How to nail a Zoom job interview?

I have been doing a lot of interviews of late, and I gained some small bits of wisdom. Have a read and let me know what you think!

So I have been on the interview journey for the past month or so and I found that I have become confident and more efficient in showing off my skills on my interviews as time went on. We are all awkward when it comes to interviews, as it is a skill in on itself that needs the practice of trials and errors. Often you’ll feel you haven’t done enough, or that you’ve done too much. Interviews are kind of like a first date. You don’t know what to expect, but you do want to impress. Let me give you some tricks and tips I picked up along the way on how to nail a Zoom job interview.

Dress to Impress β€‹πŸ‘—β€‹β€‹πŸ‘”β€‹

Just because you are not meeting in person, you should still definitely make sure that at least the headshot that is visible on your screen is presentable. Wear a nice shirt or one of your best tops with a suit jacket. Dressing up for the occasion shows interest, professionalism and most importantly, it will signal your own lovely self that the meeting is important, so it will help you with putting you in the right mindset.

I always put some light make-up on as well, just for my own peace of mind and it’s kind of part of my process of getting ready, but that should never be a requirement in my opinion. As long as you’re cool with how you look, it will get you ready.

Notes. Notes. Notes! β€‹πŸ€“β€‹πŸ‘¨β€πŸ«β€‹πŸ“šβ€‹

Before the interview even starts, you should be thinking about what you’re about to say. One of the best way to do that is to take notes.

I can’t tell you how many pages I’ve filled up with notes for interviews in my Bullet Journal, at some point it became a habit. A good one to have because these notes won’t only help you with your current interview but also with the future ones. Practice makes perfect after all, and interviews are a job in on itself, which means you need to give yourself the best fighting chance.

As a plus, it will also be some fun material to look back on, if you are a Bujo person like me.

Build Rapport

When it comes to interviews, no matter at what stage you are, building rapport with the interviewer is very important. You must try and make sure to have a good opening that will make the person on the other end of your Zoom call warming up to you.

I order to do so, you should:

  • Chat about your day for a bit.
  • Mention your interests, they maybe into that too.
  • Ask how their day went. A question is good as people love talking about themselves!

Bonus: At one of my interviews I mentioned that I was knitting the morning before my interview and it made my interviewer laugh. Don’t have to be gashing about your hobbies, but it does show off your flares and will certainly break the ice! Never forget, everyone’s only human, which brings me to my next point.

BET on yourself β€‹πŸ’ƒβ€‹πŸ˜‰β€‹πŸ•Ίβ€‹

You’ll only be intimidated and anxious about your interview if you think that the person opposite to you has more knowledge, is higher in rank or will not want you because surely, why on earth would they hire you?

I mean, yes, they may be all those things BUT I’m here to encourage you to BET ON YOU.

The person who interviews you might have more to offer, but they’re trying to fill a void, a skillset or expertise they have most probably not that much of a clue about. Or they have some clue but they want to pass on the task to someone more capable, like yourself.

The very reason you’re being interviewed is that they think that you may have those things they need, which is your value and that is a lot to bring to the table. (Even if you’ve no belief in yourself – impostor syndrome, why art thou so cruel?!)

Repeat. BET. ON. YOU.

You have what they need. You’ve much to offer. Go for it because you can. And don’t listen to the voices. β€‹πŸ€«β€‹


So heads up, shoulders straight and have fun. No one knows that you’re the one they need to fill in the void they had at their company. Hopefully, as I add myself all too often.


Hope you liked this article, and if you’d like to know more of something similar, do send me a message, and I’ll do the research.

May we always have satisfying conversations,

Szabina

Non-ceoliac Gluten Or Wheat Sensitivity? πŸŒΎ

My problem lies with my doctors not sending me to the right tests. My diagnosis went from gluten intolerance to IBS, two rather different diseases. Then I finally found out that really I have a wheat intolerance, which means that I am coeliac, but my allergies only present themselves when I eat grains including barley, rye and quinoa (and others), which normally would be ok for someone with gluten allergies or intolerance. Since I figured it all out properly and switched to foods I can actually eat, I feel my best again. It took me easily the last five years to figure it all out. So let me tell you the difference between gluten intolerance, IBS and wheat intolerance, regarding what the symptoms are and what are the trigger foods.

Gluten Intolerance, IBS and Wheat Intolerance:

Have a look at the table below πŸ‘‡ so you can see clearly what the differences are between the three.

