Interview Advice – My Take on How To Handle an Interview

Interview Tips
Interview Tips

I am by no means an expert with interviews. However, I have done research on them, and some personal experiences sure help enforce some of my research!

Here are some of my suggestions, which are in no way an “Official Guide”:

  • Be Yourself
    • Whatever company is hiring you, is going to want YOU. If you’re being fake or not yourself, or try to be “more” than you really are, then you may be destined for failure
    • Getting the job is half the battle, you then have to perform well to keep the job, or live up to the expectations you’ve set – This is a great reason why you should be yourself
  • Know what your position would be
    • It’s common sense, but you may want to ensure that you know every little bit about what you’re going to do.
    • Employers will often ask the question “How can you benefit our company?” – This is your chance to shine.
  • Be Knowledgeable about the company
    • Familiarize yourself with as much information as possible. Dig up all you can on their culture, policies, and check out their blog, website, anything you can get info on!
    • These can be great conversation points, and show you care enough about the company to know what’s going on with it.
  • Dress Appropriately
    • Even if the culture at the company may be “Jeans and a Shirt”, show that you care. Wear at least a nice pair of clean ironed slacks, and a nice dress shirt with shoes. It shows you’re serious and considerate enough to the company and to the interview in question.
  • Know Your Resume
    • Most likely they chose you for an interview after reviewing your resume. Something may have sparked their interest, so be prepared to describe your previous positions/duties.
    • Try to find qualities/duties from your previous positions that may relate to the position you’re applying for. Bring this up if they don’t, as a positive point (See: Know what your position would be)
  • Be Confident
    • If you go into an interview, and you’re overly apprehensive or nervous then this may in turn result in a lack of confidence from them. It’s normal to get the “jitters” before going into an interview, but try and shake them off as best as you can.
    • Sometimes your qualifications are just as important as being a people person, and “clicking” with your future boss/team.
  • The Hand Shake
    • This goes along with the confidence tip. A firm handshake shows something good about your character, confidence, and abilities to meet/click with people.
    • Pro Tip: Don’t squeeze their hand so hard you or them may get hurt/be in pain.

I’ve seen people get denied jobs, even though they were fully qualified, simply based off of things like lack of confidence.

So go in there and do your best! (-;

Best of luck to all.

Social Media – Treading Carefully

Social Media
Social Media

Social media has been, for me, a blessing and a curse. I love using Social Media. I love talking to people, meeting new people, and being able to network with people who have similar interests as me. I love the fact that I can have a conversation with a 16 year old millionaire from England, Rackers, Microsoft Execs, and even social media “kings” such as Jason Calacanis. These people are highly talented, and tend to offer some of the best up-to-date information on the web. They’re also invaluable resources of general connection, and conversation.

I’ll sign up for every new social site, and give it a try. I love being able to interact with people in different ways, and being able to share different information. It allows me to define who I am, for others to “dial in” on who I am. It also allows me to network with those who share similar interests, and what’s not great about that?!

However, recently I’ve noticed the major differences in the data I post to each social media site. I posted something on Facebook, intended for my friends and family, asking for advice about career direction and possible relocation. The post was spawned by my emotions, due to the ever closer departure from my family vacation. What I forgot was, I had a client on my Facebook page. He mentioned it to my partner, stating he was a bit uneasy and this threw me off. The conversation was intended to spark intelligent advice, not out of a serious want to leave. I would never desert a company I’ve worked so hard to help build. Ever. You have to watch what you say on social media more and more because even the smallest comment, can be taken the wrong way. You wouldn’t want to live in a glass house. Maybe you would…creeper ;] (Kidding.)

On Twitter, I often find myself having to be 100% socially polite and acceptable, which is fine. People on Twitter don’t want to hear about your complaints (Not constantly, I can handle a little nagging, but if you hate your life, take it to Myspace, or a blog or something.) I use Twitter as an information and professional social networking tool, whereas I use Facebook for my complaints, emotions, and to communicate with family and friends. There is no reason for anything other than useful/social interactions to be on Twitter, at least in my personal opinion. I use Foursquare to “check-in” to large public venues, and Facebook Places to make comments about them. Why do I do that? No idea, but I find it shares just the right amount of data, even though I can do the same thing with both. But, Foursquare does offer incentives, with badges and special promotions….which plays a big part in it ;-].

I recently learned that, when you post a Facebook post to the “Big Wall/News Feed”, you can customize who can or can’t see the post. You can even set it so that only you can see it. I found this useful for having a possibly “drama centered” debate or conversation between two people. It worked perfectly, and I highly recommend clicking that little lock button next to the “Share” button and checking it out.

I’ve learned that social media, can build you, or it can break you. Tread carefully, watch what you post, and think to yourself “Would my boss/mother/father approve of this tweet? Could it be taken the wrong way?” I’ve learned many lessons about social media, and I encourage you to always review your content, even if it’s just 140 characters ;]

If you’re questioning yourself, just don’t post it.

I am constantly trying to better myself, complain less on Twitter, and post useful information. I am even looking for one of those supposed “Social Media Trainers”, as I believe I could greatly improve myself with some pro tips. Communication is something I am currently pushing myself to improve, and I encourage everyone else to do the same. I’m not perfect, but I hope others can learn from any advice I can offer, even if sometimes we don’t take our own advice.

Until next time, inter-webs, looking towards the future.

Sincerely,
Kyle

p.s. Please don’t spell you “yuu” – It bugs me more than anything.

SEO Tip – The Low Hanging Fruit – nofollow

Recently I attended BMPR, and the topic of discussion was SEO. All the speakers were especially knowledgeable in their areas of expertise (Which means: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)).

One suggestion and tip was to go after the low hanging fruit. What this means is: Your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, any profile whatsoever, to include forums, should always contain your URL.

I still agree with this, as people may often view your profile, and or all it takes is that one right person to click your profile then the link. However for SEO purposes it’s almost useless. @firecatsue did a great presentation, and by no means am I being negative or trying to harm her or her reputation, just trying to make sure everyone knows the facts about low hanging fruits, as sometime you can be mislead as to what really counts.

To start, you can watch this:

or read this: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=96569

So after reviewing that, you now realize what nofollow is and how it’s used. NoFollow = No Value In Search Engines Whatsoever.

Here are some examples of no follows:

Facebook nofollow
Facebook nofollow
Linked In No Follow
Linked In uses a redirection script, so it's not directly linked to your site
Twitter nofollow
Twitter nofollow
vBulletin Forum nofollow
vBulletin Forum nofollow

I hope everyone finds this information useful, and that you don’t rely too heavily on the no follow links!

Thanks again to #bmpr and @firecatsue and more for the awesome presentations!

Apple Time Machine – The Most Useful Thing Ever

Apple's Time Machine
Apple's Time Machine

This is by far the most awesome feature of any Apple computer. The Time Machine feature.It’s an automatic backup, and let’s you go back in “time” to any backup of your computer. My 1TB Western Digital NAS happens to be compatible with it! It automagically backups your computer to the hard drive over the network. The initial backup takes a long time, but that’s to be expected with any backup. I plugged my MacBook into my Gigabit router to help with the first backup.

You need: A NAS compatible, or a Time Capsule from apple, a router, and an Apple Computer.

Here’s some more information on Time Machine: Apple