Tag Archives: how-to

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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Lack of performance: What’s blocking you?  

So that title wasn’t intended to sound so sexual. Anyway, it’s there now!  But, that is genuinely the topic of today’s post: What areas of your life are you failing to perform in and why? (That still sounds so dirty….)

key4I suppose the title could have been ‘how to succeed’ or ‘how to get everything you want in life’, but the purpose of this isn’t to just hand you advice for what to do to get what you want, but to also teach you what to look out for so you know when you aren’t quite on track. Otherwise it would be like giving you a fishing rod when you’re at a river with no fish – pointless and not very helpful.

Hopefully this information will help you to avoid reaching standstills in your life that consume your time and waste your precious energy. This is all stuff that I am currently having to do in my life and so we are all in this together. And remember that there is no shame in your life being a little out of order. There was never an instruction manual for life, so there’s no need for you to feel bad for not having it all worked out.

 

Together, we can work out what’s in our way and collectively work together to break those blocks like we’re an 80s gamer!

 

1. Begin first by having a think about what it is that you want. Make a list and try to be as specific and clear as you can be. Write down as much as you can about that particular subject or area, everything about it that you want to do or learn.

Clearly knowing what you want helps you to lock onto the paths to attaining or achieving it by putting into words that your problem-solving mind is best at working out.

 

2. Look at other people succeeding in that area. Now, don’t look at them and think “Why are they so great, while I suck?!” as that will just set you back. Look at what they do which helps them succeed. What habits do they have? Are there any special behaviours they have that help them get what they want?

If you can, try to talk to these people so you can get first-hand advice from the people in the positions you want to be in. Some people may not necessarily want to help someone to become successful in the same area as them (some people feel easily threatened) so ask around until you find someone willing to honestly share what they know – there’ll be someone!

 

3. Take a day or two to examine yourself. Don’t do anything any differently to usual, except pay attention to what you are doing and take note.

What are you doing when you should be doing ‘X’? What side-tracks you? Are there any blatant causes of distraction or procrastination?

Don’t do anything at this point to ‘fix’ it. Just observe and take note.

 

4. What are the biggest blocks? Tiredness? Work? Absentmindedness? Socialising? The internet? Commitments?

Look at all the things that stop you or steer you off course for your goals?

 

5 How do these affect your progress? Currently, my bedroom is an absolute mess. There are boxes everywhere, laundry on the floor, bags of clothes I keep forgetting to donate, half finished organising jobs to do and too much random garbage surrounding me. That means that I cannot sit down at my desk (or even see my desk) to do any work. Thus I have to work in a different room where there are other sounds to distract me, I’m not in my office space and I feel more idle than I would if I had my office space (and bedroom) in a tidy manner.

I also want to film Youtube videos for Learn With Amy, but my bedroom is waaaay to messy to film in.

I also work a LOT, so that means I am out of the house most of the day and come home late at night. After a long day at work, I am too tired to tidy, so that is left until my days off, which means they can’t be spent working—it’s a vicious cycle!

Be honest with yourself about your progress is being affected. Don’t shy away from admitting it – embrace it and turn it around on itself!

 

6. Think about simple and realistic ways that you can solve your problem. Try to avoid intricate and detailed MacGyver solutions. Just stay simple and find out what you need to do. You may even need to try a few solutions before you find the right one(s) for you.

For example, tomorrow I am going to give myself the morning, and not a minute past 12, to get my room and office space sorted and ready for me to work so that I can use all of the rest of my day to get my work done.

 

7. Remember why you are here. Don’t let yourself forget your goal. The worst thing is when you forget that you are supposed to be focusing on a goal and you just trail off. That’s when the work gets forgotten and how you end up staring at your screen like ‘How did I get here?!’

Stay sharp and keep your eye on the prize!

 

8. Be strict but fair. Like a good leader, be understanding and kind to yourself, but don’t coddle yourself.

In life, we don’t get the luxury of being lead, so we have to lead ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need leadership skills. You can’t just treat yourself badly and expect good results. Respect breeds respect, especially with the self!

 

9. It’s okay to ask for help. Asking for help can be so powerful. It can instantly unlock key answers that you didn’t know were right there, simply by putting out that request for help.