NameSymptomsWhat you can’t eat
Non-Ceoliac Gluten IntoleranceVaries from person to person, but the most common symptoms are:
Bloating, gas or abdominal pain
Diarrhoea or constipation
Nausea
Headache
Brain fog
Joint pain
Neuropathy
Fatigue
Abdominal Pain
Skin Problems
Depression
Anaemia
Permanent intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. Symptoms often mimic those of other common complaints, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
IBSVaries from person to person, but often include bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, a feeling of fullness and abdominal cramping.

Can also experience fatigue, sleeping disorders, depression, backache, headache and joint pain in combination with or as the result of IBS.
With bloating/wind: Limit intake of foods known to cause wind e.g. beans and pulses, sprouts, cauliflower and sugar-free foods such as mints or chewing gum.

With constipation: Avoid eating extra wheat bran as this can aggravate symptoms.

With diarrhoea: Limit your caffeine intake from tea, coffee and soft drinks to three drinks per day.
Try reducing intake of high-fibre foods such as wholewheat breakfast cereals and bread.
Avoid sugar-free foods containing sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol e.g. sugar-free drinks, mints, gum.
Wheat IntoleranceVaries from person to person, but generally, symptoms may be:

Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat 
Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin 
Nasal congestion 
Headache 
Difficulty breathing 
Cramps, nausea or vomiting 
Diarrhoea  
Anaphylaxis
Cut out any products that has some gluten grains and are made of wheat, including:
Rye, Spelt, Barley Maize, Millet, Quinoa, Semolina, Polenta and
Oats (even if it is certified as gluten-free).

Additionally, you may want to cut out:
Gluten-free flours and products made with Tapioca.

Possibly rice and corn – but that may be okay if consumed in small amounts and it is person dependent.
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How to live with wheat intolerance? πŸ€”

One of the main problems with any allergies then of course is finding the right foods in the supermarkets. You will have to be cautious and check labels meticulously (especially if you have even more allergies, e.g I also can’t eat sulphites and additives like baking soda/powder). You got to be thorough because even if you think you can eat something, you’ll bring it home and will still cause you issues when consumed. So number one tip is to keep a food diary. Add your daily foods to your Bullet Journal, or write them down somewhere you will be sure to find them and log them.

If you have a wheat intolerance, you have to be very careful getting food from the gluten-free section, as most food there will be not consumable for you. If you’re bent on eating some bread, or pasta, you either will be forced to scour the shelves and come up with not much or get back to basics and learn to bake/cook alternatives. You don’t have much of a choice.

I mostly follow a paleo diet but with variations, since I am blessed with a husband who knows his foods. He helped me the most and he leaves me with enough options that I don’t feel like screaming in panic and in desperation when I want something “unhealthy”. But let me tell you, unhealthy is not really an option anymore per se, it has become more like a cheat that I call unhealthy. There is just not much that you can do about that. Cravings may be damned, at least you’ll have a non-moody life when you follow suit and believe me, you’ll want that. For everyone’s sake, not just yours.

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You’ll have to stay away from anything that has grains (or figure out which trigger you. I can still eat rice and some corn for e.g.), and find resources that will help you prepare delicious recipes such as Yummily and consider switching to the Paleo Diet.

You can also look into flour alternatives, like almond flour, coconut flour and rice flour and their products (just check the ingredient list!) as there could be some yummy alternatives to choose from.

Not going to lie, it is going to be harder from now on, but be brave and don’t give up. There is plenty of food left that you can still eat, just have to be a bit more creative from now on.


FURTHER LINKS from SchΓ€r‘s website (surprisingly, this is one of the best sources of information I have found ever) and from beyondceoliac.org.

What is Gluten?

What is non-coeliac gluten disease?

What is wheat allergy?

MORE on wheat allergy.

What is IBS?


➑️ DISCLAIMER: If you suspect of having any of these diseases, please go and talk to an allergy specialist or your GP, as I am not a doctor, I only conducted meticulous research over the years in trying to find solutions to my own problems with food diaries that my chef-trained husband helped me with through the process of elimination over a long time.

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Hope you liked this article, and if you’d like to know more of something similar, do send me a message, and I’ll do the research.

May we always have satisfying conversations,

Szabina

5 reasons to reduce your social media presence

Tips on why and how to stay away from social media brought to you by Curiosity Corner Dublin

Why people are choosing to quit social media | BBC Ideas – credit

I get it, social media is the single best connection we have to other people right now. I am not disputing the benefits. All I’m saying is, the past year, we learned how to rethink a thing or two about our lives, and social media usage should be one of them. Let me give you couple reasons below why you should declutter your social media usage, and you can tell me your thoughts in the comments below. πŸ‘‡

1. You’ll have extra free time

Accourding to Social Media Today, 30% of our time now spent on social media, which comes down to about 2,5 hours every day, which is a whole day gone from your week.

