If you were like me and thought that, as long as you got there before 9:30am, then shipping Christmas packages would be easy peasy today… silly us. I got to the post office at 9:26am and there were already over a dozen people in front of me and one woman had somewhere between 12-15 packages on a handtruck….
All in all, the two clerks on duty did a great job but I imagine they’ll be 10 kinds of happy when their shifts are over.
Second on my list was a ‘quick stop’ at the local FedEx shipping center. I was the first in line, the place was quiet, 1940’s Christmas music wafting around me… bliss. Until the computer decided that no, you are not allowed to print prepaid return shipping labels today. Last Friday? No problem. Tomorrow? Happy to see you. Today? Holy Moly. To her credit, the clerk was very patient, made phone calls, and stayed with it until it was sorted- still took nearly an hour.
HOWEVER- my documents are now on their way to the Secretary of State along with a prepaid envelope to mail the apostilled degree copies back to me. Total cost for documents out and back was about $34USD.
One reason that I wanted everything finished today was so I would have all afternoon to prepare for my Skype interview tomorrow.
Some fantastic tips from friends that have professional experience coaching job-seekers and career changers:
Prepare for a BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW!
Behavioral interview type questions will explore:
A task or situation you experienced
What did you do?
What were the results?
1- Get your stories straight. Seriously. YOUR stories. A behavioral interview is about getting to know YOU, what you have experienced, and how your past experiences have prepared you for the future.
2- Print out a copy of the job description and highlight the areas that could be considered preferred skills or attributes. This might be under preferred qualifications or something similar. OR you might have to pull these out of a descriptive paragraph of the job description. The point is, know what they want then think back through all of your experiences and find something that describes what they’re looking for. It doesn’t have to be exact but it does need to be relevant.
3- If you need to, print out a few key words above or just to the side of the webcam line-of-sight and use those to remind you of the experiences you wanted to talk about.
4- Whenever possible, answer each question as if it were a behavioral question. Q: “Do you think you have the patience to teach young students?” A: “That’s a great question. Let me tell you about a time when I…” The point in the interview is for the interviewer to get to know you. They already have your resume/cv in front of them but those are just words (albeit, important ones!) they really need to see, hear, and experience YOU.
5- Be calm. Create a mantra, chant, words of affirmation- whatever you choose to call them. My friend uses:
I am prepared.
I am calm.
I am ready.
Confirm appointment- let interviewer know how to pronounce my name phonetically (Done! But I forgot to add my Skype ID. Again. Argh. I had to send it separately last time but we’ve been confirmed as contacts on Skype so, hopefully, it’s all fine.)
Set up/test lighting (Done!)
Set up/test sound (Skype settings adjusted for headset NOT speakers/webcam mic) (Done!)
Set up background (Shoji screen with light fabric draped over it) (Done!)
Print application (Done!)
Print key words for experiences (behavioral questions)
Practice answering questions