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10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Job Interview

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Job Interview

Job searching is no easy task. Whether it is navigating your first big step into the world of work or if it’s changing your career, there are a lot of things to consider. Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself before you interview for a job.

1. Will I be happy to wake up and go to work everyday?

People always say, if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. Well, that statement holds a lot of water. I know many people who have been in their careers for 20-30 years and still love doing what they do. When you’re happy to get up and go to work, it’ll never feel like you’ve worked a day in your life. So take the time to think about the job you’re interviewing for and if it truly has the potential to make you happy.

2. Is this a place where I can begin building a career or is it a temporary solution?

You need to know before your job interview if you plan on this job being a part of a career move or if it is just a temporary fix to pay the bills. It’s important to know the answer to this before you interview so that you know what you expect to get out of the working experience.

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3. Will the job be enough to pay my living expenses?

Even if the job seems absolutely perfect, you should always look into about how much you can expect to make – especially if it is an entry level job. It’s important to get some kind of an idea of the salary range (if they don’t post it with the job posting there are a few websites, like Glassdoor, that you can check out) so that you know what you will be bringing in. You need to make sure that you make enough money to cover your living expenses with a little added breathing room.

If it doesn’t look like you will be able to do that with the job you’re interviewing for but your heart is set on it, then consider picking up a second job somewhere to make sure you can make ends meet. It’s no fun to have to leave a job simply because you are living outside of your means.

4. Is this a company I can build a future with?

If the job interview goes well and you get the job with this company, is it a place where you can grow in your career? This is important to think about because being able to grow in the company gives you goals to strive for while you’re working.

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If you get a job where no growth is available, it might hinder how hard you’re willing to work. But knowing that there’s something to continue to strive for will help you continue to push yourself.

5. Is this a company I believe in?

You also need to know if you believe in what the company does and whether or not you can stand behind it. Check out their website or research reviews from workers online (you can usually find this simply by searching the company name and reviews). Going into a job interview knowing that you are shooting for a company that you believe in will give you extra drive during the interview process. Also, being extra educated because of your research will impress your potential employers.

6. Are the hours what I’m looking for?

This is an important question because the hours you work will determine the lifestyle you live. Are you willing to work a job where you have to get up at 3:30 am to be at work by 5 am? Or are you willing to work nights or weekends? Make sure you think about what lifestyle you are willing to live for this job. If you aren’t happy about the life you’d have to live in order to work the job, chances are you won’t be happy working, and then your work will suffer.

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7. Is the commute worth it?

Depending on where you live and where you are trying to work, the commute may be a major pain. You might be commuting over an hour just to get there and an hour to get back home. You have to know if that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make. If it’s your dream job or a great foot in the door to getting started in your ideal career, then the commute may not matter to you at all. But it’s still a question worth pondering.

8. Am I ready for the job?

Sometimes, you can be offered a job that you may not be ready for and then you end up way in over your head. So before you go in for a job interview, think about all the responsibilities that will come with the job. Are you feeling overwhelmed already? Then you may not be ready for it.

However, if the responsibilities excite you, then you may be ready to dive right in! But it’s important to think about it so that you know what you’re getting yourself into before you even walk through the doors.

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9. What are the benefits?

Many times when employers post a job, they will post what benefits come along with it. If they don’t, then try to do a little research because it may be posted on their website or on company review sites. As boring as it might sound, it is important to think about 401k opportunities and health insurance. Especially with insurance, since it is becoming expensive and companies are changing what type of insurance they carry- it might be important to you to know what they offer. Single coverage? Family? It’s a daily expense so it’s important to think about what you need a company to offer you for benefits.

10. Will I be proud of myself?

If you get this job, will you be proud of yourself? Proud of where you work? Will you be excited to share your news with family, friends, and on all of your social media sites? If the answer is no, that’s not a good sign. But if the answer is yes, then you can bet you’ll be happy in the position. Being proud of yourself and accomplishing the task of landing this job is important, you want to feel good about yourself and what you do.

Many people spend more time working than they do at home so it’s important to make sure before you even go in for a job interview that you’ve thought through the decision. You want to make sure that you’re as ready as you can be, so that if the job is offered to you, you’re confident in your choice.

It doesn’t take a long time to think about these 10 questions, but they can help prevent you from making a huge mistake as you job search. Or, if nothing else, they can help to prepare you and give you the confidence you need before the interview. Happy job hunting!

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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