Mindblowing, right?

Imagine, that if you restrict yourself to just 30 minutes a day, you’ll have given yourself 14 hours EXTRA TIME for whatever else you wanna do. (You get that day back!) Be it some more time to read in a quiet corner, learn that instrument you dreamed of learning, have an extra bit to play that game you like so much (just be just as mindful about time spent there too!)

I’m working nowadays as a digital marketer, so I need that limit of my usage now more than ever! How about you?

2. Mental Health

Nowadays especially, mental health is definitely one that we have to consider. There is a lot of lockdowns around the world, and Ireland isn’t an exception. We have a specialised Level 5 on until at least 5th April 2021! (Oh, no!😱 )

Social media is full of news that you should not be hearing everyday and we must take measures to protect ourselves.

Too much information is proven to be causing mental fatigue, which eventually will result in mental health problems, such as depression, insomnia, underperforming in the workplace (especially if you work from home), rocketing stress levels, lethargy, and so on.

I know that when I purposefully avoid looking at news every day, or I’m not keep up with all the latest statistics, it’s usually better for my mood. And that means, I turn off social media as soon as I’m not working.

Don’t have to avoid all contact with these news, as I know it is important to keep up to date to some level.

Another solution? Revamp who and what channels you follow. Helps too!! I promise.

However, a selected ignorance is bliss, don’t you think?

3. Try your hand in something new

Since this lockdown, I’ve picked up knitting more seriously, and learned to knit English style as well as Continental style. Then I taught myself how to crochet. I’ve done an event management course, learned some basic coding and I’ve bought countless looms to experiment on, not to mention that we invested into a PS4. And I started learning piano. And I started this blog to write more. And now I’m working too.

Sounds too much? I know. πŸ˜‚

You don’t have to have the same list I have (mine is, admittedly, a bit much – I don’t know how to do just one thing), but do remember that sometimes a certain amount of busy schedule is good for the soul. It carries a sense of accomplishment, a purpose, and something to look forward to.

So try one thing, I implore you. Something that you’d really, really wanted to learn and you never had the time before.

This pandemic is by far not gone yet, so you’ve got some extra time to kill in any case.

4. Be more proactive with time-management

When you’re on social media, your time runs away with you. Wouldn’t you rather be a bit more proactive instead?

I know that we’d rather just hide in our burrows, only resurface to a world that’s gone back to our previous normal. I know I wish that a lot.

To avoid sticking my head in the sand, I chose proactive ways to spend my time.

Like I wake up at a certain time and start work at a certain time. I take a break and I have one of the above mentioned activities for which I reach to or I’ll take a nap if I’m tired. Point is, I organise my time, to stay on target.

I don’t do hourly breakdowns, and I’m not keeping myself strictly to my schedule right now, as I have bad days and good days, like most. And I need to adjust as such.

I do keep a Bullet Journal though which helps me keep on track with the most important things, like work, my blog, my other commitments, and so on.

(If you haven’t hear of Bullet Journaling before, I highly recommend you check out Ryder Carroll’s method, I can’t recommend it highly enough. You can go as creative or as simple as you want. – And hey there, there is an extra potential way to a new hobby – several actually. πŸ˜‰ )

5. Purpose redirection

Purpose these days is key these days especially.

It is, so you can redirect your day-to-day attention to more important things in your life, especially if we’re in-between jobs right now (check out my tips for that here). This is the same for those of you that are stay at home moms or dads, or if you just literally need to rethink your priorities for some reason or another, whatever the case may be.

I found that social media gives me anxiety, big time. This is partly because I’ve become a very private person over the years. Naturally, me sharing posts about my interests and stuff is hard for me.

Limiting my social presence was one of the best decision I’ve made.

My repurposing of my time on social is that I only use social media if I want to share my writing, if I have something fun to share or if I am making blog posts. Other than that, I’m working now, so since I have to use social media, I am not using it for my personal stuff at all. Girl gotta stop somewhere, am I right?

Let me know how you think would be the best way to repurpose your social media usage and how does it help you feeling happier?


Don’t forget to check out the video above πŸ‘†πŸ» and leave your comments below. πŸ‘‡πŸ»

Until the next time,

May we all have satisfying conversations.

Szabina