Author Archives: keotaro

About keotaro

Media and Communication student at Southampton Solent University

Tips for a successful job interview (or how to get your way with a Kendoka)

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It does not matter if you are still a student or already an experienced professional, it always comes a time when you have to SHINE ON and this is…the job interview!
Haaaaaa! If like me you can already feel your heart racing at the only evocation of the words, this article might be of some use to you.
The fact is that we are more or less used in marketing, communications, and other business related fields to pitch big concepts, ideas or products and to make them look awesome….

 

 

 

 

 

… or not.

 

But anyway! Things are not that easy when it is YOU that you have to sell …because this is what job interviews are all about in the end.
As you already know I am far to be classed in the “experienced professional” group having still my BA in Media and Communication in progress…but I’ve had to pitch myself very recently too.
And the person I had an interview with was not any employer. Let’ say that my future career kind of depends on his trust and financial investment. Let’s say that more than getting a contract, I had to convince him to agree to give me “some” money without any direct benefit for him. Let say that it was my father and that I had to convince him to pay the fees of the MA of my dreams (in International Marketing and Business Development for anyone who cares).
The fact is that as he loves to remind me at every occasion: my father is NOT Bill Gates and I thus would have to be HIGHLY persuasive in order to convince him that I AM the future MARKETING GODDESS of the century and that he cannot be wrong in trusting my choice. Moreover, he is second Dan in Kendo so I’d better not make him loose his patience…

So how to do to be THE awesome job applicant (or daughter in my case…)?
The first advice comes directly to us from Green Day: “Know Your Enemy”! I know than enemy might not be the exact word here but the intention is still present:  the number one tip for a successful job interview is to know as much as possible about the company you are applying to and if possible about the person who is going to interview you.
This step was made relatively easy to me acknowledging that I’ve known my dad for 22 years now. I could even find to which profile he belonged to and thus know what kind of arguments would be more effective with him. My dad is actually like me, (or vice versa maybe) that is to say an achiever, very concrete results oriented. And I have no doubts that arguments like “I will be very happy if you do this for me” would not have been “concrete result oriented” enough. Find out more about McClelland’s Model of Motivation and recognize your motivational profile HERE . You can also try to discover the one of people you know to convince them more easily in the future by using arguments that will work with them!
But for the few of you who won’t be interviewed by your father, the best way is to find some information on the internet and particularly on social networks to figure out what kind of person is the one you have to impress on the I Day (I for Interview day, I just made this up).

 

The second advice will be to watch out your body language and to make sure you come dressed in a proper way! The first impression is indeed very important and there is no second chance with this by definition…The problem is that “to be dressed in a proper way” really depends on the job you are applying for and you thus have to find out if the style of the company would more fit with a more casual style (but still classic don’t take any risk!) or a really formal one. As far as I am concerned I took care to wear a dress my father had offered me before…haha the idea is to fit with the interviewer’s expectations isn’t it?

 

 

Then it is all up to what you are going to say during the interview… STAY CALM and be focused on the message you want to pass across. The best is to arrive at the interview ON TIME, well prepared by rehearsing typical interview questions with a friend (HERE  are some good examples!) but most of all to be POSITIVE! Nobody wants a gloomy and stressed out applicant in his or her company! Be enthusiastic about what you are doing and make feel your motivation to your interviewer with some positive energy that will make you look confident and dynamic

 

No need to be ecstatic neither hum….we don’t want you to look like under the influence of psychoactive substances…

 

Once you are done and finally free, don’t forget that it might be relevant to send a thank you note to your interviewer (at his office not at his personal address… you might be taken as a kind of stalker…). HERE  are some advices to write your thank you note.
To sum up:
•    Know everything you can about the company and your interviewer
•    Look great and in control of yourself
•    Be prepared, focused and positive!
•    Send a thank you note

I hope your next interview will be as successful as mine with my father  It is now up to me not to disappoint him not to be cut into pieces TToTT Tell me about your bad or good job interview experiences! Are you preparing one at the moment? Did this post help you? Do you have any other tips? Join the conversation!! Youhou!!

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Are you a nice Rainbow or an Ugly little dwarf?

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What are you doing when you’re bored on the Internet ? Checking your e-mails? Checking your Facebook account? Reading some news or more probably watching some silly videos? But there is always a moment (often a rainy Sunday afternoon or when you should actually be writing your dissertation) when you are so bored that you actually already have done all of that!

So what happens next?

I don’t know about you but when I reach this ultimate boredom stage I enter in a quest for…..TESTS!

Psycho tests, QI, QE, professional tests, orientation tests…there are plenty of them available for free online and even more if you want to spend some money!

You know the kind of test where you read the results you are like “OMG THEY SO READ INTO MY MIND I WOULD SO BE POCAHONTAS IF I WAS A DISNEY CHARACTER” (actually when I did the test I happened to be Tinker bell…and I was pissed off).

Anyway, as I was doing some reading for my Persuasive Communication class (yes I did)  I came across a test to discover your “conflict resolution approach”… as a test addict I could not resist any longer to learn more about my august person, so I took it!

It was actually quite similar to the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (http://www.kilmann.com/conflict.html)  (TKI to his pals) which distinguishes 5 different types of conflict resolution approaches:

 

Competing/forcing=> you are an ugly little dwarf full of himself who just cares about his own opinion (which is by definition the best anyway)

Typical conflict resolution sentence: You’re wrong. I’m right. Piss off.

