Tag Archives: Career Advice

What questions to ask in a job interview

Job interview questions

 

The primary objective of any job interview is to identify how you can help your future boss and company succeed. In any job interview you should attempt to discover what the job requirements and hopes are and, in turn, try to match your background and experience with the job and company needs.

Job interviews can be very stressful and it is very easy to ignore the basic facts of the interview.  There could be a lot going on in your life, your job, and with your year for alternative employment, that can force you to forget to approach the interview from the interviewer’s point of view. This could lead to the interviewer leaving the interview extremely unimpressed.

If you ask the right questions in an interview that focus on the needs, traits, requirements, and preferences of your future employer and boss, will result in a situation whereby your show that you are sincerely interested in the job and well-being of your boss and the company.

Here are some questions that all job applicants should ask in an interview

  • What is the leadership style of my future boss?
  • What are the characteristics of people who succeed in the company? What type of people do not succeed?
  • Who are the main competitors of the company?
  • How did you get started in this industry and why do you stay?
  • What is the biggest change the company has gone through over the last 12 months? Does the company feel that the tough times are over and things within the company are getting better, or are things still looking pretty bleak?
  • How does the marketing, sales, operations, technology work in the company?
  • What is the one of the key successes of the company that an individual from outside the company would not have knowledge about?
  • If I get the job, how do I achieve the best result on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you expect from me to achieve over the next year?
  • What are the company’s best and worst working relationships with other companies? What are the worst points you have to deal with on daily basis?
  • How long will it take to receive an answer about the job application? When should i get back to you to see if i have been successful?
  • How does the company undertake performance reviews? How does one make the most out of the performance review process to make sure that i am doing the best i can for the company?
  • What is the company’s reward system? Is it a team oriented, equity-based, or bonus based? What are the positive and negatives of the company reward system?
  • What type of industry and skills-based experience and background is the company looking for in the individual who will fulfill this position? What are the perfect qualities and characteristics of the ideal candidate and how do you assess my experience in comparison?
  • What information does the company share with employees when it comes to revenues, costs, and operating metrics? How is this information shared with employees? How do I acquire the information I need to succeed at the job?
  • What is the hiring philosophy of the company? Does the company hire an individual based on attitude and then teach the skills or does are you looking for people who already have the required skills and expertise?

This short list of questions is to help you to enter a job interview with easy to ask questions that will reveal the answers in any job interview and help you to succeed in your job application and career.

Source: Forbes.com

Career guidance and tips to succeed and achieve professional success

Career advise and gudance

 

The main objective and purpose of a higher education and college degree or diploma is to teach you how to think. However, if students do not engage with their career guidance center, then college will not help you when it comes to career development. Take a some time to think about how many courses you undertook in your major, and then think about how many courses you took related to career development and management? Not many higher learning institutions offer any courses in career development. Given that we spend most of our life at work, we would expect education institutions to offer some form of guidance and teaching when it comes to career development and career management.   Without career guidance councilors and career centers, many students are left in the dark given that there is no syllabus and students are left in the dark to make their own choices.

Here are some tips to help students prepare for the realities of their working life.

