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Tips to Ace a Non-Traditional Job Interview

Tips to Ace a Non-Traditional Job Interview

There’s no getting around it, if you are searching for a new job, then you’ll be engaged in hiring interviews. Some people whiz through interviews with ease and grace, while others get a bit jittery and nervous before and during an interview. Whether you are the type of professional that flies through an interview with calm and ease or you have to practice deep breathing exercises first, interviews these days can differ from the traditional interview formats of the past. Many companies may opt for a phone or video job interviews instead of the traditional in-person interviews. Sometimes this is done as a preliminary step to narrow down the candidates, and other times it’s used as the primary method of hiring. No matter the job interview you’re going to get, we can help you prepare for a non-traditional job interview with these tips and practices:

Video Interviews

Video interviews are similar to in-person interviews in that the interviewer will see you and interact with you as if you were there in person. The only difference is you’ll be communicating using digital technology. That means the interview takes place via the computer. While this sounds simple enough, you may run into technical difficulties if you aren’t familiar with the technology. Follow these tips to make it a great interview:

  • Find out how they plan to conduct the interview, and then practice using the technology beforehand so you’ll be comfortable with it. This is important because you don’t want to look unprepared or become frazzled if you have trouble navigating the equipment. 
  • Make sure you use the microphone properly. If it’s too close to your mouth it will sound muffled. This won’t sound good. At all. 
  • Clear the background so there are no distractions. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to be seeing a cluttered desk or a big picture behind your head. Appearance matters – even during a non-traditional job interview such as a video interview. You could lose points for having a cluttered or messy foreground or background. 
  • Wear professional clothes just like you would for a regular interview. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can dress casually. And please, for the love of Pete – wear pants. 
  • Sometimes there is a slight lag in video transmission. So, it’s best to keep hand gestures to a minimum.
  • During an in-person interview, if you don’t maintain good eye contact, the interviewer may think you’re dishonest or shifty. However, with a video interview, not looking into the camera the right way may just make you look technically goofy. Remember to look into the camera and not at the screen. This may take a bit of concentration.

Phone Interviews

During a phone interview, you won’t need to worry about your appearance, the visual background, or even where you are at when it takes place. However, you may need to work harder to make an impression. The interviewer will only hear your words but cannot see how you express yourself. So, choose your words carefully. Sometimes visual cues can add to our words making them stronger (or weaker). In addition, people tend to hear others better when they can see them. It may be because we unconsciously do a bit of lip reading as well as listening. Talking on the phone, with no other visuals, takes more concentration (for most people). Conversations can be misunderstood as well. When participating in a phone interview practice these tips:

  • Speak up so the interviewer can hear you. Try to stay focused and don’t move around too much. 
  • Speak clearly being careful to enunciate your words. 
  • Speak at a moderate speed. You don’t want to talk too fast because it will be harder to capture on phone.
  • Keep some notes on hand to which you can refer, but don’t constantly look at them. That would be weird. 
  • Remember silence is more noticeable on the phone so try not to pause too long before answering the questions.

 

Whether it’s a video or phone interview, practicing beforehand is important. Think about your skills and experiences so that you will be ready with an answer. Be prepared also for questions that are designed to test your critical thinking skills. Above all, be your authentic self. To look your best in professional headshots that will help you snag that job interview in the first place, contact us today!

 

7 Ways to Further Growth for Women in Tech Industries

7 Ways to Further Growth for Women in Tech Industries

The world’s business needs are growing, changing and technology are rushing to keep up with the needs of the new and current business. How many tech jobs are out there, and how much more is coming? Here are business tech needs by the numbers:

When it comes to tech, women are gaining, but in small steps. What help is available for women and girls interested in tech field degrees?

It’s about location

Austin is ready for women ready for technology careers. The city boasts a site, Built in Austin, featuring more than 100 tech companies and startups; the latest news, jobs and corporate histories. The website lists hundreds of jobs in six tech categories, CEO profiles, weekend events, health and wellness and networking tips, with a separate section for women in tech.

It’s about education

Austin boasts three STEM-specific education centers: Girlstart, a year-round program for girls K-12, including summer camp, after-school programs and conferences in three locations; the Austin STEM Academy, a private coed preschool and the University of Texas, Austin STEM Master’s Degree Program. From tots to twenty-somethings, Austin offers STEM education for everyone.

It’s about mentoring

Women in STEM help other women get into the field. The mentor provides new hires with a sense that they not only belong in the field, they deserve and earned their place. And the more women in the tech field, the faster they replace the negative stereotypes.

