Tag Archives: Advice

How To Blast A Job Interview

Photo 25-01-2015 10 08 53Job interviews are one of those frustrating facts of life that, unless we’re either really lucky or really unlucky, will experience a number of times in life. They’re stressful, judgy and generally a (useful) nuisance. They CAN be fun sometimes, but I think both the interviewees and the interviewers out there can agree that there are probably hundreds of other things they’d rather be doing.

I’m lucky in a way that, at 21, that I have seen interviews from both sides and know both what it’s like to go to a job interview and also what I have in the past looked for in people I have interviewed. Now, I have just done a couple of job interviews and have another one coming up in a couple of days, so I figured now is as good a time as any to share with you my tips for job interviews (or, if you really want to bomb your interview, do the opposite of what I say next).

Presentation

Now, it is important in life that you never change yourself for something else, whether is be a job, relationship or… well, anything really! That still applies, but in some circumstances a kind of blending in technique can help you.
If I have a job interview at a chill looking pub, I’m not going to go in stressed like I want to work on Wall Street. If I want to work at a top class restaurant, I don’t want to rock up in jeans and a tshirt. It’s important to a degree to look at what role you’re aiming to fit into and doing what subtle things you can to look like exactly the jigsaw piece they need to fit the puzzle – make yourself the picture of the candidate they need.
I recently went for an interview at a pub and, knowing it’s a nice place with a good opinion of itself, I aimed to look clean and respectable. However, I also knew the manager to be somewhat of a big personality who likes to test people a little, so I aimed for a slightly less cutesy feminine look. And I also heard that the place could be one to get rough at times, so I made sure to ensure I looked capable of taking care of myself and tried to get across a “takes no shit” attitude.
At the interview coming up I know that it’s a very fancy place, therefore I will want to look clean and respectable, but also take into account it’s a busy place that requires an athletic and energetic nature to keep up.

Fun

11696527_850932034991471_1306743554_nI know job interviews can be a bit of a drag and, trust me, the person interviewing you is having even less fun than you most of the time! Interviewing person after person is beyond boring – it is frustrating! So, for your sake and theirs, you want to make sure you bring something fresh and new to the table and that will not only make the interview more fun, but it will set you apart from all the uninteresting interviews the other person has had to sit through that day.
Try your best to let your personality show, ask questions, try to have a laugh where you can. Don’t go overboard and start going off like a hyena and punching them in the arm, but show that you can have a sensible good time and could be nice to work with.
Being someone who the other person looks at and thinks “I could like working with you” is going to score way more points than “I could tolerate you”
Try to make the interview more relaxed and enjoyable by trying to keep your body language polite but relaxed, try to look at them as if you were looking at a respected friend rather than someone to fear and just try to genuinely connect with them. As someone who has worked in management, there is not much worse than that feeling of being treated like a monster as opposed to a human being just because of your job.

That’s a person

Following on from the last point, it’s so important to remember that the person interviewing you is a human being. They have hopes, dreams, fears, problems and have experienced some form of pain that you will never fully understand. We all have a life of our own completely separate from anyone else and they are just the same in that regard.
I don’t like using the “picture them naked” method as that just makes me uncomfortable looking at them – I personally like keeping seeing people naked fairly private! However, I do like to think about the fact that they aren’t always the person sat in front of you. Who are they when they are at home? Do they like to go play board games with their family? Do they sit in a onsie eating ice cream? What’s their favourite show on Netflix? Inside their head is a whole other universe and they are so much more than the role they are playing when they’re running your job interview.

Learning is okay

If you’re going in for an interview in a job you aren’t confidently practiced in, make sure you are clear that you are willing and ready to learn, but don’t make out that you know exactly what you are doing. I know people want to hire competent staff, but it’s better to say “I’m good at what I apply myself too, but I do need to learn more for you” than to tell them you know it all inside and out and to find yourself in over your head. TRUST me on that!
I was always way more likely to trust someone who went “I really want to do this, I will learn, will you help me be what you need?” than someone who was like “I can walk into this today and be exactly what you’re looking for”
Requiring training doesn’t make you any less able to do a job – if fact it can ensure that you are trained properly for the job you are going into! Working in a restaurant, I had a big issue with new staff thinking they could walk into the job, not really realising how a lot of places operate differently to each other. Yep, good work, you know where to keep the glasses in your old job! But we do kind of like them in the cupboard here.

