interviewblog

Interview prep

Interviews can be nerve-wrecking. It is always a good idea to do an interview if you are offered one, even if you aren’t that excited about the possibility of working there or had other plans. I would say practice makes perfect, but there is no such thing as a perfect interview. The more practice you get however, the more confident you will become. It is not usual to be sat in an office with a stranger asking you questions about yourself, your education history and where you see yourself in five years time. Getting comfortable in this situation will develop your confidence and help you to develop skills. Some companies and organisations provide feedback after an interview. Some places do not follow-up after an interview. Don’t be disappointed if you do not get offered a job after an interview. It probably means there was something better for you in store. Starting off in your career field can be difficult, and it is good to get experience as early as possible. Even if you volunteer for a couple of days, this can look good on your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and show that you have a strong initiative. Many people look you up on social media before an interview or during the decision-making process, so that is good to keep in mind.

There are lots of possible questions an interviewer might ask you.

1. Tell me about yourself. No, they do not want to know what your favourite restaurant is or who your favourite spotify artist is. This question gives you a chance to talk about your education history and where you have worked in the past. You may want to discuss some hobbies and interests if it relates to the job you are going for. Tell the interviewer your goals and ambitions, what you would like to achieve in the future and what you liked about your course or previous work experience.

2. What do you know about this company and why would you like to work here?
This is definitely something you should prepare for in advance. It doesn’t take too much preparation and shows you are interested in the company and are aware of the services they provide or products they produce. Saying you would like to work there because of the salary is a big turnoff. Show some interest in what they actually do. Research their competitors in advance too so you will notice what makes this company stands out.

3. Where do you see yourself in five years time? This isn’t asking you necessarily what company you will be working for. What country do you see yourself living in? What position at work? Do you see yourself being happy at work?

4. What is important to you in a career? Relationships with colleagues? Location? Work benefits? Salary? Potential to be promoted? Working hours? Facilities? Workload? The interviewer may not necessarily ask this but it is something you could be prepared for or mention.

5. What skills could you bring to this position that nobody else could? If any of your previous work placements stand out from the crowd, mention this. To prepare in advance, you could write a list of all the places you have worked for before and write down what skills are gained at each. (communication skills, teamwork skills, leadership skills, IT skills, reliability, time management skills..). Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. The interviewer may also ask you what are your strengths and weaknesses? (Everybody has both strengths and weaknesses, whether they like to admit it or not)

6. What is a challenge you were faced with in the past and how did you deal with it? This may require some thought. People may face many challenges at work on a weekly basis and this question may be easy for them. It doesn’t have to be too complicated an answer. Something like that you were having difficulty setting up a powerpoint to present for a group and how you overcame this issue. Or that you were not able to access the printer using your card and had to seek assistance. Asking help at any time is not a bad thing, I might add. Nobody knows everything (especially starting off in a new job).

Notice your voice when you are speaking. You do not want to sound like a robot but want to sound natural and as if the conversation is effortless. You should not sound rehearsed, scripted or as if you have been brainwashed. You should naturally know your own strengths and weaknesses, work experience and so on without having to think ( too long) about them.

Comment below if you enjoyed this blogpost or if you have other tips and subscribe!✨💭


Jo

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Study tips✍️

Below I have listed some tips for studying. I did well in my Leaving Cert and have spent the last five years at University, so grab a notebook and take note of these study tips✏️

  1. Flashcards: Flashcards are ideal for writing notes in one small space for when you need to have a quick glance. Flashcards are available in different sizes and colours. On the morning of an exam they are very useful so that you are not scrambling through folders or notebooks. Flashcards can be stuck to anything with bluetac such as the wall or inside your locker. Flashcards are particularly useful for learning languages, definitions or equations.
  2. Highlighters: You don’t need every colour of the rainbow, but around three highlighters that are different colours should do the trick. Highlighters grab your attention to anything on the page and help as a memory aid.
  3. Study space: Have a clear study space that is clutter-free and organised. See my related post Working and studying from home💻. Keep the desk drawers and surface tidy.
  4. Journal: Having a journal with calendar dates and days of the week where you can keep track of your daily tasks will help you to stay organised and up to date with your daily activities. It will prevent you missing any classes or tutorials and help you plan the weeks ahead.
  5. Timetable: It is a good idea to have a timetable in your diary, locker and close to your desk. Having one where you will see it in clear view will mean you are more likely to remember when you have class. Colourcode your timetable so it is visually nice to look at and will help as a memory aid. You can draw a timetable or type one and print it using Microsoft Office.
  6. Notes: Keep your notes organised in binders. Have a separate binder/folder for each subject and use clear plastics with dividers. Having a contents page at the start of the folder will help you find what you need more easily. Not everybody has neat handwriting, but it makes a difference if you try to write clearly so you can actually read your notes when you are revising.

    Comment below if you found these tips useful and have any other study tips 💭📝

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Tidy your room🛏️

Every now and then I enjoy a good room clean out. It doesn’t take long before there are all sorts thrown in every corner and my wardrobe is bulging. Having a clean room that is junk free can make a difference to your happiness and wellbeing without you even realising.

Cleaning out your room can be a lengthy process. In this post, I have included some tips on how to declutter. Since you have more time on your hands during the lockdown period, it might be a good time to clear out your room.

1.Study space. Make sure your desk is clear from unnecessary items such as makeup and jewellery. Keep these on a separate stand in another part of the room if you can. Buy a desk-tidy for your stationary items. These do not cost a lot and can be found in poundstores or office supply shops. They will keep all your pens and pencils in one place where they can be easily sourced when needed. Make sure the chair at your desk is sturdy, yet comfortable and buy a cushion for it if you have to. Keep desk drawers tidy and organised. Throw out any papers or rubbish you do not need. A small dustbin under your study desk might be ideal. If you have notes and books from years ago, consider if you want to keep them or if someone else might use them. Some charity shops accept second-hand schoolbooks.

2.Wardrobe. It is recommended to organise your wardrobe every six months. If there are clothes in your wardrobe you have not worn in over a year, it might be a good idea to toss them. Organise clothes into three piles: Keep, Donate to charity, Bin. This method always works for me and helps me to maximise storage space. Try to organise clothes by colour, type of clothing or season. For example, keep all the reds together, blues together, greens together; keep jeans together, tops together, dresses together; keep summer clothes separate from winter clothes. Whatever way works best for you.

3.Furniture arrangement. This may not be possible or recommended, but sometimes swapping where one desk is for another or moving a box of shoes from one side of the room can make a big difference. Visualise how you want your room to look in your head. If I am moving furniture, I draw a plan of what will go where. Ask for help and permission before moving any furniture (you do not want to end up scratching paint off the wall, I learned the hard way). You want to try to maximise floorspace and let as much light to enter the room as possible (unless you’re some kind of hermit or computer nerd). Google Feng Shui for optimal balance and positive vibes.

4.Don’t shy away from the glass cleaner, hoover and sweeping brush. All 3 of these tasks can be completed in less than 15 minutes if you put your mind to it, making a big difference to the overall look of the room. Grab a few rags and get scrubbing! Surfaces you may forget that easily gather dust are the sides of cupboards, the door, skirting boards and window ledges. Be careful you use the correct spray i.e do not use glass cleaner on wooden surfaces.

Open the window(s) while cleaning your room and on a regular basis.

🧹🧽🗑️

I hope you found these tips useful. Comment what your thoughts are and if you have any other tips💭


Jo

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