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Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With

Reasons Why Older Siblings Are Great People to Work With

Though you probably had your fair share of arguments and fights when you were kids, as you grow older you start to realize your siblings are the ones who will always be there for you through all of life’s ups and downs. Older siblings will be the role models for their younger brothers and sisters, and will help see them through any difficult situation they face. For this reason, it’s extremely beneficial to spend time working alongside your older sibling when you’re both fairly young. When your older sibling is your colleague:

1. They’ll be your guide.

Training for a new job is intimidating. It definitely helps to have someone you know and trust helping you along the way. Your older sibling was once in your shoes, so they understand your confusion. They’ll also understand how to navigate you through this confusion on your path to success. Since you have a family member on your team, you’ll be more apt to focus on the task at hand, rather than waste time and energy being intimidated by other colleagues.

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2. They’ll work with you until you get it right.

No colleague wants their teammates to fail. However, most coworkers won’t be enthusiastic enough to keep dropping everything they’re doing to come to the aid of a newbie. On the other hand, your older sibling will almost certainly stay with you until they’re sure you’ve gotten the hang of things. And you probably won’t feel as bad asking your older brother for help; you’ve most likely been doing it your whole life.

3. They’ll catch you when you fall.

Then there will be times when you fall flat on your face while doing something new. This would be incredibly embarrassing working with a group of people you barely know. But, like I said, your older sibling has literally seen you fall on your face before, so whatever you did to currently mess up at work most likely isn’t that big of a deal. They’ll help you put things into perspective, pull you back up and dust you off. They’ll give you the boost you need to try again and again until you succeed.

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4. They’ll take extra time outside of work to help you.

Again, most colleagues wouldn’t spend their personal time helping a new worker figure something out or get through a task. But your older brother or sister definitely will (especially if they have to drive you home, anyway). When they see you’re struggling, or you just need to finish something up, they’ll gladly lend a helping hand if it means you won’t be stuck working extra hours for no extra pay.

5. They’ll push you to do better.

While you certainly will be driven to want to succeed at any job you take on, having an older brother or sister there will make you want to go the extra mile. Once you get the hang of your new position, you’ll want to show your older sibling that you can do everything on your own. They’ll most likely always see you as the younger one, and treat you like a kid in some ways, but you can do your best to show them you’re fully capable of pulling your own weight by putting your all into everything you do.

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6. They’ll connect with you.

Your sibling probably knows you better than anyone else on the planet. They’ll be able to relate the job to other aspects of your lives growing up, recalling times you struggled and got through it, and times you succeeded and felt amazing. No other colleague you’ll ever work with has such in-depth knowledge about you. Only an older brother or sister would be able to remind you of all the work you’ve put in to get where you currently are.

7. They’ll be there in case of emergency.

When true disaster strikes, they’ll be right there for you. They’ll be able to contact your parents immediately, and be with you as a friendly reminder that you’re not alone. And they’ll know exactly what to say to calm you down, and get you in the right frame of mind to deal with the situation at hand.

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8. They’ll make it fun.

Work can definitely be fun, and who better to enjoy it with than someone you’ve known your whole life? Having an older brother or sister around throughout your workday can make your job just as entertaining as a day spent hanging around the house. Of course, you still have work to do, but you always made doing chores bearable together, right?

9. They’ll grow closer to you.

Like I said, your older sibling will most likely always see you as “the younger one,” but working together will help them see you for the person you are. They’ll start to recognize all you’ve accomplished, and how hard you work every day of your life. And you’ll both start seeing each other as friends, regardless of the fact that you’re related.

10. They’ll remember the time you had together.

Working with a sibling will be one more memory to add to the proverbial scrapbook. Just like every other memory you share, there will be good times and bad, but you’ll both be able to look back fondly on the time you spent growing together as colleagues and friends.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm9.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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