Top 10 Interview Qualities Employers Notice About You

Interviews are a nerve-racking time for some people because they feel like they are stuck in the hot seat. It’s a common emotion among interviewees, but you have to remember, you won’t be the first or last person an employer will interview, nor the first or last to succeed or fail in getting the job. The best thing you can do for yourself is practice as much as possible. Even if you don’t get the job, it’s still good to get that interview experience. The more interviews you go on, the better you get. We compiled a list of top ten qualities employers look for in interviews. If you practice these ahead of time, you’ll find yourself much more prepared.

 

1.  Know your resume

Nothing is worse than being asked a question based off your resume and taking a minute to think of a response. Make sure you look over your resume prior to the interview because you will most likely be asked a question based on it.

 

2. Conduct research on the company prior to the interview

A common question interviewers like to ask is “What do you know about our company?” or “Have you done any research on us?”. It’s best to look up the company prior to the interview to be prepared for questions like this. It also helps you learn if you match what the company is all about.

 

3. Know the job

You need to make sure you know what you are interviewing for. Looking at an application and checking the list of things you’ll be required to do will help you better understand what to expect. It doesn’t look good if you walk into an interview and become confused on what you applied for.

 

4. Body Language

It’s good to feel relaxed during an interview, but that doesn’t mean slouching your back or looking down at your nails. Keeping your back straight and keeping yourself from fidgeting gives off a more professional and confident look. It’s also good to make eye contact with the interviewer because it shows that you’re listening.

 

5. Strong work ethic

Employers strive for people who have a strong work ethic for a job. They like to see employees show passion and take the extra mile to get the job done. Having a lack of interest in the job you are applying for gives off the impression that you’re only willing to do the bare minimum, which will less likely get you hired.

 

6. Skills you bring to the table

Do you fill the requirements for this job? What skills do you bring to the table? Employers like to know what you can do to better the company as well as get the job done. Briefly discussing your experience and skills will help you express why you are the best fit for the position.

 

7. Be yourself

Showing that you have a good personality is highly desirable among employers. It helps your employer determine if you are a good match for the company. Knowing if you are likable and can work well around others is integral to working for a company. A version of the question “Tell me about yourself” may arise at some point, so come prepared with an honest answer.

 

8. Be goal-oriented

You will most likely be asked a question about your goals. Common questions an employer will ask is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “What are your short-term and long-term goals?”. Employers ask goal-oriented questions for two reasons:

1. To see if you set and achieve goals at work.

2. To learn what your primary motivators at work are.

 

9. Ask questions

Now is not the time to be shy. Towards the end of the interview, ask any questions you have about the company you are applying for. Questions such as “What do you expect out of your employees filling this role?” are good to ask because it shows the employer you are interested in the job.

 

10. Thank you letter

Whether your interview was over the phone, video chat, or in person, you should always send a thank you letter to your interviewer. It shows good manners and appreciation for the time the interviewer took out of their day to meet you. You can either email, send a formal letter, or call to show your appreciation. Make sure you wait at least 24 hours before doing so. You can view examples of thank you letters here.

Hacks to Help You Survive College

Ahhh college. The best four years of your life. You make new friends, educate your future, live on your own, struggle with classes, and feel like ripping your hair out every once in a while. Okay…maybe it isn’t the best four years of life for everyone, BUT there’s certainly ways to make life a little easier! Check out our 20 college hacks and watch your life be forever changed!

 

1. Smelly dorms

Stick a dryer sheet on the back of a fan while it’s on. This gets rid of bad smells in your dorm!

 

2.  Get wrinkles out of shirts

For those who don’t have time to iron their clothes, hang a shirt somewhere in your bathroom while you shower. The steam from the shower gets the wrinkles out.

 

3. Binder Clips

Sticking binder clips to you desk helps keep your cords organized and prevents them from tangling up.

 

4. Cleaning your keyboard

Use a Post-It note to clean your keyboard. The sticky side of the note collects all the gunk that was stuck underneath!

 

5. Class schedule

During your first few weeks of class, screenshotting your schedule and making it your lock screen helps you memorize it. You’ll never forget your schedule again!

 

6. Note organization

Leave a few pages in the front of your notebook blank for a table of contents. This way you’ll know where everything is when it comes time for the big test!

