move on.

You have the power to choose. Remember, you are the master of your choices. You have the will and the power to choose, even in anger. And I know you can do it! Let me give you an example: You’re walking in the street and someone accidentally steps on you. He smiles and apologizes and, even if that hurt and made you mad, you smile back and you say that it’s absolutely fine. How can you do this? How can you then control your emotions instantly and go from being mad to being calm and smiling? It’s that simple! It’s just what you choose to do with a situation. Therefore, stop saying that emotions are uncontrollable and they're hard to restrain and manage. On the contrary, they are totally subject to your choice. You have the will. Don't fall victim of your own emotions. Practice control over them right now.

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You might be someone running your own company who has a ton of open tasks to take care of, but instead chooses to surf on the internet to find information that «could» be useful but you end up chatting on Facebook. Or you could be an office worker whose desk seems like Mount Everest from the pile of documents left undone while you talk about your nice time during the weekend with a colleague. No matter who you might be, one thing is common: you are procrastinating.

We define procrastination as the habit of leaving work undone or half done while you turn into other interests with the excuse that we will finish our job later. Everyone procrastinates to some degree but there are people who make it a part of their personality not to finish the work required for various reasons (or excuses) they find in their way.

When a person procrastinates this has a negative impact on her or his productivity and in addition, she or he may eventually experience feelings of depression, stress, disappointment and guilt, all because she or he neglects to do the work when it was necessary. Usually, a person who procrastinates, attempts to avoid the issue by starting simultaneously a lot of new tasks which have nothing to do with the work that needs to be executed. These tasks, of no importance and urgency, may be appealing to the worker but they are no beneficial to her or his work and they are only time and energy consuming.

But why people procrastinate? They do so for various reasons:

 

  • They may simply avoid working on a task they have to, because it is a hard one or it doesn’t appeal to them.
  • They may not be able to prioritize tasks, or perhaps take on many tasks, at one time, and get frustrated.
  • The task might have become part of their routine so it is boring for the individual to work on.
  • The work might be stressful or too complex for that particular person.
  • Perhaps the worker might not have attended an important meeting, so he is not aware of the requirements of the task or of its importance.

 

Of course there are many other reasons why someone could find it hard to concentrate, or senses a fear about the task (so she or he spends more time and energy on being stressed and overwhelmed than actually working on the task or problem.) Some people would leave negative thoughts take over their mind and feelings and give up the work they have to finish. There is also the fear of failure or fear of success, which both have negative consequences that lead to procrastination. Or a person could have failed before on a similar task, and she or he has convinced herself of himself afterwards that he can never succeed at a new task. This is closely related to being a perfectionist, as personality, where the standards one sets for her or himself are unrealistic. Some people may have never taken the responsibility for themselves to find solutions to their own problems, as there was always someone else there for them to do so. Finally, they may lack time management skills, which is one reason met very often nowadays.

So is there a way to overcome procrastination? A person who wants to eliminate her or his problem with procrastination has to work on her or his time-management and organizational skills. Furthermore, she or he should try to gain more in-depth awareness of the emotional or personal causes of her or his procrastination. By doing so, a person is able to understand and prevent or reduce the feeling of procrastination, every time is about to take effect. Finally, a good way to fight procrastination is to start working on the boring, but also urgent, tasks so that they could be completed before our tendency for procrastination or feelings of tiredness take place.

Feeling like procrastinating is natural when it happens sometimes. But when it tends to be a habit, it threatens our productivity and ultimately our mind and body by becoming stressed. Therefore make it a habit to work against it and allow yourself to procrastinate once a while just to feel like escaping from a busy day.

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So you believe you reached the point where you finally know what you want. You have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and you have also planned carefully the action steps to achieve it successfully. You truly believe it can happen. You know you deserve to get what you desire.

But before you put your action plan into practice, especially when it regards a major, life-changing goal, you may want to ask these questions first:

How badly do I want this? Do you have a strong desire to achieve your goal? Or is it something that you think it could wait or it would be “nice to have”?

If your goal is big and it could affect considerably the other aspects of your life, you may set a goal you are passionate about. Having a goal you feel not so enthusiastic about may hold you back from reaching it.

At this point, you may also want to review your motivations for setting that specific goal in the first place. The level of your motivation may help you in answering this critical question.

How will this affect my life? Once you have achieved your goal, what kind of changes do you think will you have in your life? Will certain aspects of your life be affected, such as professional life and personal relationships? If so, in what way will they be affected?

Picture yourself, the people around you and your situation as if you’re watching your life’s movie in your mind. Do you like what you see? Do you like how you feel at this specific moment?

Will I be sacrificing any of my values and needs in achieving this? Is your goal in alliance with your values, or does it contradict them? What were the values, which were important to you when you set your goal in the first place?

What will the consequences be when you reach your goal, if it contradicts your values? Can you handle the consequences? Will this make you feel good or more stressed and overwhelmed than you felt before?

What is your intuition telling you? At the end of the day, no one knows better than your intuition and your inner voice what feels right for you. If it feels right, go for it. If not, think it twice.

Sometimes, you cannot tell if the goal you’ve set is the right for you, unless you start the process of achieving it. So even if you’ve done so, you always have the chance to stop if you realize that the goal you set doesn’t make you happy. On the other hand, if you find out you are on the right track, you will feel more empowered and motivated to move closer towards your goal.

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