Jobseeker’s Diaries: Job interview Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned * Jobseekers' Diaries

Together Abroad19-09-2018 1:36 PM

In previous jobs, and now in my role as a content writer, I have made a lot of mistakes. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly during dozens of conducted job interviews, and I am consistently amazed at how basic the things are that usually go wrong.

My first job interview is one of those awkward events in life that keep me awake at night. I was eager to make a good impression, so I decided to go there at least 30 minutes in advance. It was not something unusual for me – I am well-known among my friends for always being too early for appointments. I found the building on time and quickly oriented myself to the waiting room. Little did I know that arriving too soon could be disruptive to the hiring manager’s schedule! She was clearly irritated, and this is where we got off the wrong foot. I did, however, do my “homework” for the company in advance, that is, I did my research and prepared for their questions. I kept repeating my scripted monologue over and over in my head while entering the interview room. She asked me if I would like a...
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Together Abroad19-02-2018 5:30 PM

The word ‘openness’ often carries with it a strong positive connotation. Being open is seen as a beneficial characteristic, especially in a societal context. Think about how often we encounter phrases such as: “open governments”, “open data”, “open societies”. Nonetheless, what exactly does the word “openness” entail? It can be defined as the attitude necessary to learn new things, to encounter new people, and to embark on new adventures. It is the ultimate attitude that gives all other attitudes a meaning.

Many people are afraid of being open and transparent. I used to be quick to think others will judge me and try to use this information against me. However, it turned out to be a really jaded approach to living. I decided to practice openness in all of my life’s adventures. I am studying and living abroad. Sometimes I take a spontaneous weekend trip across the country. I applied for an internship I would not have immediately thought about. I also did some volunteering and went on an exchange in a completely different country. At the end, all my journeys taught me that my ability to be open is everything.

Being open is definitely necessary for your growth and...
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Together Abroad12-01-2018 9:37 PM

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Goal setting allows you to take control of your direction in life and it provides you with a benchmark for determining whether you are actually succeeding. To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them in the first place. It is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are some very well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate achievable goals.

When I set goals for myself, it is necessary that they motivate me: this means making sure that they are relevant to me, and that there is value in achieving them. If I have little interest in the outcome, or they are irrelevant given the larger picture, then the chances of my putting in the work to make them happen are slim. Motivation is a key to achieving goals.

I set goals that relate to the high priorities in my life. Without this type of focus, I can end up with far too many goals,...
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Team17-11-2017 10:19 AM

My first job as a research assistant taught me many things, including that achieving quality time with the boss requires a lot of self-discipline. Self-discipline is a key aspect of effective management. In order to achieve it, I need to be clear about my boss’s priorities, have empathy for their challenges and, above all, know how to make myself easy to manage – this is where the self-discipline comes in.

If I want a happy boss, then I need a high level of self-awareness ¬– knowing my strengths and my potential blind spots. It is also helpful to be mindful of how the human brain works. Luckily, I am a bachelor student of psychology, so I know the main principle of neuroscience – we are primarily motivated by both the desire for safety and pleasure, and the avoidance of pain and loss of security. I may be more motivated by one or the other, and as long as I am consciously aware of which it is, I can adjust accordingly if I become blindly optimistic and complacent, or pessimistically skeptical and stressed. Armed with self-awareness and robust self-discipline, it is relatively simple to make my boss happy.

Yet, there is...
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Together Abroad21-09-2017 2:42 PM

Being a mind reader would certainly come in handy during a job interview and make the whole getting-a-job process a lot easier, right? It would take away all the pressure of saying the right thing and allow you to fix any verbal blunders. One can only wish...

Since I am not a mind reader and I doubt anyone is, I had to prepare for my first job interview. The job I wanted was in a famous Dutch research-training consultancy, so I made it my goal to predict the unpredictable and to be prepared in the best way possible. I started with a small research on the company’s background. I wrote down all key words and interesting facts I found about it, and I memorized it in the next couple of days. I also read about the job scope and the responsibilities I would have. I thought it would do no harm to learn those since they would come in handy when answering questions.

Then I moved on to reading articles about possible job interview questions and tips on how to handle the situation under pressure, or if something goes wrong. I found some of the questions particularly hard to answer,...
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Together Abroad24-08-2017 1:31 PM


First impressions are really important. When I started my first job, I was nervous because I felt that the first impression people would have of me may turn into long-term perceptions and opinions. I wanted them to have the ‘right’ impression.

My first task was to help in recruiting participants for a social research project. I learned how to organize my time in a fast and efficient way, so I could talk to as many people as possible within a short period of time. The experience made me more familiar and confident with learning new skills, being punctual and dressing appropriately according to the dress code. These early and basic skills have stuck with me into other jobs.

Another valuable aspect of a job is the people you communicate with, such as colleagues, superiors, or even the cleaning staff. Despite my best efforts, I caught myself judging others in one way or another. It might be over small things, for example, a co-worker who took too long of a lunch break. Or it might be over bigger issues, such as a colleague who behaves selfishly, or is rude and hurts the feelings of others at work. I once had to...
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Linda is a professional with whom you’ll have the right click from the start. She is conscientious about delivering based on your expectations. With her guidance you’ll be able to look at yourself from a bird’s eye view and discover with precision what is most valuable from your past experience for your future career.

Zsuzsanna Keller-Süle

I would like to thank you for your great job to make my CV presentable and truly reflecting my knowledge and experience.
With your highly professional advices and support I felt more confident and eventually I got a job.

Tanya Pelser

Thank you for a great workshop this morning, it was refreshing to hear some really basic ideas for the Dutch employment search which I'm sure will help start everyone off on a new career path! I will definitely be using the services of Together Abroad and one of my first actions is to revise my CV and submit this for a review.

James Stopford