How to create a good impression in interview meeting?

“An interview is not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time.”

I remember when I started going out for interview meetings at the start of my career, I used to be so crazily excited and super nervous at the same time.  There was always a drive to do things and make a name for yourself, but there was a constant uneasiness as well to meet a completely unknown person and to try to make a good impression for them to remember.

Workwear

First impression is always important for any kind of meeting and when it is an interview meeting, we all stand nervous and confused on what to do and what not to do.  There are tons of articles on the web space that give you good suggestions.  I thought of jolting down few pointers that I have learnt over the years.  Read on. They might help you in your next meeting.

  • Be Transparent – It is best for you to be open and transparent with them regarding your background, your aspirations and your expectations so that the conversation is built on a solid foundation. Even if you need a job badly, it is perfectly alright to convey your expectations like financial, role related etc. However do ensure that you have done your homework and know that your demands are in line with the industry standards and nothing out of the proportion.
  • Be Proactive – When your interview is scheduled, Google about the company, their structure and their vision. You need not to memorize about their facts and figures, but you should know about the person you are meeting and the company’s status.  For instance, you should know about your company’s offices worldwide, how many approximate employees there are?  These things give you an advantage as you can imagine what that company is looking for.  Accordingly you can present your candidature during the discussion.
  • Be Confident – I know how everyone goes on and on about being confident of your candidature. I would emphasize on it too, however I would like to add to it that it is very important to come across as confident, but without being over confident and there is actually very thin line between the two.  Present yourself as you know things and are capable of doing the job and serving the company, but at the same time, you will be keen to learn more to grow as a professional and will continue to add more to your role so that the organization sees a good bet in you.  Most companies do not want to keep hiring and firing people, instead good companies would want people to grow internally for a better culture.  Present yourself for it and it will always work in your favor.
  • Be Humble – Always know that there is a limit to the things you can know at the time of interview, so if there are some questions asked from you that you don’t know, It Is Okay, It Is Alright. Do not get taken aback or think too hard to justify or create answers out of thin air.  Instead inform politely about not being aware of it.  Add to your answer that if given time, you can and will make efforts to learn and know of it.
  • Be A Good Company – Always know that the interviewer sitting across from the table is putting in time and effort to know about you and is trying to decide whether to invest her/his company’s money into you. Make it worth their time.  Reach the meeting venue on time, smile (not too much) and make it a discussion rather than mere questions and answers.  Answer their queries in a way that they get to know about you as a personality.  More than often, Interviewers do not remember good answers, they remember good personalities.  Be a likeable personality to them and you stand a better chance at being hired.

So these are few very basic, but important points to be remembered before entering that interview room.  Remember you will be always hired for the skillset and these points add to your personality.  There are no bad or good outcomes, those are experiences and you learn after making some mistakes of your own.  So smile, believe in yourself and go win that race.

Pros and Cons of being a Working Woman

 

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” — Sheila Murray Bethel

Since I was a little girl, I always dreamt of being a working female. There were no second thoughts. Doing a job was the only plan I had, my only dream and I still remember the day when I got my first salary cheque. I had tearful eyes and was smiling ear to ear and I spent the entire salary in one day by getting gifts for the whole family. My most precious day till date! J

However this is not the case for every female. I see so many girls not planning to work because not everyone likes getting hands dirty after all. If there is an option of not working and still living a good life, sure, why not, by all means? But then I thought, let me jolt down few points for the young females who are still analyzing whether to go out to work and face the tough world or stay at home or not to do anything at all.

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Please understand what I mean by being a working female. It does not necessarily means that you should do a job or earn money, but it means that you are building up your existence on your work, just like any other individual. It can be running a catering business from home or doing sales job or maintaining a playschool at home or running a blog or being a gym instructor or anything that you create or provide services. There are always pros and cons of everything and being a working woman has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. So here they are.

Pros and ConsTo put it in easy words, I would just say one thing. Working or not working is like walking in heels or walking barefoot. You will definitely feel pain, either of shoe bite or pebbles on road. You need to decide what do you like more, life with panache or life with ease!

