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Messages - Md. Mahabubul Alam

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Interviews are hard and they can be harder when you lack preparation The best way to ace your interviews is by being confident, being prepared and knowing your material. Also, keep in mind interviews are a two-way street- so no need to feel like you're walking into an investigation.

Here Are The Top 9 Interview Tips You Can't Afford To Miss
1. Over-Prepare

If you want to walk into an interview feeling confident, relax and ready to ace it- you need to be prepared (actually over-prepared). There are many things you can do to prepare for your interview, here are a couple.

Research the company/organization- Use Google, to do more of detail research. Look at the reviews current and former employees have left on this site.
Research the company's mission, their history, current company's goals.
Research the names of the founder/s, CEO/President (upper management).
Take a look at who are their direct competitors.
Research the business and the logistics associated with the interview- what does that mean? Look into what is currently happening with the field/company you are interviewing for, this will be a good topic of conversation/question to bring up to your interviewer.
Do a quick research on the interviewer (if it's the hiring manager, VP, SVP and so on)

2. Prepare Your Responses

The best way to be ahead of the interview is to practice what you will be asked. Standard interviews ask the same questions or similar and even when they sound different they eventually mean the same thing.
Remember- interviewers want to know what you can bring to the table to make their life and the company's life easier.

Interview questions are designed to identify a couple of things;
What you know
Who you are
Your skills
Are you a good match for the company/team
What you are good at
What value do you bring to the company- look for the positive things that you have in common with the company & how to can help with their mission.
& much more
For those reasons is good to be ahead and to do that, you will need to do some practicing.

The reason/s why you want the job (not why you need it)
Selling points
Identify why you are the right person for the job
Make a list of your skills, knowledge, and personal qualities
Telling about yourself- with a brief overview of your career history (present, past, and future and finish off by reminding them why you are the right person for the job)
Make note of the things that you really admire about the company

PRO TIP: Create note cards with 3-4 points for each interview question you are practicing. DO NOT rehearse your answers word by word (you will forget them & it will throw you off during the interview).  Instead- remember key points and make answers around them.

3. Prepare Your Questions

Is great to be ahead by practicing your responses, but it is as important to have questions for the interviewer. An interview that is not a two-way interview will hurt you more than you forgetting how to answer a question or not having all of the "require" qualifications. To be able to have a "conversational" interview it is key for you to have at least 10 questions for the interviewer- granted, you do not have to go through all 10 questions and some of them could get answered during the interview itself (so prepare even more questions if possible).

4. Compare Your Skills To The Job qualifications/requirements

The only way you can be ahead of the interviewer is by thinking like them, to do that you need to anticipate their concerns. By comparing yourself to the requirements and knowing what you have and lack you will be able to remind the interviewer why you are a great fit for the role and what you know you need/lack on but are willing to work twice as hard to obtain.

Letting your interviewer know you are a fast learner, eager to learn, ready to take training/classes and anything required to meet all of the qualifications will assure them that you are exactly the person they have been looking for.

5. Have A Mock Interview

Practice, practice and more practice is the key to being prepared, confident and ready for your interview. The more practice you can get in your system- the more your nervous system will thank you later.

-You can ask a friend or family to practice with you by asking you some of the interview questions- make sure to rearrange the questions each round you practice. Practice the interview the most "office" setting available to you (dining room, home office, etc) and make sure it's a quiet place.

-If you don't have a friend or family, record yourself practicing both the questions and the answers.

-If you cannot record yourself, practice your responses in front of a mirror.

6. Print Your Resume Copies

It does not matter if you know for a fact that the interviewer has a copy of your resume (because you just emailed it to them) make sure you take a couple of copies with yourself to the interview. This will show the interviewer you are prepared.

7. Prepare Ahead Of Time

Interview Outfit
Your outfit says a lot about yourself without you having to actually say anything. Because of the day and time that we live in and the different fields, companies, and roles that are out there- it is very important that your interview outfit matches yourself but also the role and field you are interviewing for.