 

 

 

Avoiding => you are just so not concerned about what’s going on and will just let everybody cut open each other. And dance on their body. Problem solved.

Typical conflict resolution sentence: I leave you guys have a nice chat, I’m getting myself a cup of tea and I’ll be RIGHT BACK.

 

 

Compromising=> you are the kind who want to go home as soon as possible and just want everyone to agree on a issue ASAP even if you have to renounce nearly to everything you were standing for.

Typical conflict resolution sentence:  Ok guys Jane wants to work on Australian Koalas and Mathew on the Jewish Diaspora during WW2. Let’s do something about Koalas Diaspora during WW2. See you next week!

 

Accomodating=> you want to preserve a good relationship with others even if it must cost you to go at a meeting at 6 am at the other side of the town. You just won’t say no.

Typical conflict resolution sentence: Yes whatever you want! We are still friends aren’t we?

 

 

Collaborating=> you are like a little rainbow in the meeting room joining each others’ ideas in a golden pot of happiness.

Typical conflict resolution sentence: Let’s take each other’s hands and feel the harmony that will lead us to succeed together!

 

I thus take the test full of hope and enthusiasm to be a little rainbow and I end up being equally: Avoiding and Competing………come on what does it mean??  And I don’t know about you but when I’m not happy about the results of a test I just look for another.

To my surprise I see that the TKI is actually only available… FOR MONEY… like… you have to pay for it O_o and not just 1 or 2 pounds… somethink like £40!!

But, I found for you guys something quite similar right here… and for free:

<<<<<http://peace.mennolink.org/cgi-bin/conflictstyle/inventory.cgi>>>>>

This test uses similar questions (a lot are the same actually) than the test in my text book and thus should be serious enough.

For the little story I happened to be equally Collaborating and Compromising with this test…a much more pleasant outcome but seriously…  can we rely on tests that give such different results? I mean it’s not a big deal when you are looking for what your totem animal is but these kind of professional tests are supposed to be serious aren’t they?

So what is your conflict resolution style? Did you find the test accurate? Are you a test addict too? Did you ever spend money on doing tests and was it worth it?

Join the conversation!  =^_^=

How to Avoid Tea Cup Genocide

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There you are at a meeting with your work team discussing some important issue as your deadline for the ultimate report of the death is approaching.

Nobody really finds solutions to the problems you have to face and an awkward silence comfortably installes itself into the room….but then a miracle! The light at the end of the tunnel! You have an idea. No, it’s not an idea; it’s THE idea that will allow you to go on with your work in peace and harmony with all your team members under a rainbow of happiness (in your humble and objective opinion of course).

But what a surprise when I just see blank faces in front of me after I exposed my epiphany (yes I think I can give up the anonymous thing right now it’s just not believable anymore)  . But wait! Not just blank faces actually but also some eyebrows rising in sign of disapprobation….and wait no! Even Peter starts moving his lips and gives the two letter sentence: “No” (actually what he said more something like there’s no way on earth we can achieve your stupid, unrealistic and unworkable idea but whatever).

My turn to reply with a “you can’t be serious!” and his to say “Well did you think of X, Y and Z? I’ve already been stuck months because of dumb ass ideas like yours with a project in the past and I won’t let this happen again”

O______O (= I’m bursting into flames from the inside… yes it’s possible even when not a vampire)

Awkward silence again…

But not for long because I would come with some totally non related insult, Peter would raise up out of temper, Jenny would start crying, I would shout something at her like to be a part in the “discussion” instead of being so useless, and on and on until an innocent tea cup would be smashed on the table at some point and everybody would come back home frustrated, angry, disappointed and above all stressed out about the report.

STOP

What just happened? A  COMPLETE disaster and lack of self control for sure. And a tea cup murder. Which is not acceptable (the lack of self control AND the tea cup murder).

So what could I have done to avoid this? What could YOU do when in a similar situation (which will happen one day or another believe me as there are loads of Peters on this earth).

A conflict at work specialist named Ghislaine Labelle (which by the way means “the beautiful” in French so I think we should certainly listen to her) gives us some tips to “put an end to the escalation of conflicts and help resolve one that has already erupted” (2009: 116) :

  • Demand a time out
  • Develop a code of conduct with everybody to stop unacceptable behaviours
  • Inform yourself of the needs and expectation of everybody so in one word LISTEN
  • Consult an external and COMPETENT source to help you to sort things out with a fresh and objective eye on the matter if needed

I reckon that demanding a time out is quite hard sometimes and especially in front of Peters…but what do you think? Do you have your own Peter in your team work too? Did you ever reduce into pieces innocent objects instead of being a reasonable grown up? (reasonable is not fun) Or do you have other tips for me or any other person who may have to handle conflicts at home, at work or at school?

Please join the conversation  =^_^=

Youhou!

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My first post in my first blog wahou how exciting!

No really…this blog has been created in a pure academic purpose since it is a requirement for my Persuasive Comunication class but who knows?? I could come to like it in the end :3

So my posts will in a first time mainly support reflection related to this unit in order to demonstrate my  “skills at blog writing”massive fun ahead  ^_^