Heels or Bare
Heels or bare

A letter to working mom

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Dear mom,

When I was 8 years old, my school had a field trip to visit the zoo or museum or something. I don’t remember. It doesn’t matter.

What I do remember was feeling lonely and left out. Why? Because about a dozen moms volunteered to chaperone the kids on the field trip that day—and you were not one of them.

I wanted that kind of mom. The kind of mom who was always available to be a field trip. The kind of mom who always made homemade cupcakes (from scratch, not a box) for the bake sale. The kind of mom who dropped me off at school every morning and picked me up every afternoon.

“Why can’t you, mommy?” I would ask.

“Because mommy has to work,” you would tell me.

At age 8, I had no concept of what “work” meant. All I could grasp was that “work” was something mysterious and unpleasant. Something that stole mommy away from me.

Then one day you brought me to work.

You might not remember that day—but I do.

You took me to the opera house where you were preparing for that night’s performance. You led me backstage to your dressing room. I watched the hair, makeup, and costume attendants transform you from “mommy” into some kind of bejeweled moon-goddess with towering hair and shimmering powder everywhere.

That night, I watched you take the stage and mesmerize the audience. I saw your talent. I felt your devotion to your craft—the decades of disciplined vocal training, the thousands of hours of practice and rehearsal. I felt the power of your voice.

During intermission, I overheard two women in the row behind me talking about you, raving about your performance.

“That’s my mom,” I told them proudly.

After that experience at the opera house, I understood what “work” meant for you. I understood that “work” is not a bad thing. “Work” can be something magical and important.

Mom: I don’t know if I ever told you, but I am so grateful that you pursued your dreams, because in doing so, you taught me to be brave and ambitious too. I am grateful that you weren’t around for every single bake sale because, sometimes, you had other things to do. I am grateful that you showed me that a “career” can be anything I want it to be.

The 8-year old version of me wished that you were waiting at home with milk and cookies every single day after school. The 31-year old version of me is grateful that you were not.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to share this letter publicly, because it’s very intimate and personal, but ultimately I decided that I should.

Because I know that somewhere, out there, there is a mom who feels guilty every time she goes to “work” (whether it’s a job, a business, a personal creative project, or any vocation that feels meaningful to her). Somewhere, I know there’s a mom who feels guilty about writing her novel, running her blog, or pursuing her dream job, because she feels like throwing herself into that type of endeavor might “steal” time away from her kids and her family. Because it might make her a “bad mom.”

I want to say to that mom: don’t be afraid.

Let your child see you in love with your work. Let your child see you pursue the yearnings of your heart. Let your child see you shine, and be happy, and give your gifts generously to the world. Invite your child into your work, occasionally, so that your child can see and feel what you do when you’re not at home.

If you do that, then your child will learn, through your example, what it means to create a life that is purposeful and filled with passion.

That is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child.

I am not a parent or a parenting expert, of course. This is just my personal opinion—speaking as the daughter of a passionate woman.

Mom: I wouldn’t want any other mom besides you.

I get it now. Each time you told me, “Mommy has to work,” what you actually meant was:

“Mommy loves you more than anything–but mommy also wants to leave her mark on the world, and create her legacy, which sometimes means that you have to spend a few hours with your brother or a babysitter or at an after-school program. One day you’ll understand.”

Mom: I understand–and I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

This article is not written by me and I have posted this from the Alexandra Franzen’s newsletter.  She is an amazing writer and I could not have written this better than her.  These are exactly my thoughts too in her beautiful words.  Do visit her website.  You will take a lot of positivity with you.  I love her and I love my Mom! 🙂

Don’t you dare give up!