 

7.  Late night homework

If you’re up late doing homework, listen to movie scores. There’s no distracting lyrics and it keeps you motivated!

 

8.  Syllabus week

At the beginning of each semester, highlight important dates and put them into your calendar for the best class preparation.

 

9. Writing Papers

After writing a paper, copy and paste it into Google Translate. This allows you to check for any misspells or grammatical errors!

 

10. Color code your notes

Color coding notes with pens is a great way to stay organized. The correlation between the colors and theme makes it easier to remember. Just make sure you don’t use too many colors on a subject. This could lead to you being overwhelmed!

 

11. Textbook reading motivation

We’ve all been through the struggle of reading the textbook and attempting to retain its information. A good incentive to stay on track is to put pieces of candy on each paragraph of the assigned reading. Every time you reach a paragraph, you get to eat the candy. How’s that for motivation?

 

12. Gum Hack

Studies have shown that chewing a piece of gum while studying for exams and then chewing the same flavor during the test helps you recall the material better.

 

13. Makeshift utensils

Have you ever forgotten to bring a fork with your packed lunch? No problem! Just bend some paper clips, tape them together to a writing utensil, and you’ll be good to go!

 

14.  Cooking in a coffee pot

You can save time cooking simple foods such as pasta, hot dogs, and oatmeal in a coffee pot. Just add water and you’re good to go!

 

15. Use a Keurig for your instant ramen

Keurigs can have more than one use. Try using it to get a hot cup of instant ramen noodles!

 

16. Instant Iced Coffee

For those of you who are in a rush to get to class but need your coffee fix, there’s a way to get it in just two minutes! All you need is instant coffee, water, ice, and creamer! View how to do it here.

 

17. Fruit juice ice cubes

Fill up an ice tray with your favorite fruit juices and freeze them for 3-4 hours. Add the cubes and a slice of fruit to some seltzer water and you’ll have a nice refreshing drink!

 

18. Scrambled eggs in a mug

You don’t need a stove to get your morning eggs! If  you have a microwave, you’re all set! View how to make them here.

 

19. Get a bottled drink cold in 15 minutes

Wrap your bottled drink in a damp paper towel and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes. Your drink will be nice and cold!

 

20. Bottle opening tricks

There are many tricks to opening a bottle when no bottle opener is around. Try out these 9 tricks!

 

5 Ways to Survive the Stress of College

College is the best of times and the worst of times. Close friends, bad food, and memories to last a lifetime. College is also a ton of work whether it is yet another essay, pages of homework, or staying up all night finishing a group assignment that you have not started until that night, the workload is more than enough to cause stress. Here are five easy and helpful tips to see next semester with gratitude instead of attitude.

Organize and Plan
Keeping everything clean and easy to find is a simple way to experience less stress. Buy a binder or folders to keep the classes separate and to have a central location to put all of the papers. It also may be worthwhile to buy a planner or to use the calendar on your phone to remind you of assignments. Find what works best for you and invest in organizing yourself. Same goes with your computer. Create folders on your computer to have a location to save to when you are working on something digital. No more putting everything in your downloads and searching for the date modified instead of the arbitrary title you named it.

Studying can be boring and monotonous at times but try different studying methods to boost your morale. The Pomodoro Technique is the one I use which is to put a timer for 25 minutes and with zero distractions, you start your work. Go at your own pace but make sure you have everything on do not disturb so nothing will tempt you to sway away from work. After the timer goes off, you have five minutes to do what ever you need to do and then set another 25 minutes to work. This allows you to be efficient with the time you are offering yourself and still have some time for cat videos.

For your own mental sanity, set aside time to work and play every day. Have a goal in mind and when that is complete, go reward yourself with doing something you love. Psychologically, a reward system to finishing work provides the great benefits and little residual damage from the labor.

Exercise
Getting the heart pumping can be a great way to relieve stress when college has you down. Going for a run, lifting weights, or dancing for a period of time can help to reset your mind and body to attack the day with relentless optimism. Not to mention it regulates your sleep cycle, metabolism and energy. Would it not be great if you did not have to drink four cups of coffee throughout the day? Exercise may just be the answer you are looking for to obtain more energy for your day.