  • When you approach your final years of study, make sure you visit your career center at least once every semester and once a month in your final year.
  • Believe in yourself, believe in something and have someone believe in you. Remember you are responsible or your own success.
  • Aside from your college degree or diploma, employers will want to see if you have any work experience. Consider undertaking multiple internships.
  • Work on your resume from the day you enter college. Don’t wait until you have reached your final year.
  • Take the time to focus and clarify for yourself what is your ideal job, realistic job, and survival job.
  • Define for yourself what it means for you to be successful for yourself and professionally.
  • Arrive at work early and leave late, however don’t do this to this just to impress your boss or supervisor.
  • Work on your self-confidence and discipline.
  • Make the most out of your college experience and do everything you can during your college years and leave without any regrets.
  • Failure is not the end of the world. The only way to learn is by making mistakes and learning from these mistakes.
  • Work on your grammar and reduce the amount of slang from your speech.
  • Avoid personal business like email, phone calls, browsing the internet while on the job.
  • Most of the time employers care about your productivity and not if you are professionally fulfilled.
  • Swallow your pride and remember that starting at the bottom is not beneath you, its expected.
  • Employers will want to know if you can do the job and willing to do the job.
  • Most individuals want to be heard. However, more important is to listen in the workplace.
  • Never share too much of our personal life at work.
  • Stay focused at work and don’t get detracted with social media.
  • Understand there is a time to work independently and there is a time to work as part of a team.
  • Saying “please” and “thank you” can go a long way.
  • Look people on the eye and smile will more often than not get you the same in return.
  • Remember that employers will hire you for your attitude and then train you for knowledge. Your enthusiasm at work will pave the way to success.
  • Today, most jobs are not for life. Start preparing for your next job the day you start your current job.
  • Clean up your online reputation that exist on the internet. Today many employers will research your social media profile to get a better understanding and insight of who you are.
  • If you make any commitments then keep to them. No one likes someone who habitually fails on his or her commitments.
  • Be patient and think about your first job as a period of adjustment into the working world. Think of your first job as a stepping stone on the road to your professional success.
  • Polish up on your interviewing skills and practice these skills with mock interviews.
  • If you take your career seriously then this will lead to others taking your seriously.
  • Swallow your pride and ask for help when you need help.
  • Learn and conform to you company’s dress code. The way you dress is a reflection of your self-image.
  • Set personal and professional goals and have a clear vision of your life.
  • If your choose to continue with your education and go to graduate school, be careful that your choose the right degree and courses given the high costs.
  • Always build and manage your network via online social media like Linkedin. If you decide to move jobs, this is a superb resource.
  • The majority of communication is non-verbal. Pay close attention to what you say and even closer attention to what you say when you listen and not talking.
  • Set up time to meet with your supervisor or manager to discuss your progress and discuss aspects of your job that you doing well in as well aspects of your job where you can improve.
  • You are the owner of your own success and it must be you and only you that drives your success.
  • Stay in your first job after your studies for at least one year. Avoid job hopping because this will not look good on your resume.
  • Chasing money tends to be a very poor and unreliable long-term motivator. Focus and do what you love and more often than not money will follow.
  • Pursue a career that provides you with personal fulfillment. Undertake a job that provides you with value and meaning.
  • Always take a percentage of every paycheck and create and build up an emergency fund and savings.
  • Set a budget and avoid any form of credit card debt. Start investing from day one at your job.

Must do’s at the end of every work day to improve your productivity

End of day To-Do List

 

In order to start your day successfully, you need to end your previous day properly. The end of your day is as critical as the start of your next day. The manner in which you end your day sets the stage for tomorrow. And the start of your day sets the stage for the day ahead. If you can end your day on a high note will also give your a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, and encourage your get the next day and start all over. Ending your day on a good note will also have an impact on your health, family and social life, and help you sleep better.

Listed below are some tips and advise to end your day:

  • Go over your to-do list.Evaluate and make sure you have accomplished everything you could have during the day. If you feel you have not accomplished everything you needed to, then plan and strategies what you need to do in order not to fall further behind.
  • Scrutinize your schedule for the next ahead. Review any meeting or calls you have to make for the next day. Use this time to adjust your schedule to make time to complete all items on your to-do list. It is sometime a good idea to visualize your day ahead and what you need to do first thing in the morning. Understanding what lies ahead for the next day can help you to put a full stop to your working day.
  • Clean out your email inbox. Set time aside at the end of your day to go through your inbox and make sure that you have dealt the important messages, replied to any invitations, and delete all the spam.
  • Check in with your boss and colleagues. Check in with your boss to discuss the status of any on-going projects and get updates from your co-workers. This is also a good way to check that all deadlines are being met and that everyone in your team is on the same page. It is also a good time evaluate how to assist a co-worker who might need assistance.
  • Clean up your workspace. Nobody likes to walk into an office that is a mess. Prior to leaving take the time to organize your paperwork, tidy up your desk, and toss out any garbage.
  • Create a new to-do list. Make a list of what you need to do the next day and plan how you will manage your time to take care of any priorities. Based on what you have accomplished during the day, will determine how you create your to-do list for the next day.
  • Finish any non-peak hour tasks. The end of your day is the best time to complete and take care of any paperwork and tasks that don’t require direct contact with customers and co-workers. The best time to answer non critical emails, reports, memos are best handled when you don’t have any distractions. Use peak hours of your day to make contact with people you need to, thereby making time for yourself to complete all your admin work with input you have received during the day. If anything has been overlooked, this will assist you to make a memo what you have to do first thing the next day.
  • Tie up any loose ends. Get closure and take care of any loose ends so that you can walk out of the office knowing that everything you needed to do has been accomplished. Take care of anything that is still hanging and can be quickly taken care of. Send that email that you have been meaning to send all day, respond to any requests that can be done quickly, and touch base with any co-worker that you have been meaning to do all day.
  • Refrain from last-minute low priority calls or emails. Never be drawn into last-minute and non-essential email sand calls. Even though you might want to start your next with a clean slate, last-minute call or emails cause you to enter into long-winded projects or dialogue of low priority.
  • Evaluate your day. Taking the time to look back at your day is something that most people do not do. Most people will run out of the office the minute they have finished their work day. Evaluating your day and achievements will help you leave the office with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Writing down your accomplishments can help with your level of happiness. It is not enough just to reflect on your achievements but it is important to write them down.
  • Bid your farewells. Creating routines and rituals at work helps you feel fulfilled and happy after a long day, and help us to feel energized and inspired. One good routine is to make part of your day is saying proper goodbye’s to your co-workers. Saying goodbye is as important as your mooring greetings. This is even more important if you are in a supervisor role.
  • Leave your office stress at the office. Make sure that you walk out of the office and leave your stress behind. Taking your work stress home is of no benefit for your health and personal life. You need to be able to disconnect from the office and be present with your family, children, or friends.
  • Always leave on a positive note. Take the time to reflect on something that went well for you during the day. Compliments a co-worker or drop a tank you note to a client. By doing this will give a sense of accomplishment and make you feel good about your job. If you are in  supervisor role, complimenting your team will make them feel appreciated and inspire them to come to work the next day energized.
  • Shutdown and disconnect. There is nothing wrong to shut down your smartphone or, at a minimum, turn off your email alerts. Let your co-workers know that you will be ‘offline’ and stick to it. When you get home it is important to be present for your family and friends.