It’s about recruitment

Corporate human resources note the lack of women in STEM positions, but few firms commit to actively recruiting women for these jobs. Women go where the corporate culture welcomes them and where they feel comfortable, even if it means not putting their degree to work. Partnerships between employers and colleges is one way to channel prospective employees from graduation to a good job. Austin offers a variety of “Welcome to the field” events, including “I Love STEM Day” for kids, WE17 (Women Engineers) Conference, and specialized grants and awards for STEM women and the work.

It’s about women and girls in groups

A mentor and a new tech hire are two people Get together with other mentors and new hires, and it’s a group. Austin has organized Meetup groups for general STEM and employees in mathengineering and computer tech fields. There’s more than strength in numbers; there’s knowledge shared, experience gained and friendships formed as well.

It’s about early empowerment

If a STEM preschool is not part of your child’s learning experience, there are other ways to stimulate the tech in them. Encourage their interest in STEM-related pursuits, including motor racing, building scaled-down models of familiar things, like a roller coaster, a bridge or a building and using math to solve real-world problems.

It’s about changing the cultural conversation

It goes back to stereotypes: that girls are not as smart as boys when it comes to math and science. Later, it’s women are too emotional to deal with it and science isn’t feminine.  The backlash isn’t obvious until years later, when smarter girls still defer to boys in school and later, graduate with degrees they don’t want, can’t pay for and would trade in a STEM second.

Korey Howell Photography offers professional photographs to complement your resume. Whether it’s your first post-college job interview or a career move forward, our team can make your headshot look even better than your work history. Contact us today to book your headshot appointment! 

Displaced, Dismissed, or Done: How To Start A New Career

Displaced, Dismissed, or Done: How To Start A New Career

You know it’s coming. It’s the day the pink slips show up for the entire department. Or the manager calls you in and begins with “I’m really sorry about this outsourcing decision from Corporate…” Or you’re so bored and unchallenged on the job, you’re checking out employment websites, tweaking your resume and setting up interview appointments during work hours, and you don’t care who knows.

It’s time to start over with a new job or a new industry. Some people make the sudden jump with little preparation and land safe, sound and financially secure in a good place. Most need a few tips before taking the flying leap into the employment future to start a new career:

Educate yourself early and never stop

Learning does not end with a two or four-year degree. There are technical schools, additional degrees, adult education classes and certificate programs. Some colleges and universities allow access to campus for the non-student use of libraries and research facilities.

Attend organization meetings in a field you’re interested about  

If you’re unsure about your career path, or a membership fee is expensive, ask to attend a monthly meeting as a one-time guest. Don’t be a wallflower in the back of the meeting room. Paste on a name tag and introduce yourself to others. Use this one shot to network and ask about the career field: what jobs are available, additional training, salary and travel. This is an opportunity to hear about the life from those who live the work.

Internships and apprenticeships are not just for the kids

Online job boards and career placement centers provide information on these temporary and seasonal learning experiences. Some pay a small stipend, and many convert to college credit. It’s an ideal immersion experience to start a new career: you work full-time for a relatively short period and decide if the field is right for you.

Be a Jill of all trades (and master a few)

Learn skills outside your comfort zone. If your job is 40 hours a week at a desk, ask a family friend to teach you basic automotive skills: changing a flat tire, air and oil filter, jump-starting a dead battery, lubricating doors, and hinges and replacing spark plugs. Mastering a very different skill set not only saves you money, it removes the blinders and redirects your everyday thinking. You now know you can change course in your career because you’ve not merely gone outside the box, you’ve built a totally new one.

Find and mind your mentors

Mentors are friends, family, and coworkers who know more than you do about something and whose advice you trust to move you to the next level of life and work. Seek and keep mentors in your circle; they are your network to a new job and a safety net when your world washes out and you need someone who reminds you that failure is just steps below success.

Transition with volunteer or part-time work

Volunteer work looks great on your resume; it highlights your socially responsible abilities. Part-time work provides extra cash for wants and needs. Both offer the chance to train for the transition to a new full-time career. Watch for openings, ask the human resources department about upcoming opportunities and chat with managers about how much you enjoy the work, appreciate the training and how you want to put it to permanent use.

Invest in your personal style

Keep your wardrobe current, your hairstyle clean and simple and maintain your physical health. Stay away from trendy fads and fashions for your career search. A prospective employer wants the skills, enthusiasm, and drives you to offer, not a runway reject.

Keep your resume updated and include a professional headshot from Korey Howell Photography. No matter how you leave your old job or where you start a new career, an accurate resume and polished photo say “I am ready to carry on towards this new career!”

 

When It’s Time to Go: 6 Ways to Know You’ve Outgrown Your Job

When It’s Time to Go: 6 Ways to Know You’ve Outgrown Your Job

You know the moment it’s over. Or you’ve experienced many moments that lead to the single thought:

I am so done with this job.