Be yourself

I know, a fairly typical answer, but it’s important to remember that there’s no point being anything but who you are. However you behave when you get the job is how you’ll be expected to behave in the job, otherwise you have a lot of work ahead keeping up a facade that you’ll quickly get tired of!
Go in as yourself, offer the package that is your abilities, your work ethic and personality and then it’s genuinely you who has the job and you who has to continue it.
Of course, if you don’t really WANT the job but need the money, it probably isn’t a good idea to say that, but that’s in the realm of TOO honest!

Be on time and as they asked

Obvious again, I know, but you wouldn’t BELIEVE how many people I interviewed in my time who would roll in 5-20 minutes late for their interviews for no good reason, which really isn’t a way to make a good impression.
If you’re running late for whatever reason, call up and let them know and apologise and they will, more than likely, understand. If you’re going to be late, you may as well use it as an opportunity to show that you are courteous – could even add a couple points in your favour!
Also, if you have been asked to dress in a certain way for an interview or trial shift, then make sure you do! Obviously, if they have been inappropriate in their requests, then don’t bother with them, but do your absolute best to follow reasonable instructions.
I once gave a trial shift to someone and gave them very specific details of what to wear and also where to cheaply get anything to wear that they didn’t have as I really wanted them to have a good shot at the job and, as well as showing up late, they came wearing completely inappropriate clothes. I wish I could say it got better from there, but sadly that was just the start.

Listen, don’t panic

It’s very common, in my experience, for people to be focusing so much on how nervous they are and how much they want to impress that they forget to listen entirely. There’s a literal sinking feeling in your heart when you’re talking to an interviewee or new staff member and they are so panicky that they don’t hear a word you say, as much as you are trying to help them.
Take slow breaths, remember that you are going to do your best, everything will be okay and you don’t need to freak out. A little bit of nerves is great, letting it get out of hand can harm your chances. Take a moment to centre yourself and be in the moment and go at normal speed – no need to fly off at a hundred miles an hour!

I really hope this is of help to you and, if you’re going for jobs right now, good luck!
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Treating your sweetie – Long-distance love by air mail

We all love showing our special someone how special they are to us, and giving gifts is a fun way to show that. I love giving gifts to my bf and that is no different when he is on the other side of the world. I just like giving him stuff and treating him (Damn, I’m an awesome girlfriend!)

I’ve already sent him one package, but I have just sent him the first proper “Care package” type deal-y. The first package was mainly souvenirs that I couldn’t have given him before he went for fear of overloading him with stuff. This next one has had more thought and time and planning put in.

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Obviously, I can’t actually say what I bought until he’s actually received the package, but I can offer some good advice for putting together your own long-distance-love box.

 

 

Give it thought

I put a few days of thinking and shopping around into this so that it would be just right. Look for stuff that your s.o (significant other) would really like and have use for. Empty and unplanned gifts can be great, but there is something really special about when someone goes the extra mile of thinking about stuff that you don’t have and maybe can’t easily get.
My guy being in Korea, there is a lot of stuff I can easily get here that perhaps might not be as easy to get in Korea, so I had a lot of options.
Try to listen closely to stuff they say to see if you can get any ideas directly from them of what they might like or need.
I know that my bf has been studying a lot recently, so I came up with loads of ideas for gifts that related back to studying, without being entirely about studying.
Is there anything in particular going on in your s.o’s life right now that they could use a boost or some stuff for?
Are they saving for anything, working on anything or have any hobbies that you could help or support?
Any of these little things can give you ideas that will give them big feels to unwrap, especially if you’ve come up with and transported that thoughtfulness around the world (romantic!)
Check the rule book

It’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the rules when sending stuff in the mail – ESPECIALLY via air mail!!
photoThere are a lot of rules and restrictions over sending some items in the mail. I only learnt today how strict those rules are!!
One nifty example is nail polish: If you are mailing within the UK, you can only mail 4 small bottles of nail polish at a time – But don’t even try mailing nail polish remover as that is totally banned!
I made the unthinking mistake of trying to send a cute little candle to my boyfriend, which only resulted in my having to cut the box open and pull it out in the middle of the post office.
Seriously, save yourself the time and sticky tape by checking the rules early.
As well as general mailing laws, some countries have their own laws about stuff you can sent to and from different countries.
You can get “Prohibited and restricted items” leaflets from your post office, and information about each countries’ mailing laws can be found at the embassy for that country, either by looking on their website or calling them up.
Remember, don’t get mad at these rules. In these crazy times, everyone is having to be more careful. I know I’m not a terrorist, but, to the people in charge, my care package is just another box that needs to get safely transported from A to B and the rules are for all of us, so let’s play within them. 🙂