Never try to be last in the office for the sake of face time. This philosophy will only war you out and your productivity will eventually start to slip. It is good to be a hard worker but not advisable to the person in the office who is trying to get brownie points. Do this will achieve nothing. Never stay late to try keep up with your boss. Never leave because you can. Remember your co-workers need and depend on you. Do things right and do the right thing.

Must do’s at the start of every work day to improve your productivity

Daily to do list

 

Having a good start to the day where you have greater control is critical in achieving better results, and ultimately greater career success. What you do in your first few hours at work can have a huge impact on your level of productivity for the day. It is vital to create a good morning routine to set up a successful day.

The way you start your day sets up the tone and attitude for the day ahead. A good morning routine can either make or break your day. Good morning routines and habits can help you to avoid the feeling at the end of the week that of an unproductive one.

Here are some tips and things you can do at the start of every day to make it a productive day,  and in turn, week.

  • Be punctual and arrive on time. This might seem obvious to most of you, but for some individuals, showing up late forms a bad impression for the boss but it can also ruin your daily time management. Arriving on time promotes a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Take a deep breath. Upon arrival at work you should take a deep breath and clear all the ‘home stuff’ from your mind. Upon arrival at work try do something that will help you focus on the her and now. Many people don’t leave enough time to deal with all the personal home issues, have a stressful commute to work and then dive straight into work. Upon arrival, take a monument to focus and centre yourself.
  • Feed your brain and eat a proper breakfast. We have all heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having breakfast will to only help your physical fitness but also your mental energy to help you through the day.
  • Start each day with a clean slate. Upon arrival at work you might have to attend to projects or meetings that have rolled over from the previous day, however try treat each day as new day. Try leave yesterdays issues behind and from the outset of each day get organized, focus  and prepare yourself for the day ahead.
  • Be aware of your mood. Pay attention to your mood and understand that your mood has an effect on those around you. Emotional intelligence can have a huge impact on your day. If you are not a morning person, for example, then train yourself to suck it up and have a positive attitude. The first few hours after your arrival at work can set your attitude barometer for the rest of the day. Your bad mood can have an impact on those around you and put everyone on the wrong footing.
  • Organize your day. Upon arrival at work, it is best to take some time to go through your to-do list and prioritize your day and focus on what you absolutely need to accomplish. Many individuals get distracted and focus on the unimportant activities. Make or update your to-do list from the previous day. When creating your to-do list, separate what needs to be accomplished today and what can be completed tomorrow.
  • Be present. For those of you who are not morning people, it is imperative that you are awake and focused when you get to the office. This is even more important for those of you who are in leadership positions. It is vital that you be both mentally and physically present, and to communicate. Upon arrival at work try to connect with your staff and team members. To the small things like making eye contact, smiling, asking them about their night, and most important asking if there is anything that they need help with. Do this can help you as a leader and assist you to take the pulse of your team and set the tone for the day.
  • Check in with your colleagues. A short 10 minute informal team meeting can be an effective way to start the day and get the team on the same page regarding what has to be done and highlight any issues. Let every team member express and share any critical information that the team need to know. A short meeting can help the team to focus and more important connect with every member of the team.
  • Ask your what is your core purpose at work. Focusing on your core purpose at work can help motivate through the day. Take a few minutest to focus on what really matters in your job and on what you are ultimately trying to achieve and for whom.
  • Don’t be distracted by your inbox. Most experts recommend that you should not check your email first thing in the morning. However, if you do, then focus and respond to those messages that are urgent only. Remember there will be time during the day to answer all those less urgent messages. Also, it must be noted that for many individuals email and the web can create huge time-wasters and cause distractions.
  • Mix things up from time to time. Many individuals are creatures of habit and prefer order. For these types of people, from time to time, try shift things around to get a different perspective. Sit in a different desk or take a walkabout around the office and socialize.
  • Take advantage of your cleared mind. Many individuals feel that they best operate in the mornings and it a time when they are most creative and productive. Plan your day and make best use of your brain power by planning your day around these periods especially if it is in the morning hours.
  • Organize your workspace. Clearing your desk and workspace can set a tome for the reset of the day and avoid any confusion. A clear and tidy workspace can help you think clearly, avoid missing any important reminders and that feeling that all the paperwork is winning the battle. Best thing to do is to clear your workspace the previous evening before you leave work. If not, do this upon your arrival before you start checking new email messages and chatting with co-workers.
  • Listen to your voice mail. Don’t forget to check your voice mail. Many people will jump straight to their email and forget about the their phone. Once again, sift through your voice mail and answer only the important calls.
  • Plan a mid-morning break. Use a mid-morning break to revitalize yourself and keep your momentum going.