Some people wake up with the sudden employment epiphany, bound out of bed, sail into the office, quit in manic mode and an hour later, trip on a crack in the sidewalk and fall into their dream career.

That scenario is mostly a feature of TV and movie fiction. Most people go through stages where the job is good and bad: the stress comes and goes, personal time shrinks, paperwork piles up, coworkers leave for other opportunities and promotions seem to happen to other people.

Think it’s time to rethink your work strategy and status? Here are six ways to recognize employment inertia:

1. You’re unhappy coming to work every day

Defining unhappiness depends on what you do like and don’t favor the job and what you can tolerate. Compile a list of each category. If what you hate about the job outnumbers the other two categories, it’s time to stop loathing your job and either find something new in your job to motivate you or find a new opportunity.

2. People around you are moving on

Do people around you seem to be leaving left and right? Are they are getting promoted or leaving the company? Often, this feels like they’re improving their skills and receiving recognition while you’re sitting stagnant. You are capable of performing your tasks, but unable to step up and learn new things. A big part of this is also dependent on whether or not your professional environment allows you to learn new skills in order to move into a new position and even if you learn new things, is there room for you to move up? If there’s no foreseeable pathway that leads to your career transitioning up and onward, it may be time to move on.

3. You are suddenly feeling ‘out of the loop’

Dropped from meeting invites, company-wide emails, and the office lunch groups. Maybe folks don’t like you, or maybe you’re not just not as important. If you’re feeling like a simple worker bee while the executives gather to discuss pertinent information that they don’t consider you to know, you can be left feeling down in the dumps and out of the loop. This happens a lot in workplaces as time progresses. Stale and stagnant work environments where you’re often left out of the loop or out of the conversation can leave you feeling undervalued and unimportant. This is often where places fail in categories of transparency and communication. If you’re not considered part of the group and don’t see yourself getting there in the next year, it may be time to move on.

4. You avoid participation in corporate events

Whether it’s because you’re so not in the mood to see your coworkers after work hours or you’re downright annoyed by the things happening inside work, you’re more often than not looking for any excuse to avoid participating in events happening outside of work. Sometimes, the stress and exhaustion leave you wanting to find relief away from all things that remind you of work. If you start to feel detached from your company, you might need to take time off or to find new opportunities.

5. Finding yourself wanting more

If tasks become too easy at work and you’re effortlessly managing to jump several steps ahead, this can be both good and bad. In good terms, it means you’re gaining a great handle on the job you have in front of you. You can likely accomplish tasks quickly, but it can also mean that you’re unchallenged in your current position. When it seems that no new changes or challenges present themselves, you can become bored, and often resort to procrastination. This leads many to seek a higher purpose in their job and the longing to do something more.

6. You’re everyone’s go-to person, but without the title

When you gain experience in a position for several years, you become everyone else’s go-to person, especially the newbies’, about several different things. You’re often asked for advice on projects and to look over things before they go to the higher-ups. People trust you and your opinion and they respect that you know your job well. There’s only one problem: you’re constantly asked to weigh in on things that are beyond your responsibility or your job title. This is a slippery slope that leads to you performing tasks that are above your title, and pay grade, in fact.

As you move from one job into the next, a professional portrait photo, along with your resume, is your grand entrance, your announcement that you are ready for a new and challenging career. Contact Korey Howell Photography and trust us to capture your best business side and present it to prospective employers.

 

She’s Funny That Way: An Ode to the Humorous Nature of Women

She’s Funny That Way: An Ode to the Humorous Nature of Women

via GIPHY

Celebrity BFFs Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are some of the funniest in the industry (among so many other incredible female comedians). They can laugh at anything from motherhood, to their bodies, their costars, and each other. They’ve starred alongside each other in so many movies since their days on SNL and have made us belly laugh with each one. 

Aside from being badass in general, these two have each played high-ranking women. Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope on the comedy Parks and Rec was a bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation sector of the State of Indiana and as the seasons progressed eventually became a councilwoman, head of National Parks, and (it was implied) President of the United States.  Leslie got to this point by making friends in the office and approaching everything with a sense of grace and humor. She can somehow make you shed tears of joy and laughter all at once; she’s funny that way.

Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon was also of huge success on her show 30 Rock. Liz was a head writer on NBC’s fictional The Girly Show (TGS). Liz continued to work in an industry flooded with men, and not only maintained women’s credibility on her show (example: after her lead actress gained substantial weight, she refused to make her lose it as well as refused to make jokes about it on TGS), but she did it in a completely authentic way – as well as a hilarious way. 