Whether you are asking help from a friend, a co-worker, someone in the industry of your choice, a family member, me, a teacher or even just the universe, asking for help very clearly says “I could use a hand here” and can be exactly the key to getting you rolling again.

What pursuits have you felt blocked in recently? Let us know in the comments, or send me a message using the message box below, or connect on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. X

 

How to add language keyboards (Windows)

key4

As a follow on from my post about adding keyboards to iPhone, I’m just wanted to quickly explain how to do the same on Windows.

It’s a little trickier than on the iPhone, but just follow these steps and you’ll be ready to type in no time!

Adding Keyboards to Windows (Vista)

Open up the compute Control Panel and click ‘Change keyboards or other input methods’

 

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Then click ‘Change keyboards’

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Look to the right of your list of keyboards and click ‘Add…’

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You’ll see a long list of different languages. Scroll through and find the ones you want to add

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Then expand the tabs for your desired language and select ‘Microsoft IME’ in that tab

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That should be all you need to do to add the new keyboards. Now, there should be a little language bar along your task bar. To switch keyboards, just click on the current language and select the one you want to switch to! Simple as that!

 

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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Recipe: Simple fudge

A while ago, I tried something that I’d been too chicken to attempt for ages.

I started making fudge.

That might not sound huge, but with my history of clumsiness, I figured that maybe handling pans of boiling hot sugar would be a bit silly – me being the doofus who once manage to badly cut my hand open while slicing a bagel.

But, once I had tried the first time, I realised that I might not be as cursed as I thought. While making fudge I suffered no burn, bruises, cuts or injuries of any kind. It was like a miracle and I realised then that I loved making fudge because, not only did I not die making it, it tasted REALLY GOOD! Everyone who tried it, even people who usually hated fudge, loved it and said I had a gift.
So, very pleased with myself and my new-found ability, I present to you my fudge recipe!!

Ingredients

1 large can of Condensed milk
500g of sugar (I use granulated or demerara – just depends what’s in the cupboard!)
150ml of milk
and
100g soft butter
1tsp Vanilla extract (totally optional)

Instructions

Step 1
Line a square tin with greaseproof paper (trust me, you’ll want to do this FIRST!)

Step 2
Put all of the ingredients in a large pan over a medium heat. Stir the ingredients constantly to prevent any lumps or burning.
Wait for all of the ingredients to melt together (keep stirring)

Step 3
When all of the ingredients are melted together, turn the heat up and bring it all to the boil (Don’t forget to stir). When the mixture reaches boiling, turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes (You’d better still be stirring!)

Step 4
After that time is up, get a really cold glass of water and take a tiny amount of the mixture (in a spoon, not your fingers!) and drip it into the water. A little soft ball of fudge should form. If it’s still gooey, keep it simmering for a while longer.

Step 5
Once the mixture reaches the “Soft ball stage”, as it’s called, you can take the pan off the heat.
And if you thought your stirring times were over, think again! You need to stir the fudge-y mixture until it goes very thick and begins to set. (your arms should be aching like crazy by now from all that stirring!)
– Be very careful not to splash yourself with the mixture or burn yourself on the pan! It happens! –

Step 6
Take the square tin (lined with baking paper) and pour (or scoop) the mixture into the tin. Flatten it out with the back of a spoon or a spatula until it’s level and fits nicely in the tin.

Step 7
Cool and allow to set in the fridge until it’s fudge and enjoy as you please!

Note: Once it’s done, keep the fudge wrapped up or in an airtight container so it lasts longer and stays fresh.
I recommend keeping the fudge in the fridge in between servings as it’s even better when cold!
If you’ve tried that and want to take it one step further you can try covering the sliced up pieces in melted chocolate and letting it set so you have delicious chocolate covered fudge! Top with a slice of strawberry, and I think that’s what heaven may taste like!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe and have a lot of fun preparing it. A video tutorial will be following this post up very soon including other awesome flavours!

Remember: This is just a guideline and I’m no chef, so please take care when following this recipe and just treat it as a guideline – I don’t want anybody getting hurt over fudge!

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Also, you can come connect with me on my personal Twitter and Instagram pages! All the best X