Interview Prep: How To Get Ready To Snag The Job Of Your Dreams

by Erica Francis

Interviewing for a job–especially when it’s a job you really want–can be overwhelming and stressful, which can cause issues for you when you’re speaking to the person in charge of hiring. You want to be relaxed, confident, and prepared in order to show how well you can handle yourself under pressure; this will give your potential employer a good idea of what you’ll be like if you’re hired. It’s not always easy, so it’s important to prepare as much as possible before the interview so you’ll feel comfortable.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get ready for the big day. From holding a mock interview to get familiar with possible questions to looking for ways to boost your confidence, you can start preparing weeks ahead of time. Ask a friend or family member to help you out, and start thinking about your physical appearance as it can be important when it comes to a first impression.

Keep reading for some wonderful tips on how to prep for a job interview.

Hold a mock interview

Ask a friend or family member to help you hold a mock interview; you can find some possible interview questions here. Thinking about your answers will help give you confidence on the big day and will prevent you from fumbling over your words when speaking to your potential employer. Think about how you want to present yourself, and write down sample answers to prepare; remember to speak eloquently and professionally, as this will reflect on you and your ability to interact with clients.

Get ready for your first impression

First impressions are incredibly important when it comes to job interviews, because it’s your chance to let your employer know what you’re all about. Don’t underestimate the power of a great outfit or a good haircut, and consider buying some new makeup or hair styling tools to help boost your confidence and give yourself a leg up on the competition. Go here for some great tips on how to get started.

Do some research

It’s imperative to do some research on the company you’re interviewing with so that when you’re asked what you know about their history, you can show how invested you are in the job. Get online and find out how many people they employ, what year they were founded, who the president is, and what their goals are. For instance, many companies these days are making more of an effort to go green for the environment; if this is important to you, it’s a great talking point in the interview.

Get some sleep

It can be difficult to get good rest the night before the big day, especially if you’re nervous. However, it’s imperative to get a good night’s sleep so you’ll be fresh and at the top of your game. Put away all screens–computer, television, and smartphone–at least an hour before you go to bed, and refrain from drinking anything with caffeine or eating meat (which is hard to digest and can interfere with your ability to go to sleep).

Getting ready for a job interview can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The best way to stay calm is to prepare as much as possible beforehand, and to give yourself plenty of time to do it so you won’t feel pressured. With a good plan and a little help from a loved one, you can make sure you’re ready to blow away your potential employer and snag the job of your dreams.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–be prepared to nail that job interview.

It’s Never Too Late–Just Ask Me

It was a great evening being interviewed by Matt Blake and Casey Sanders of the show “Inspired to Greatness”. The discussion was about the subject It’s Never too Late.  As a woman of a certain age, it was an easy conversation for me to have.

Hope you will enjoy the conversation

 

To hear more conversations with Matt and Casey go to Inspired to Greatness.  Enjoy the conversations, and remember it’s never too late because “thisisyourbestyear”.

What You Get In A Room Of Outstanding Women–Knowledge

It is amazing what you can get when you have a room full of outstanding women networking and learning from each other.  The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce did exactly that at the beautiful Fort Worth Club in downtown Fort Worth.  It seemed liked everyone was there–including Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price.

This amazing program was put on by what the Fort Worth Chamber calls one of their small groups–Women Influencing Business which by the turnout is no longer a small group.  Women Influencing Business made the most of time and space by presenting two excellent programs in the span of a few knowledge filled hours.

The first part of the program was a panel (Staying on Top of Your Game!) with a question and answer section moderated by the groups’ chairperson, Anne Holland and featured three great speakers:

  • Mayor Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth
  • Susan Nix, Founder of Susan Nix Consulting Group
  • Leah King, Vice President & Marketing Director of Northstar Bank

During the luncheon, just as women do–we multitasked by networking and listening to a very informative speaker–Dr. Rachel Croson of the University of Texas at Arlington.  Dr. Croson spoke on Women and Negotiation (You’ve Got the Power!).

The networking was contagious and continued even into the valet line.  Women Influencing Business had indeed gotten their message across.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”!  Stay on top of your game, and you do have the power!

 

A House Where “Sunny” Shines Bright

When I drove up to the Thornton Inn Bed and Breakfast in Arlington, Texas I was in Sunny 3love with the beautiful wrap around porch with the rocking chairs– this was my dream house.  I was there to meet the owner, businesswoman Sunny Graham.

