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4 Tips to Nail Your next Job Interview before You Even Enter the Room

4 Tips to Nail Your next Job Interview before You Even Enter the Room

Would you like to be able to walk into an interview calmly and confidently?  What If I told you that through practice you can be the type of employee that exudes reliability and impresses all employers?

Having a successful job interview can be a life changing event. To achieve this you need to be properly prepared.

There are plenty of things to keep in mind during an interview. This article will focus on 4 tips for you to execute beforehand in order to make things easier on you. Keep in mind that in order to be successful at anything preparation, practice and hard work are your way to go.

1. Go into the job interview armed with 3 situation specific stories

An interview is actually a platform that gives you a chance to sell yourself to potential employers. If you’re not prepared with your best stats, accolades and stories off hand you’re going to have trouble making a lasting impression.

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It is almost a guaranteed fact that you will get asked the typical “what is your greatest strength and weakness?” question.  Even if you are not asked this question directly there will be an opportunity to go over what you’re good at and what you could improve on.

Greatest Strength

Your story about your greatest strength will deal with a positive attribute of yours. You will show how this attribute relates positivity to the position you’re interviewing for and show how it is only one of many reasons that you’re a valued employee.  Be sure to craft a story that shows off your experiences and wisdom and don’t be afraid to include volunteer work experiences here.

Greatest Weakness

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The second story will be about a weakness of yours or something that you could do better. Whatever weakness you go with make sure you sit down and take time to craft a story that shows how this weakness is actually a strength in disguise. Show how your weakness helps you in other areas of your work, talk about what you are doing to improve it and always end the story with something positive about you.

The Closer

The third story you need to be armed with is the most important: the closer. You’ll lay this one on the interviewer at the end of the interview to make sure that they remember you. This story should summarize the most impressive of your skills and attributes (the ones most relative to the position you’re applying for) and you should touch on what the company will be missing out on if they don’t hire you. Be as compelling and charming as you can at this point.

It is important that you take time to sit down and craft these stories as meticulously as possible. You are the person that knows your skills the best. Study yourself and your experiences so that you know what you have to offer and build a story on it. When you know exactly what you bring to the table you can establish leverage in the job interview or realize when you should take a step back.

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2. Do a trial transportation run the night before

In whatever way you are planning to get to the interview take a test run the night before. Time how long it takes you to get there and always add 10-15 minutes for traffic or unexpected delays. The night before is when you should be looking for potential shortcuts. Take time and look for possible alternate routes if there is a traffic hold up or something during the morning.

3. Research the company’s preferences

Do everything you can to get the scoop on potential employers before heading to an interview. The internet is a powerful source of information that can make your interview go a lot better with proper research. You want to look for things that you can do to make yourself more endearing to potential employers.

When looking up a company always be certain of what it is they do, what they sell and what they stand for. If you can align your skills with these 3 things potential employers will look at you in a better light.

Look up employee reviews to know what to expect going in, try and fish out what will impress the people in charge and the type of things they are looking for in an employee

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Some things to look up are:

  • The company mission statement
  • The dress code
  • The type of awards they give employees

Take the information gathered from the company’s preferences and the position you are applying for and use them to estimate the type of people they want

4. Lay your clothes out the night before

Save yourself trouble and pick out what you are wearing well in advance. Make sure all your clothes are properly ironed and that you don’t have any lint hanging around your clothes. When you wake up in the morning you’ll have one less thing to worry about and you’ll be able to get ready more effectively.

Don’t put your clothes on until you are ready to leave. Eat breakfast, gather your stuff and brush your teeth all before getting dressed – all it takes is one toothpaste stain to throw off your plans. Once you get dressed stay away from all liquids and foods and get a move on.

Job interviews can and will be stressful if you are not properly prepared. Keep these tips in mind and always remember to leave yourself with enough time to get to the interview early. Being early doesn’t only mean getting there ahead of time. You will also need to take all the time you have before an interview to prepare in order to ensure your success. Follow these preparation tips beforehand so that you can enter interviews feeling calm, confident and excited for the opportunity that lays in front of you!

Featured photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor%E2%80%93patient_relationship via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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