 

If you follow a routine that that does not include any of the tips above, it might be worth your while to take the time to assess your daily habits and routines and make any adjustments to enhance your effectiveness and productivity, not to mention improve your career development. Habits are created out of regular cues which in turn creates a routine. The morning time in the office critical and having a good routine and habits during this time can help with your focus and productivity. It is also important to understand that any routine is to cast in stone. Routines must remain flexible and always remember to look at the big picture.

Source: Forbes.com

Tips from America’s most successful and award winning entrepreneurs

Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year 2013

 

Ernst & Young recently hosted the ‘Entrepreneur Of The Year‘ gala. It was a gathering of millionaires, centimillionaires, and billionaires all giving words of advise and tips. Eric T. Wagner was at the event with a mission to get advise and insight from America’s best entrepreneurs.

Here are a few of the tips from award-winning entrepreneurs:

  • “Rejection is a gift and failure is the best educator. So when someone knocks you down, get back up.” – Kathy Ireland, Founder, CEO & Chief Designer of kathy ireland worldwide, 2011 Phenomenal Woman Of The Year
  • “If you’re afraid of losing money, you will not make it to success.” – Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of Chobani, 2013 World Entrepreneur Of The Year
  • “You don’t have to be first to market, you just have to deliver and execute better.” – Jeffrey Sprecher, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Intercontinental Exchange, Distinguished Alumnus Award, Pepperdine School of Business Management
  • “Connecting and collaborating are your most powerful keys to success as an entrepreneur.” – Kathy Ireland, Founder, CEO & Chief Designer of kathy ireland worldwide, 2011 Phenomenal Woman Of The Year
  • “You have to be able to take the risk and be prepared to lose everything.” – Hank & Donna Roth, Founders of Cool Gear International, 2013 EY Award Winner
  • “You have to love what you’re doing. The best entrepreneurs have something to prove and it’s not about the money. And when you realize you’re not good at something, you need to try something else.” – David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder of The Carlyle Group, 2012 Large-Cap Firm of the Year in North America by Private Equity International
  • “The more you put in, the more you get out. The more you put in, the more you get out. The more you put in, the more you get out.” – Donna Allie, Founder & President of Team Clean, 2013 EY Award Winner
  • “Just say ‘yes’ and then figure it out later.” – Denise Wilson, Founder & CEO, Desert Jet, 2013 EY Winning Women, #69 on Inc 500 in 2012
  • “Don’t delegate at the beginning. The best way to get a handle on the business is to learn every aspect. If things go well, you’ll be able to hire people to take over the tasks where you don’t add value.” – Seth Goldman, Co-Founder & President of Honest Tea, 2010 Top 5 Companies Of The Year, The Washington Post
  • “You need to be passionate about what you’re doing. There is nothing you won’t do when you’re passionate. You do everything and you need to be willing to do everything.” – Annette Catino, Founder & CEO of QualCare, 2013 EY Regional Award Winner

 

To read more quotes from the most successful entrepreneurs, read the full article by Eric T. Wagner – click here

 

Source: Forbes.com