But, these are just characters. If only we could all let our humor loose and bring a little laughter to the corporate world.

Actually, we can, and should. 

According to Forbes, humor is essential to success at work. If you show your sense of humor, you’re showing you are human and that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Let’s be real, no one wants to work with the stick in the mud who only wants to get down to business. Having laughter in the workplace can help foster relationships between coworkers on a level that is deeper than the project they are working on together. A team of people who enjoy each other will produce better results than people who are simply there do the work and go home where they can be themselves. 

The two most important traits of a good leader? Strong work ethic and a good sense of humor. And let’s be real, there is no fun way you can thrive and grow at work without a sense of humor. Things don’t always go perfectly and eventually you have to be able to laugh at the situation, so it’s better to be yourself and laugh it off. 

Speaking of other humorous women, Lucille Ball was one of the funniest women in history. She was never afraid to be herself, and poke fun at herself. She helped pave the way for women. Long gone are the days of having to be a reserved woman. We certainly don’t have to hold in a witty comment when one comes to mind. 

So, here’s to you, all you strong, fearless, female leaders! Let your humor out! You will enjoy life more and hopefully, enjoy your work more. By letting others see the funny side of you, maybe it will encourage them to crack a joke or two. A laughing company is a happy company, and a happy company is a successful one

Great Ways Girl Scouts Empower Women

Great Ways Girl Scouts Empower Women

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National Girl Scout Week runs Sunday, March 12th through Saturday, March 18th. As this iconic institution celebrates its 105th year, the events of 2017 provide an excellent opportunity to take a look at the work that Girl Scouts do to empower women and prepare them for entrepreneurship, STEAM careers and more!

On March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded the first Girl Scout troop with 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia. Her goal was to provide a place for these girls to find friendship, empowerment, and leadership. Today, Girl Scouts of all ages blaze new paths and try new things, showing what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader). More than 59 million women in America today have found a place in Girl Scouts during their childhood and there are currently 2.7 million girl and adult members worldwide. Taking a look at how this organization has inspired women leaders who work STEAM fields, as well as entrepreneurs, politicians, media, film and TV stars, and athletes present some staggering statistics. 

STEAM 

With an increased focus on STEAM fields of study, Girl Scouts are introduced to experiences that show them they can do anything in careers that allow them to be creative, active, and well-paid while changing the world for the better. Girls learn about a variety of interests from how a car engine works, to managing finances, to extracting DNA from a banana. They are exposed to many different fields of study that some girls may assume are off-limits or not interesting. As this focus continues to expand (encouraging girls to be anything they want to be) companies such as FORD are helping out by presenting programs like the Girls Fast Track Races, which exposes Girl Scouts to the thrill of car racing. Did you know that virtually every female astronaut who has flown in space has been a Girl Scout? 

Entrepreneurship

It might be difficult to see the link between Girl Scout Cookies and entrepreneurship, but the cookie program is the largest girl-led business in the world. Annually they sell over 200 million boxes of cookies, earning over $800 million dollars. Even more than dollars, though, the Girl Scout who sells you these cookies is developing confidence, learning to set goals, manage money, and study business ethics. The digital platform for sales that launched in 2014, allowed girls to market and sell cookies online or through a digital app. As this piece developed, girls are able to customize their websites and collect data related to their cookie sales. If you are wondering if these skills translate into real-life skills as adults, take note that Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube and Virginia Rometti, the CEO of IBM are both former Girl Scouts. 

Leadership

Girl Scouts learn about leadership and civic responsibilities throughout the course of their experiences with the program. They take opportunities to connect with leaders in their communities, promote legislative agendas and spend time volunteering. Diversity and acceptance are encouraged as they interact with and learn about people of different races, nationalities, and faiths. Fifteen of our 20 current female Senators and half of the 88 women who serve in the U.S. House of Representatives were Girl Scouts. Attorney and former First Lady Michelle Obama was a Girl Scout, as was former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and retired Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor. 

Of course, leaders show up in other places too. Star athletes Venus and Serena Williams are Girl Scout alums. As were Taylor Swift, Dakota Fanning, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters, and Katie Couric.  Our recent losses of Carrie Fisher, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, and Mary Tyler Moore saw the passing of two other well-known Girl Scout alums. The list goes on and on. 

In 2012, Geri Stengel wrote in Forbes about Girl Scouts growing a pipeline of leaders and then Girl Scout CEO, Anna Marie Chavez’ goal of closing the leadership gap between men and women. Today, as we continue to focus on women’s rights and the growing role of women in our country and around the world, we can promote and embrace all that Girl Scouts do for our daughters and women. 

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