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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Working and studying from home💻

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It has been a few weeks now since quarantine began. This week, restrictions are starting to ease. However, many people continue to work and study at home for the time being.

There are many challenges associated with working and studying at home and it may have taken a while to adjust to this new way of living. Establishing a daily routine will help you to work more efficiently.

Make sure your workspace is clear, clutter-free and organised. Ideally, you should be studying or work at a desk or table rather than sitting on the couch or lying on your bed. Try to maintain a good posture. If you have children, working while they are at home at the same time is not ideal. Allocate a designated workspace that is quiet and ideally away from where family members are.

If you have a work meeting or videocall, make sure you are appropriately dressed and there is a tidy, bright background. Try leaving your smartphone in another room while you work to prevent it from distracting you. Limit your social media and phone time until a certain time of the day when you are finished working. Get some fresh air every now and then and schedule in daily walks. Take regular study breaks and have a short walk around every hour or so. This will allow oxygen to flow to your brain and blood to flow to your feet. Stay hydrated throughout the day and drink plenty of water.

Take the weekends off, or at least one day during the week. Working seven days a week during the lockdown is unattainable and unhealthy. See my other blog post Minding your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic 💆

Spend time with your family members each day. While living and working under the same roof as your family members 24/7, there will sure to be some conflict now and then. Watch a movie or play board games every so often. Just because you can’t go very far doesn’t mean you cant spend quality time together.

Many people are getting used to working and studying at home and many big companies reckon this might the future. Comment what your thoughts are 💭


Jo

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Minding your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic 💆

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The Coronavirus is a phenomenon that has been affecting the world for a couple of months now. The lockdown period started in Ireland in February, 2020.  People have been confined to their homes for weeks. Schools, colleges and businesses have had to close and large gatherings have had to be cancelled. Many people have had to work from home, with only ‘essential’ workers allowed to leave the house to go to work. Social distancing measures were enforced, and hand sanitisers were sold out in no time.
The global pandemic has had an affect on everyone in many ways and will continue to have an affect on people and businesses for many months. In this blog, I discuss how people’s mental health is being affected and what they can do to take care of themselves.

Instead of the daily commute, people must work at home- this could mean sitting at the kitchen table or sitting at the same desk in their rooms for weeks. Of course, this will cause feelings of boredom, isolation and from time to time. Not seeing colleagues on a daily basis will surely have an affect on people’s overall happiness and wellbeing. There may be children in the house or a large family. Distractions and noise will not equate to very productive work over a long time.

The closure of shops, cinemas, pubs, cafés, restaurants will mean people are not mixing with each other or doing things they enjoy. On the plus side, people are saving money by not going to these places on a regular basis. However, many businesses have had to shut down and many people have lost jobs. It is a very uncertain time for many. Nobody knows how long the pandemic will last, although restrictions are easing in Ireland since the beginning of May so things are looking up.

I have made a list below of some things you can do for your mental wellbeing:

  • Start a new hobby (musical instrument,drawing, painting, photography, jigsaws, knitting, jewellery making, improve makeup skills, youtube channel, tiktok videos, blog, journaling)
  • Help out with chores (hoovering the house/car, dusting, washing up, painting,farming)
  • Clean your room
  • Get in touch with family members (grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, people abroad) and friends. Post them a card to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Practice yoga or meditation (there are lots of great youtube videos out there)
  • Avoid watching the news too much or reading too many articles
  • Take a break from social media and deactivate your account if you have to
  • Listen to music
  • Browse online clothes stores
  • Plan your next holiday(s)

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There are many health services available that provide confidential counselling and I have provided a list below. It is important to note that these organisations are under tremendous pressure during the COVID-19 crisis.

Overall I believe Ireland is doing a great job with handling the coronavirus pandemic. We are lucky to have great people leading the country and it makes me proud to be Irish. Hopefully in the not too distant future things will be back to normal again.

🦠

Comment your thoughts on this topic below💭


Jo

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