Not to cheap, not too pricey

Make sure when planning your package that you have a weight and money budget. That includes, the price of the packaging, the contents and the postage and fees. This can all mount up very quickly and, before you know it, you’ve spent £25 on the gifts and £30 getting it to its destination!
Get a leaflet from your post office or look online at the shipping costs to the country you are sending the package too (If your s.o lives in the same country as you, that makes it cheaper) and decide the maximum weight you are going to pay getting it there.
I decided that I was willing to pay around £10 for the shipping, not too much but not stingy either.
In the end, my box ended up weighing 0.401kg and cost £8 to send – Not too shabby! 🙂
I was careful to buy quite light stuff for the box. Fun and useful stuff that could also take a bit of tossing around in there (Korean Mail can get pretty beaten up in transit).
And together I spent about £15 on the contents. Nice but not too pricey!
When sending stuff overseas you have to be careful that you’re not sending stuff that is too expensive to the postage or too little to make the postage worth it.
You want to get your money’s worth from the postage, but you don’t want to send stuff that is too valuable without paying for a better postage (remember, tracking and signing costs extra).
Make it personal

If that means decorating the box, including a card or anything, make the personal message of “This is from me to you” the key focus of your parcel.
Sure the gifts inside it are great, but it is the element of feeling close and cared for that your partner will love most, so do whatever you need to get that across in your gift.
Write a letter, include a voice recording, send them a CD of your mutual favourite artist or anything. It’s the connection that you are looking for.
In the end, the most important part is conveying your intent behind the gift. Making your partner feel loved and special and telling them that, even though you’re not together in person, you’re still looking out for them and trying your best.

Another article will follow up with some cool suggestions for gifts, so please keep coming back.
Have you send your s.o a gift parcel? Let us know what was inside and how it went!
You can also come and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter  (as well as my personal Twitter and Instagram) and share your stories and opinions – I  love chatting with readers!
Hope this has been helpful to you and see you soon! X

Proper manners for Korean Learners

Proper manners for Korean Learners

Learning Korean is a fun, rewarding and a perfectly balanced challenge. However, it does come with some rules.

Evernote Camera Roll 120140625 002833Korea has a lot of manners and social rules to follow and, while you might be excused at times for being foreign, you still need to at least try and play by the rules.
So, in order to avoid any embarrassing situations, here are some tips to keep you out of trouble.
And now, setting a good example of what not to do when meeting Koreans, is CL of 2ne1 with “나쁜 기집애 (The Baddest Female)”

Respect your elders

This rule may not be exercised so much in the West these days, but it’s still a crucial part of Korean culture. Of course, not being Korean means you’ll be excused for little mistakes but you should still try to be as formal and respectful as you can.
Remember to address people respectfully, use as formal language as you know and remember that what you do with your body is important.
When sitting either in chairs or on the ground, always sit with your legs (at least your knees) together and try to maintain good posture.
When giving or receiving anything from an elder, always do so with both hands and a slight bow of your head.

Don’t show-off your extensive lexicon of Korean curse words

Many Korean learners like to find excuses to use Korean in everyday life, and that’s great… Until they get ticked off…
Now, in Kdramas and Kpop they use curses and expletives pretty liberally, throwing them in for dramatic effect and emphasis without really thinking about it. Normal Korean people, however, aren’t usually so quick to curse, especially in front of others.
So, with this in mind, try and hold back you ‘aish’es and ‘aigoo’s. It may be tough, but it’ll look better if you do.

That point also brings me to:

Don’t copy pop culture

We, as multi-cultural people, need to accept the fact that Korean Dramas, just like the dramas of our home countries, are fictional and not 100% accurate representations of real life. They’re dramas… Meaning dramatic portrayals… In other words, not real…
We all know Kim Soo-Hyun isn’t really an alien, so we can at least gather from that the fact that maybe we can’t totally rely on music and TV for accurate depictions of Korean life.
Try not to assume that all Korean people conform to the roles in TV dramas. All moms aren’t scary tyrannical helicopter moms. All guys aren’t rich. All rich guys aren’t a**holes. Sometimes the sweet guy does get the girl. And so on and so forth.

Koreans are regular people with normal lives, so respect and appreciate them for who they are, not who television makes them out to be.