Having heard so many wonderful things about Sunny, it was a joy to finally meet her.  We had been trying to have this conversation for well over six months.  She is exactly what her name says–Sunny.

We were given a tour of the beautiful bed and breakfast by Terrance Graham who is Sunny’s (sunny) husband.  His tour and his telling the history of the house seemed to make the house come alive. The house was constructed in 1905, and has been used for many things including a family residence and a fraternity house.

Sunny1Each of the five  bedrooms is furnished beautifully with Sunny 11equally beautiful baths.  There is a living area downstairs as well as one upstairs.  The house also features a cozy library, and a beautiful dining room where breakfast is served to the guests each morning.

Sunny 9My favorite thing about the house is the wrap around porch with the Sunny 10rocking chairs and ceiling fans. I love the idea of rocking on the porch (that’s the East Texas in me).

While Terrance was finishing up the tour, Sunny arrived.  She is a bundle of energy, and a ray of sunshine.  Sitting in the library Sunny and I talked about a lot of things and much more.

Sunny’s story of success is one of the American dream.  She is originally from the Philippines, and had always known that she would live in the states. One of my favorite stories that she tells is of her first taste of chocolate given to her by a G.I. who told her there was a lot of chocolate in the United States–in her young mind she could only imagine.

Getting to the states would take a lot of planning. Sunny learned about being an exchange student, and was selected for the program. After her brothers convinced her father to let her go, she was on her way to the land of chocolate.

Fast forward to Sunny being asked to sell houses with no experience while leaving a job that she was very comfortable in. She took the job and the rest is home selling history. She was a success. In fact she was a huge success. While selling homes she started educating her clients about the home buying process. Others started to ask questions, and she gladly shared her knowledge. She is still mentoring today.

The Thornton Inn Bed and Breakfast was supposed to be the real estate office for Sunny, but somewhere along the way things changed, and she and her husband decided that a bed and breakfast might be something to look into, and the rest is history. There is so much more to Mrs. Sunny Graham.  This woman of a certain age is an entrepreneur extraordinaire.   She knows that “thisis(her)yourbestyear”, and she is still in the process of sharing her knowledge with others.

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To find out more about the Thornton Inn Bed and Breakfast go to:  www.thethorntoninn.com.  Sunny and I will meet you on the porch.  Be prepared for Sunny’s next big project–it’s in the making.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

TEDxSMUWomen 2015–Talking And Listening

TED  Heather Hankamer, DirectorSouthern Methodist University, plus TED Talk, plus outstanding women equals an outstanding day–it is TEDxSMUWomen 2015.  This day is a local, self-organized event that brings people together to share in a TED-like experience with both live presentations along with simulcast.  The SMU event was presented by the Dallas Women’s Foundation.  The director of TEDxSMU is Ms. Heather Hankamer who is very passionate about inspiring the next generation of thinkers and leaders.

TEDxSMUWOMEN  Michelle Adams
Photo by Kim Ritzenthater Lesson

The day started with the live presentations which were given by women from all walks of life and varied professions.  There was Ms. Michelle Adams who talked on being true to self which is something that seems to be hard for women to do. She told the audience of her journey.

TEDxSMUWOMEN Jasmin RohmanThere was Ms. Jasmin Rohman who then gave her approach to career success.  I was particularly interested in this presentation when I heard her talk of networking which is one of the things I tell my students.  I am constantly telling them that “you never know who you are going to meet–be prepared”.

TEDxSMUWOMEN
Photo by Kim Ritzenthater Lesson

It was amazing that I just started to follow Ms. Lisa Fey of “Atta Girl” LLC, and she was one of the presenters.  She talked on the power of persistence, and how one phone call changed her life.

TEDxSMUWOMEN  Ann Ransom
Photo by Kim Ritzenthater Lesson

Ms. Ann Ransom talked on the importance of legacy.  This is so important because we are always thinking of what we should have asked or said to someone when we remember them–how we wish we knew more about them now that they are no longer here.

SMUDuring the break we ran into the mistress of ceremony, *Dr. Rochelle Carr and another young lady, professional  speaker/writer, Ms.Shanterra McBride, and the conversation soon turned to East Texas among other things.  It seems everyone in Texas knows someone from East Texas, and it’s always a good way to start a conversation. It was an awesome event that bought together women and men to listen and learn valuable information.

