Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why You Should Interview Your Interviwer

Interviewing isn't just about letting a potential employer see if you're a good fit for the position and the company, but about YOU seeing if the potential employer or company are right -- for YOU.

Have you ever gotten a job that, once in it, you realized that it's a terrible fit? That you hate the working environment or it just isn't what you thought it would be?

It's important to change your perspective on interviewing -- a new perspective on self-respect:

It's important to interview your interviewer.


After learning about you, an employer makes a decision whether you're a fit or not. But don't you want to know if YOU will benefit from working there? You deserve to know what type of atmosphere you will be dedicating about nine hours a DAY of your life to. You deserve to know what type of people you will be surrounded by, dealing with directly, etc. You deserve to know why this company is worth your LIFE.

While every person's situation is different, some must work and some don't have to, it's still a good idea to respect yourself enough to learn all you can before accepting a position.

PERK: You look good in front of your potential boss. It shows you care. It shows you've done some research. It shows you want to know how you will fit in.

The following are questions I ask potential employers:

* How would you describe the working atmosphere?
* Why do you choose to continue to work here? AND/OR: What do you like most about working here?
* What is the single largest problem facing you and your team and how would I be able to help solve this problem?
* Is there room for advancement?
* What are the company's goals for the next five years?
* What are the next steps in the interview process?
* Do you have any concerns about my credentials?

Asking questions is very important to potential employers. It's OK to ask clarifying questions, such as: What would the schedule look like?

You're being interviewed because you have something they need/want. Respect yourself enough

to know what you're accepting.

Friday, November 14, 2014

How to Interview with Confidence

I am a freelance editor ( Portfolio ), but am also trying to get back into a company setting because I love helping businesses grow. I want to stay in the media/entertainment field, which includes publishing, TV/radio, etc.

With this comes interviews. Everybody has been faced with the butterfly stomach, the sweaty palms, the nervous "blanking" that comes when faced with the person determining your eligibility for a position.

It sucks.

But, there is a way to combat those nervous habits: controlled body language.

Among the myriad of beliefs and scientific proof that your mind is capable of practically anything, even healing oneself, is the truth that you can make yourself behave or feel a certain way based on how you consciously use your body language.

For example, it's hard to feel jittery, sweaty or stressed-induced-blank-mind, when you consciously (after sitting down in the chair to begin your interview) lower your shoulders, and open your arms to sit on the arm rests (minimally: open your shoulders -- forces you to put your chest out).

Also: Depending on the seating, if there's a table between you and your interviewers -- sit however is comfortable. For example, I always sit on one leg bent underneath the other. If there's a table, I will sit however I feel comfortable. Comfort = RELAXATION. Relaxation = Confidence. Keep your upper half completely professional as I recommended in the previous paragraph.

Add in controlled slower breathing, and consciously speaking slower -- it all helps to promote the view that you are confident. Even if you don't feel that way at the moment. You wouldn't be in an interview if you weren't qualified.

Take the comfort: I am good enough because I've been asked to interview.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Query-me-dos and dont's

As an assistant (AKA: Literary agent in training), for a well-respected literary agency in San Francisco, I read a lot of queries.

And by a lot -- I mean hundreds. A week.

One thing I like to remind people is: submission guidelines are there for your benefit. How do they benefit you?

It will get your work read, which is the entire point -- right?

An agent is more inclined to respond (generally, no response means "no, thanks," but in my case, I am much more likely to respond with some feedback if I felt the presentation took effort) if you properly prepare your work. These guidelines help agents get through queries quicker and more efficiently. 

If you are unsure what the guidelines are, it is perfectly acceptable to email the agent to clarify.

How to gain brownie points with an agent:

* When sending an SASE -- make it self-sealing.
* Sending work that has been reviewed by several people, other than yourself, for simple errors. 

How to sabotage yourself:

* When mailing your full manuscript, upon request only, do not send in READY POST MAILERS. They tear easily and are a HUGE mess.

* Don't follow the guidelines. If you can't follow simple rules for submission, then clearly you aren't going to follow the rules of your contract, etc. You want to show that you're willing to work with them -- not do you own thing. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How public speaking will catapult your business

Think speaking engagements are just for motivational speakers?

Think again.

Anyone can speak -- and the beauty of speaking engagements is that it immediately brands you as an expert, which is an invaluable tool for building a client list.

Think about your career. What do you do? From that -- what lessons could you speak about? Tips? Tricks? You can be a motivational speaker, too, but it can be more specifically geared toward your profession.

Don't know where to get speaking engagements? Try posting that you're available for speaking engagements or are looking for some on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Someone is bound to have a place. Also, look at your town. What kind of events are going on? Will they have speakers there? You can contact them to find out how to become one.

People want to hear what you have to say. So say something. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Belief = Ability

Everyone has heard about the concept "if you believe you can, you will." Numerous occasions and examples can be made supporting the power of positive thinking and of the the mind, in general. I would like to take a moment to remind you of this power. It's real and it works.

One scientific piece of evidence that supports this, is the placebo effect. Countless studies have been conducted, and confirmed, that the brain is exceptionally powerful -- not only healing itself, but far, far more.

If life isn't going the way you want, focus on changing your mindset. You have the power to have the life you want.

"We're not given a good or bad life. We're given a life and it's up to us to make it good or bad." -- unknown.