 

 

Meditation
Simply breathing can make a world of difference for your mindset. Meditating every day can provide positive benefits such as an increase in happiness, self-awareness, and concentration. It also decreases stress, anxiety, and aging. “Meditation is mind without agitation,” Narasimhan says. When it comes to stress, we could all use a mind without unnecessary turbulence. Reminding yourself what your purpose is and aligning your values through breathing often can make your motivation unstoppable.

If you do not have time for simple meditation, get credit for it. Most Universities have stress management courses offered in their curriculum. The class is an easy three elective credits and truly does assist you in your college journey. Look for it under the social work category of classes.

GET MORE SLEEP
I know this sounds a little counter-intuitive. Getting less time to do more work? Sleep holds amazing benefits that we have grown to forget. The simple method here is to be more productive, sleep more. When we lack sleep, our quality of work decreases. You may be doing a lot of work but probably not a lot of quality work. There are serious health problems with sleep deprivation such as trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, risk for diabetes, risk of heart disease, weakened immunity, and weight gain. Basically throwing all the benefits of meditation and exercise away because you are not sleeping enough. Take the time needed each night and get a full eight hours (or as close to as you can) of sleep. Tiredness is not a trophy and it is something we should not be striving for.

 

Do Something Creative

This one is easy. Every person has their form of art be it painting, drawing, playing an instrument, cooking, or underwater basket weaving. Setting time aside every day to mastering your craft is a fun way to relieve stress and increase overall well-being. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, engaging in just one creative activity each day can make you more likely to feel “energetic, enthusiastic, [and] excited.” It goes on to say, “Overall, these findings support the emerging emphasis on everyday creativity as a means of cultivating positive psychological functioning.” There you go, science has now supported the idea of creating art for clear benefits. Get working and create something beautiful.

College is an adventurous odyssey filled with self-discovery and a metric ton of ramen noodles. It is a lot of seemingly unnecessary work and stress but it is all worth it in the end. Hopefully with these simple methods of stress management, college will be more of a positive experience.

Thanks, College

Thanks, College.

Common real-world skills we learned at college, in or out of the classroom.

 

  1. Parallel parking: If you’re from the city this might not apply to you, or if you don’t have a car. For those of us from the suburbs or country with a car on campus, we learned to parallel park soon after arriving to college.  This skill comes in handy often when travelling home, to the city, or on vacation.  It also widens your parking possibilities in any situation.
  2. Tolerance for extreme temperatures: As the weather gets colder, we adapt to walking across campus in the cold, with the wind blowing through our layers of jackets and long-johns. We learn in our first semesters to bundle up and forget about being cute.
  3. Independence: Whether you were looking forward to this or not, you become more independent in college. You have to if you go to college more than about an hour away from home.  You (hopefully) learn how to do your laundry, budget your money, clean your room without being prompted, and study and do homework on your own free will.
  4. Time management: Sometimes, it takes people their whole college careers to get this down, but everyone learns throughout their college life how important time management is. Some people know the importance of it and still choose to manage their time badly.  You have to balance classes, studying, work, friends, sleep, eating, and mental health.  Usually this “balance” involves giving up one or more of these things, which one depends on your priorities.
  5. Multi-tasking: You may have been good at this before college, but you’ll be a master by the time you graduate. Multitasking can look like many things: eating while you work, study, or walk to class, taking homework to work, or considering meeting with a study group to be hanging out with friends.

We learn a lot in college that may have nothing to do with our degrees, but these skills or pieces of knowledge are just as important as the information we learn in class.  What are some skills you’ve learned in college that have become useful in real life?  What are you most thankful for?

Anxious Thoughts Everyone has on the First Day of the Semester

Whether it’s your first day of college or your second year of graduate school, the first day of a new semester is always nerve-wracking. There are so many thoughts running through your head – with trying to memorize your new schedule and making sure you at least have a pen to write with. While walking through the hall, it may seem that other students have everything together, but trust me – they don’t. Everyone gets anxious – especially on the first day of the new semester. Here are a few thoughts that I had on my first day.

