The Wonder of Remote Interviewing

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A Prague job interview for an Irish woman travelling in Rajasthan, by Genevieve Ward

This month I’ve taken some time out from my business to travel through parts of India. My partner and I are two thirds of the way through a tour of Rajasthan, where we’ve visited palaces and forts, walked through small farming villages and market places, interacted with some of the local people and enjoyed their delicious food. It’s been an amazing experience so far.

Our tour group comprises 12 people from Germany, Canada, England and Ireland and we are an amiable bunch, experiencing Intrepid’s Classic Rajasthan for 15 days. Today at lunch we were discussing who would be up for a game of water polo later. Oh yes, how exciting to be staying in a 300 year old castle with its own pool. Luxury!

One of the girls from Ireland, June (pictured below), said she wouldn’t be able to play because she had a Skype interview. Being a career coach, of course my ears pricked up over this statement. June has been applying for work teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) in Czechoslovakia. She has already had a couple of interviews, and job offers, but they haven’t been the “right” job. The upcoming interview is for a role teaching English to children aged four to 14 in a school in Prague. June’s pretty keen on this one.

I asked June if she was nervous and she replied “no, I don’t get nervous for interviews”. When asked about her preparation, she said that she did some reading up on the school and she’d had some recent interview experience, plus her experience as a primary school teacher in Ireland will help her feel ready for any questions. June also said that one interview she had (with a different school) was pretty tough, where the interviewer really grilled her about grammar. She felt he came across as sarcastic and whilst she wasn’t offered the role, she didn’t think it would be the right work environment for her.

In preparing for the Skype meeting, June was a little concerned that the wifi wasn’t going to be great as we are in a small town and it may not be strong enough to get a video signal. She had prepared to do a phone interview in case, with a further option to postpone for a day where she will have access to better internet services.

Early evening, whilst a group of us were relaxing by the pool, June showed up announcing “I got the job!” which was promptly followed by a round of applause, well done’s and woo hoo’s. She said the interview went really well, lasting 45 minutes and that the conversation was fairly relaxed. She felt it had helped that she had sent in a four minute video of herself showing her teaching methods in practice, plus her written responses to the interviewer’s questions. They decided to go with voice only Skype too.

June will be celebrating tonight as she plans to start her new adventure next month. The rest of us will be celebrating our water polo match where we were all winners!

Namaste.

Click here for tips on preparing for a Skype interview.

Click here for information about applying for overseas TESOL opportunities.

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Being Paid for What You Love

Change Quote Lao TzuI admire people who recognise that their chosen job is ‘not for life’ and then do something about it. My Mum started studying for a university degree in her 40s and has since transitioned from working as a Personal Assistant to working in mental health as a Carer Consultant – a role which she thoroughly enjoys.

Being open to a new career path and exploring ways to make this happen, can pay off when you find yourself being paid for what you love. Here’s a couple of career change stories to give you some inspiration:

Cheers, Gen

Going the Extra Mile

Above The MarkWhen employers are assessing job applications, one of the things they look for is how you can add value to their organisation. As they review your application or listen to your interview responses they will want to know what makes you stand out above the others. Similarly, when potential clients want to hear about my career coaching services, I let them know that I not only help with writing their resume, but also give extra job search tips in our discussions and keep an eye out for suitable job opportunities. Continue reading

Random Acts of Kindness

I’m currently reading a book by social researcher, Hugh Mackay called The Good Life. In his preface Mackay describes:

“This type of life is marked by a courteous respect for others’ rights, a responsiveness to others’ needs (including, most particularly, their need to be taken seriously) and a concern for others’ wellbeing. A person living this life will be motivated by kindness and compassion.”

When I reflect on my own values and actions I hope that this is the life I’m living. Last year I noticed an article in our local newspaper, the Bendigo Advertiser, which asked people to share stories about their random acts of kindness. For instance – giving someone a smile, visiting an animal shelter, and making your workmate a cup of tea. I’d like to think most of us do these things without too much thought. Continue reading

Are you on LinkedIn?

LinkedInWhen I meet new people in a professional setting I often ask if they are on LinkedIn.  They may be a potential client, someone who can add value to my business or a job seeker I’m working with.  LinkedIn is a professional networking site and many companies use this tool as a means of recruiting staff.

When it comes to landing a job, your LinkedIn profile acts as the online version of your resume.  I’m going to share with you eight ways to build up your profile so you get noticed by potential employers. Continue reading

Quote for May

The best careers advice to give to the young is ‘Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.’ ~ Katherine Whitehorn

Delaying the Inevitable

Best Way to BeginEver heard the saying ‘Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today’? I recall my mum using this phrase when I was a teenager and watched a lot of television to avoid studying. Now, I’m having those moments (or hours) where instead of doing business stuff, I’m eating chocolate and catching up on the latest episodes of Rake. Yes folks, I’m procrastinating.

I’ve started thinking about what changes I need to make to improve my business. I’ve identified that the hard stuff for me is making sales calls. I’m good at the softer side of marketing via social media, posters and paid advertising. I do well with networking as I love getting out in the community. However, when it comes to contacting businesses to talk about what I do, I feel out of my comfort zone. So, how do I change this? Continue reading