I always remember that my mom would say “If you just sit there and be quiet, you might just learn something”, and at TEXxSMUWomen 2015 we all learned something.

*Dr. Rochelle Carr, the mistress of ceremony has a TEDxSMU presentation that is absolutely wonderful, and most women of a certain age can identify with it.  Sit back and enjoy.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

Women–No One Mold Fits All

Remember when women were limited to certain careers?  I can, and they were very good careers, but this is no longer the case.  At the Mayor’s Luncheon benefitting the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) I ran into many women with so many fascinating careers.  Some were just staring their careers while others were onto their second even third careers, and even others were reinventing themselves.

A few of the women I met are below.  At the top left is Dr. Tahita Fulkerson, president of the Trinity River Campus of Tarrant County College (my boss). The top right picture is of Ms. Gyna Bivens, Fort Worth City Council Member for District 5.   Ms. Cindi B. on air personality at BOOM 94.5 is at the left.  At the bottom right is the Honorable Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.   Your career–your choice.  The mold has been broken.

Gabriela Natale–Beauty, Brains And Giving Back

Teaching is not an easy profession, it is one that cannot be taught, it has to be natural and nurtured.  Gabriela Natale of Super Latina fame is an entertainment star who is also a natural teacher who eagerly gives back. This was one of the times when as an educator, I knew that I had invited the correct person to come and speak with my business leadership class at Tarrant County College.

Gabriela and I had been playing phone tag since about August of 2014, but when we finally got together it was a wonderful class.  A class where the students were attentive, asked questions, talked, laughed and just waited after class to speak with her.

I now see why she has been a successful television personality, event planner and entrepreneur.  She freely gives back by sharing her knowledge with others.  Her passion for her work is contagious.

You can see more of Ms. Gabriela Natale at her sites:

www.superlatina.tv

www.Facebook.com/natalegabriela

@superlatinashow                                                                                                                                                                                         

With all of her accomplishments Gabriela truly knows that “thisisyour(her)bestyear”, and she instilled that in her talk to students who were eager to learn.

The Texas Conference For Women Is For You

Decisions, decisions–it is so hard to choose what sessions to attend at the Texas Conference For Women in Austin, Texas on November 13, 2014.  The state of Texas does things bigger and better than most, and the Texas Conference For Women is one of the biggest in the nation with something for what seems like every woman in and around Texas (everybody).  That’s where the decision part comes in–choosing.

The keynote speakers are a who’s who in various fields of endeavor.  Soledad O’Brien, Diana Nyad and others will be gracing the stage.  There are Pulitzer Prize winners, company CEO’s and more.  The conference will have breakout sessions, round table discussions, vendors and fantastic networking opportunities.

This year the conference is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a fantastic, strong group of leaders who are experts in their chosen fields. The women attending will be able to obtain valuable paths to becoming more successful in their careers and in their personal lives.

To learn more about the Texas Conference For Women, go to: http://www.txconferenceforwomen.org/.  There is something for you.  It is a perfect girls weekend in Austin, Texas.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

TX-Conf-Nov13-sq

You Are Not Your Job–You Can Retire

Some people find it hard to retire, because they have no identity, no life outside their world of work.  Remember the song “I am not my hair” by India Arie?  Well, I am not my profession and/or job.  I have a life outside of academia.  Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching, it is in my DNA–literally.  I come from a family of educators.  I can go back as far as my great-aunt on my mother’s side, she was an educator, both my parents, countless aunts, uncles and cousins were also very good educators.

Saying this I learned a valuable lesson from them–there is life outside your career and beyond. There should be friends, activities, hobbies, and even passions that have nothing to do with your chosen career field.  Successful people even change their appearance when they leave their job–they let their hair down or put it up.  Even Mrs. Westlake, the dreaded math teacher on the Cosby Show changed her appearance when not at her job.  You should live for life, not for your job.

I recently found this article in the USA Today and it talks about the struggles some people have when it comes to retirement because their career is their life.   Take a look at the article to see if you are defined by your job, or if you can make it into your retirement fulfilled.  http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2014/10/28/retirement-leaving-job-work-identity/17671579/

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  I’ve heard there is much more life in retirement albeit a different life  You are not your job.