“Hopefully none of my professors changed their already-assigned classroom…”
This seems to happen every semester. You have already checked your online schedule to see what building and room all of your classes are in. You make sure to park near said building, get to the classroom and there’s a note on the door. The note reads something along the lines of, “MEDA 111 Thurs 11:20-2:15 will now meet in MH Room 211”. Now you find yourself walking to Main Hall from a completely different building and are late for your first day…thanks, professor.

“I wonder if I’ll have enough time in-between classes.”
So, you’ve scheduled some classes back-to-back. Your first ends at 2:30PM and your next starts at 2:50PM. It seems like a wonderful idea on paper but sometimes, when it comes down to the actual day, it just isn’t enough time to get from class to class. Sometimes the classes are in different buildings (which you could never know at the time of registration) or sometimes you’re starving and need to grab a quick snack before your afternoon class. Suddenly you don’t have enough time. While there are other times that scheduling back to back works perfectly. It’s a luck-of-the-draw type of situation and you won’t know until that very first day.

“What if there’s no parking?”
As a commuter who attends a small, overcrowded college – I know this pain all too well. There’s no way that you can arrive 10 minutes before class starts because you spend at least 20 minutes trying to find a parking space. And this anxiety is heightened on the first day because there’s no way you want to be late. You cannot be labeled as the “late kid” for the rest of the semester. So, while you leave your house way too early, you think about this on your drive to school.

“Imagine we start Chapter 1 instead of just going over the syllabus…”
It is safe to say that it’s a college wide consensus that this is the worst way to start the semester. You are all prepared to do introductions and go over the syllabus, hoping to have an easy day, and then the professor puts Chapter 1 up on the projector. You aren’t prepared mentally or physically because you planned on taking a nap after class ended early. It may be the beginning of the semester, but you need all the sleep you can get.

“I hope I have enough time to get coffee before class.”
Like most college students – caffeine runs through my veins, all day every day. While making your schedule you think “Okay, a 10:30AM isn’t that bad. That way I get out in the afternoon and have the rest of the day to myself.” This again, looks good on paper, until you wake up at 10:15AM and don’t have enough time to get your daily latte without being late to class. It’s important to have enough time to get coffee, especially during midterms and finals season. However, with coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts offering free apps, you can easily order and pay on-the-go and partially eliminate this uneasy thought.

“I have no idea what ‘fun fact’ about myself I’m going to tell the class.”
Let’s just be honest, introductions are both awkward and dreadful. The professor starts off with giving their introduction and then has everyone go around the room to tell the entire class what their name is, their major and a “fun fact” about themselves. Personally, there are few things that I hate more than this because I never ever know what to say. No matter how much I think about it on my way to school, I can never come up with anything worth saying. And it’s not because I’m bland, it’s just because I don’t want to share anything personal with strangers. This makes even the most carefree students anxious. Since ice-breakers are pretty common, ease this anxiety by picking one good fact and using it in all your classes! But most important – don’t overthink it. Use up that brain space for something that actually matters, like how you’ll fit a 15-minute nap in that 30 minutes before the next class.

You may think you’re the only person who still gets nervous at the beginning of the semester, but we are all in the same boat. If you have any of these thoughts, you are not alone. Share some of your first day thoughts with me in the comments section below!

What to do With a Bad Academic Advisor

Academic Advisor

Finally, you’ve chosen the perfect college. After all of the college tours and all of the pro/con lists – you found the right fit for you. What a relief, right? Now you get to school and you meet with your academic advisor for the first time – and you are just not on the same page. There’s nothing worse than having a not-so-great academic advisor, considering that their soul job is to guide you through your college career. If you’re having trouble with your advisor, here are a few tips to help you through these challenges.

Request a New Advisor

While this may be uncomfortable for incoming freshmen, or even for college students on different levels – it is possible. You can easily and politely ask your current advisor who their supervisor is and then schedule a meeting with them. Simply explain to their supervisor how your existing advisor is not meeting your needs and ask if they will assign you to someone else in the department. If they can’t change your advisor right away, at least you’ve made them aware of your feelings. They may even talk to your advisor about your needs. Regardless, it never hurts to try!