Also, don’t trust copying what people in dramas and music say and do. That can go really badly. So, make sure you’re studying correct and polite Korean, rather than going off what people say in that song or drama. That’s why I made today’s song CL’s “Baddest Female”, because that song (or actually most kpop songs) is very arrogant, and you could get some weird looks or lose friends by being (even unintentionally) arrogant.
One thing that my boyfriend (who is Korean, for those who don’t know) really hates is when people call “야![Ya!]” to get someone’s attention. While it’s used every two seconds in dramas, it’s quite rude and can piss people off, so try to refrain from using it, unless you are very close to that person and are 100% sure they don’t mind.

Remember your 씨s, 님s, 아s and 야s

This point might not be vital for a foreigner to use, but it could earn you Brownie Points with people you meet (especially if you’re meeting your other half’s parents).

씨 [ssi]

This is a formal but familiar suffix that you put after a person’s FIRST name to show respect. You use this with someone that you are not particularly close to. You may say it to a stranger or a friend of a friend, but it sounds weird if you say it to a friend. It is the Korean equivalent of saying Mr. David or Mrs. Helen.
So, for example, to address me, you may say “안녕하새요 애이미씨!”
The first word is ‘annyeonghasaeyo’ meaning ‘hello’.
The second word ‘애이미’ is my name, and you can see ‘씨’ [ssi] on the end. It’s fairly polite while still being casual.

님 [nim]

Nim is a much more formal honorific suffix that you attach to the occupation of a person, not their first OR last name[!!].
You can also put this on the end of the words for Father or Mother to add extra formality. So you have 아빠님 for Father and 엄마님 for addressing a Mother.
For example, you would be expected to address a teacher by ‘선생님’ [seon-saeng-nim]. So, in a formal setting:
[Occupation]+님= Good!
[Name]+님= Bad! Avoid.
“야! 아저씨/아줌마!”= VERY BAD! Like ‘hankering for a scalding’ bad!

아 [ah] and 야[ya]

아 and 야 are very casual ways to address someone very close to you. I’m explaining these two at the same time because they have the same meaning, but are just applied differently.
아 is used as the suffix when the last syllable block of a person’s first name has three characters.
For example, the name 예빈 [Yebin] has three characters (ㅎ, ㅣ and ㄴ) in the last syllable, so someone close could refer to them as ‘예빈아’[Yebina]
But 야 is used when the final syllable only has 2 character! So, the name ‘승리’ could be called ‘승리야’ by someone very close.

In situations where you aren’t sure about which suffix to use, go for the more formal option and, if you get an opportunity, gently ask the other person “제가 어떻게 불러야 될까요?” [jae-ga eo-tteoh-kae beol-leo-ya doe-kka-yo], which means “How can I address you?”.

Kdramas can help you learn

Exposing yourself to the Korean language will do wonders for your learning. Even if you use subtitles, hearing it spoken will help your listening, comprehension, pronunciation and vocabulary. And, it also means that you will soon be able to understand meanings in the character’s words that perhaps the subtitles cannot express!
Put a drama or a Korean podcast (such as the BRILLIANT Talk To Me In Korean or Korean Class 101 podcasts) on as you go to sleep at night and your subconscious will keep listening as you drift off, causing you to subliminally learn. Trust me, this works! I also do this to help me learn lines for plays and films, so it’s a pro tip!
And my final (and slightly conflicting) point:

Don’t JUST study Kdramas

Like I said, Kdramas can do wonders for your learning, but only as a supplement to your other study material. You’ll still need to get your textbooks out and knuckle down every so often – there’s only so much Lee Min Ho can help you!

If you only use the language learned from Kdramas, you will find yourself at risk of being labelled a ‘Koreaboo’ and Koreans may feel a little insulted (rightfully) if you take their language and culture for granted and limit it to only what you see on TV. Respect the culture, not just the TV shows, and you’ll be fine! 🙂

Have fun!

Korean, as I keep saying, is SO MUCH FUN, is a true delight to listen to and it sounds great to speak it. So don’t let it just become something you have to study or something you’re slogging though learning. Have fun with it and make it an adventure. You’re much more likely to learn it well if you approach it with passion, enthusiasm and a willingness to go through the steps, be willing to try, willing to make silly mistakes and ready to try. Keep learning and keep at it!

Also, Koreans are generally very helpful people and if they see you earnestly trying to learn their language, they will be compassionate and helpful. Show them how invested you are in learning their language and they will feel both respected and more encouraged to help your learning.

You’ll do great! Just remember to keep working at it and don’t be afraid to practice, practice, practice! 🙂
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