 

I came across this ad by Tanishq brand for their new collection, Niloufer. The video is made beautifully and touches the right chords so aesthetically.  A moment of achievement brings memories of the years spent in struggle and tough fights against all odds.  Some of us are born and brought up in a progressive environment where we do not need to struggle for basic things like study till we want or doing job or pursuing our dreams in terms of what job we like or even starting a business or entrepreneurial project.  I feel grateful for my parents and family for being my strength in my journey till now.  However there are many among us who have had to struggle to go to college to complete post-graduation or have had to fight for the job that you wanted to do because parents or parents in law wanted you to stay home.  Life does not come easy for all and in the process of achieving something big professionally; we always live with guilt of missing some precious moments of personal life.  All the working mothers will completely relate to this.  You leave your young child in the hands of family or play schools and spend the whole day regretting the choice you made.  I completely agree with Apurva Purohit, CEO of 92.7FM.  In her book – Lady, you’re not a man; she clearly tells that as a working woman or mother, you always have two choices.  Leave the job and take care of family and child or let the child be left in the hands of someone else at home and you focus on your career.  In first case, you regret the choice later after 8-10years when the kid gets busy with their own life and you see your peers climbing the stairs of professional success.  You wonder where you would have reached if you had not left the job.  You pity on yourself and your hard work spent on getting the degrees.  You have the guilt of killing your ambition.

While in second case, you always live with the guilt of missing out on your child’s first walk or first talk. If you achieved anything big professionally, you always know that it is because your household responsibilities were at the backdrop.  You cannot leave the hard work put in preparing the presentation because your child is unwell.  You leave him/her with the grandparents and then winning the client seems to be so full of guilt.

So this is the irony of our lives, we have to live with one guilt or another.  You have to make the choice which guilt is what you are more comfortable with.  I would live with the guilt of not always being there for my child because then I know that I am working this hard for his or her better life, to give him all he needs in the fast pace of life.  And believe me, children understand this, may be not now, but when they reach the age of understanding.  They might think as a child that Mom is not always around, but then they will be most proud when you reach the big level in your professional career.  You said ‘Sorry’ many times during the journey, but it would be then time to say ‘Thank you’ to your loved ones.

So keep thriving for it ladies, because in the end, you do not have to be a super human, but you just have to be the kid who keeps marching.  🙂

 

P.S. I love the Niloufer collection of Tanishq.  Why do they make everything so pretty! 😉

Fight your Monday Blues

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“It is this stupid Monday again!!” Said Nidhi, my best friend, while on the way to office.

I replied softly, “Yeah”

And then she started talking about how she hates going to this office since her boss is really bossy (tell me something new!) and how she monitors every minute Nidhi spends in her office. If the lunch break is stretched by even 5 minutes, Nidhi gets to hear some taunting or heavy looks as she enters the bay area. While she was telling me all this, I was still struggling with my weekend hangover and trying to think that it was the same stories she told me on the last ride as well.

I interrupted her and asked “So what do you plan to do with it?”

Nidhi replies “What can I do yar, she is like this only.  I really want to leave this shitty job, but can’t find time to hunt for another job.  This weekend was also gone like that, we had a wedding function and then met some friends”

By that time, we had reached my office, she dropped me and drove to hers and my train of thoughts started to run.

 

Another week is here and we are back in office.  I am still recovering from weekend hangover, trying to cope with the Monday routine.  What different is this week than the past three weeks.  Well, let’s see. Nothing seems to be different actually.  It is the same office, same boss, and same work. We are the same, some happy with their jobs, some not quite.  There is always someone in your office always cribbing about the bad bosses, bad colleagues or annoying office HR policies.  Nothing is different, but then the question arises, who actually makes your week different. Is your boss or colleagues have the responsibility to change your week?  Do you rely on others to make changes in your work life or wait for things to change automatically for your sake?  But why would someone else be actually bothered to change what you don’t like?  If your work is miserable or if it is just fine, who can make it better? No one other than you!  If you cannot do it, no one else will. So if you are waiting for someone else to change your routine or your job or your whole experience to bring some good changes in your life, then let me tell you lady, it is only you who could do it.  Only you could decide whether you want to deal with your boss to get ahead in your career or compete with your superiors to get that promotion.  If your job sucks, it is only you who has to hunt for a new opportunity. So choice is yours. What do you want to change and how you want to change?  Just figure out these two questions and your life will change for good.  Take the first step, a really small, tiny step towards your idea of happiness and it might become your biggest one.

 

Credits – Image