Approach a Professor

More often than not, one of your professors either sits on the board or on the committee for your major/minor. This makes them a great asset when it comes to the success of your college career. Since they are involved in your area of study, they will know exactly what courses you need to take and what requirements you need to meet. Even professors outside your major will know what general education courses you need to complete. So, if you’re not happy with how you’re being advised, grab a professor you feel comfortable approaching and start asking questions. Any advisement is worth it.

Ask Your Peers

A great benefit of college is the sense of community it brings to everyone – especially for students within the same major. You all have the same thing in common – the stress of college. Someone else in your major is an excellent person to turn to if you’re having trouble with your advisor. They know exactly what you’re going through and can help you with making the correct class schedule. You can even meet with their advisor if you need. Making friends in your major is very beneficial! Check out this article from U.S. News about getting involved in your college!

College can be stressful, but there’s nothing more stressful than landing a bad academic advisor. With these few tips – you can still receive excellent advising.

Easy Ways to Invest in Your Future

Invest in Your Future

Life, especially in early adulthood, is hectic. With having to manage school, social activities and working life – it is easy to forget about the most vital part of this equation – you. As the saying goes, to invest in yourself is the best investment of all. Here are a few ways to invest in your future – and the best part? They’re easy and not-so time consuming.

Create Healthy Habits

Your physical health is key to maintaining a healthy well-being. When you look good, you feel even better – and that phrase is entirely true. Eating well, getting enough rest, and doing some form of exercise each day will help create a healthier lifestyle. Rest directly affects your ability to focus, and eating better in combination with daily exercise boosts your metabolism. All of these will create a happier and healthier you in the future. Having trouble getting started? Check out this article from Creating True Happiness. The sooner you invest in your future, the easier it will be to create a routine.

Build Your Knowledge

Whether you are graduating high school, undergraduate university, or even graduate school – keep learning. Continuing your education is one of the best ways to invest in your future. In particular, higher education opens many doors beneficial to your future self. It will help you make vital connections and ultimately you will become a well-rounded person. Even more, higher education is pleasing to potential employers. They understand graduating requires good time management skills and a greater ability to think through a problem. They also know education is a personal choice to invest in your future, demonstrating you’re business savvy.

Begin Saving

I understand saving is difficult to do while going to school and having to pay bills, but it’s important for a successful future. Even if it’s as little as fifty dollars a month from your paycheck, any small sum will make a difference. It’s vital to have some savings before you are completely submerged in adult life. This way, it will be easier to transition from college life to your own apartment because you will have some money for potential emergencies. Trust me, your future self will thank you later for saving – so start now!

With these tips, you will soon be on the way to a brighter future. Having healthy habits, continuing your education and savings some money are great ways to invest in yourself – so step back from your jam-packed schedule and focus on you.

 

 

Creating a Gratitude Journal

Journal

Through the hustle and bustle of everyday life – between work, school, internships, and trying to have an amazing summer – it’s easy to lose focus and take the little things for granted. With creating a gratitude journal, anyone can easily add a little positiveness to each day. Having trouble getting started? Here are a few tips.

Find a Notebook You Love

This may sound silly, but it is vital. Search for a notebook that shows off your style; one that generates happy thoughts. You can also buy a blank notebook and create your own cover similar to an inspiration board. This is something you can be creative with because it’s all about you. It’s important to have a notebook that you won’t mind carrying around with you or having on your bedside table. You will encounter it a lot – so make sure you like it.

How Much Time to Spend

Writing in your journal everyday is ideal for beginners. This will help kick-off your positive lifestyle and make it easier to adjust to writing about yourself in a journal. Most people advise to write 5-10 things you’re grateful for a day – which is a great guideline – but if some days you have less than five and others you have more than 10, that’s perfectly fine. No two days are the same, therefore you shouldn’t restrict your amount of grateful moments.

Be Specific

When it comes to writing down your ideas, it’s easiest to use bullet points. This breaks up your thoughts and makes them easier to comprehend when you go back and read your entries. However, be specific with your bullet points. Don’t just say that you’re grateful for your job – provide a detailed example. Like that you’re grateful for your job because it’s payday, or you’re grateful for it because it’s brought you great coworkers that cheered you up today. Being specific will pay off when you reminisce on your memories.

Nothing is Unimportant and Keep the Negative Out

If you are grateful for the amazing sandwich you had for lunch, or for the lady who held the door for you at the local coffee shop – write it down. This helps you find positive moments in every situation. And of course, any negative thoughts you have throughout the day do not belong in this journal. This is specifically for happy and grateful thoughts or memories!

If you’re looking for a new way to find joy in every situation, try a gratitude journal. It helps you focus on the little things that make every day great, and it’s a creative way to keep track of your thoughts.

Learning an Instrument in College

I think at some point in their lives, most people hear a piece of music and think “wow… I wish I could play that.” For most of us, that idea remains an unfulfilled wish. It’s often hard to find the time or energy to learn, especially as an adult. But fear not, because I’m here with some tips on how to learn a new instrument in college! I’ve been playing the guitar for a while, but now I’m also learning to play piano. These tips proved useful to me, and hopefully they will be for you too!

budget time for your instrument

Budget Your Time- And be Realistic

Let’s be real; you might not have much time as a young adult to learn an instrument. The question is can you find just 15 minutes a day to practice? If so, then you can learn an instrument. The real difficulty is developing the habit of practicing. An old music teacher once told me practicing isn’t about having the willpower to practice – it’s about having discipline. Willpower is fickle, and relying on feelings to practice every day simply won’t work. Instead, find a consistent time to practice every day. Convince yourself there is no better use for that time other than practicing. Turn it into an ultimatum – It’s either practice, or stare at the wall. Then follow through and practice when the time comes. If you can only do 15 minutes a day, that’s fine. It’s enough to progress!

instrument

Make Sure Practice Time isn’t Wasted

Further pushing the idea of efficient time usage, make sure when you do practice, you aren’t spinning your wheels by dwelling on your past success. Ok, you finally learned that one piece you struggled with. Instead of playing it over and over, why not move on to the next piece? It’s imperative you keep learning every single day when you only have a limited amount of time to practice. I have made the mistake of dwelling on past success too long by “practicing” nothing at all for hours at a time.

Have some fun with your instrument

Have Fun With Your Instrument

The point of playing an instrument as an adult is to have fun, plain and simple. I probably don’t have to say it’s not likely to become your career. Also, your parents aren’t forcing you to play in a boring orchestra anymore. Have fun with your instrument! Learn some bluegrass fiddle parts for your violin. Learn to play your favorite TV theme song on your instrument and play along when it comes on. Practice music theory by writing a cover of Seinfeld two octaves higher than the original. If you’re not having fun playing music, why are you doing it at all? So go wild!

How to Easily Volunteer – and Enjoy It

 

Volunteering

With summer now in full swing, there’s no better way to spend some of that extra time than to spend it volunteering! Volunteering not only gives back to the community, it’s also a great resume builder. If you’re having trouble find your start, here are a few tips to help you find the perfect opportunity.

Choose a Cause You’re Passionate About

This is the most important thing – you’ll enjoy going to volunteer simply because it’s something interesting to you. When you surround yourself with individuals who share your interests, it’s also easier to interact and create vital relationships. If you’re a marketing major, volunteer at your local community center and help manage their website/social media accounts.  If you’re a veterinary medicine major, volunteer at your local animal shelter/hospital. Volunteering is a great opportunity to get involved in your future field. Whatever your major or field of interest, you can always find something that will add a vital component to your resume.

Check Around Your Community

This is the easiest way to volunteer. Go and take a stroll to your local library or community center and ask about events/projects they have going on. You can look at the community board for flyers or ads as well. It’s a great way to give back to your community and form new relationships in town. More great ideas include: Visiting the local animal shelter (if you like animals), stopping over at a food bank, or finding time to volunteer at a senior center/retirement community. These are all easy and great ways to get out and make a difference.

Online Tools for Volunteering

If you’re not yet comfortable venturing into your community, try looking on the Internet for some ideas instead. There are websites that can help find the right opportunity for you – such as VolunteerMatch.org, Idealist.org, and AllforGood.org. All of these websites are easy to navigate; simply type in your zip code, what you care about or your interests, and then it will create a list of volunteer prospects in your area. This is a great way to start, especially if you’re stuck on where to begin.

Volunteering is not as difficult as some may think! Reach out to your local community or use online outlets to find something your passionate about and you can easily start participating.