Commute Time
We all know one of the main rules when it comes to interviews- BE ON TIME.
The best way to do this is by preparing your commute time ahead of time. If you are doing a drivable commute make sure to plug in the address at or around the exact time you will start your commute days before- this will give you a more accurate idea of how long the drive will be. Add 10-20 mins more to this time depending on the day and the weather to ensure you are early. Remember is better to be early than late. If you drive and you arrive early you can easily wait it out in your car.

If you have to take public transportation to your interview- make sure you plug the address into your GPS as well and calculate how long it will take- looking at this time during the exact times but days ahead will help you figure out your commute time. Also, create additional routes, a lot of things can occur to public transportations so it's better to have a plan B and C ready if anything happens.

Always add 20 mins more to your commute.

If there is a day you need to make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep- the night before an interview is that night. The key to feeling good and looking good is being well rested- going to sleep at a decent time and letting your mind relax and rest will help you during your interview.

8. Confidence

Now that you're prepared, there are a couple of things that you need to do once the interview starts to show the interviewer and yourself- you got this.

Set a positive intent - thinking positive will showcase positive vibes in the room and will help you be more relaxed.
Have a good body language- show good energy & have a good poster. If you feel good, you look good- remember to keep relaxed but professional energy and presentation.
Use a good language/positive vocabulary- Use keywords. If you need to say "negative stuff" say it but in a positive way (ex. instead of saying difficult say "challenge").

9. Send A Thank You Note

Thank you notes or emails are becoming more and more essential when it comes to interviews.

Things To Keep In Mind When Writing A Thank You Note/Email:

First thing first- say Thank you (duh)
Be sincere
Include a topic or two that were discussed during the interview
Remind them why you are a perfect fit for the role
Do not make it generic
Make it meaningful and impactful
Make it specific, targeted and customized only to that employer
Show them how excited you are to join the team/company

Interviews are not and will never be a "one size fits all". Every job is different, every interviewer is different and everyone is different. So, to be able to feel good during an interview and sell yourself as best as possible is important you over prepared yourself, practice, practice, and more practice and feel confident.


Career Planning / How to Plan Your Schedule with Time Blocking
« on: March 22, 2020, 01:05:36 PM »

Hey there, friends!

You know what we all struggle with as entrepreneurs?

We have way too much to do and not enough time to do it. It gets even harder if you’re juggling a full-time job, school, a family, and other *life* things on top of running your online business.

So today, I’m sharing five quick time blocking tips to help with time management. This post is a follow-up to my original post on time blocking, where I explained:

What time blocking is
How to use a time blocking calendar
A simple process to break down high-level goals into smaller ones

If you’re curious, time blocking is a process where you create a visual calendar of your to-do list. Here’s an example:

The Time Blocking Template
Now, since my original time blocking post still seems to be popular, I know you’re like me and wrestling with a growing to-do list (probably tired of feeling defeated by it too, amirite?).

So in this post, I’m sharing simple time management tips to help you use the time blocking calendar effectively.

I made mistakes at first and had a hard time sticking to my schedule. A few of those mistakes are:

Underestimating how long things would take
Planning too many tasks back to back (aka task-shifting)
Trying to get everything done in a week
My hope is that these tips will help you follow through and feel excited about everything you’re getting done!

These tips will be super quick…you can probably do them in less than 10 minutes each.

1. Plan your week ahead of time so you can hit the ground running.
You know what will make you feel great on Monday morning?

Having an action plan and a clear focus on what you need to get done.

So every Sunday, set aside some time to plan your week.

It won’t be set in stone, don’t worry. Think of it as more of a high-level view to make sure you can get everything done. And that you’re focusing on the stuff that matters.

You’ll be updating things as you move through the week…

2. Focus on 1-2 work-related tasks a day.
If you’re using the time blocking calendar the way I recommend, you’ve got EVERYTHING on there…biz time, family time, school, work, meals, errands…all of it.

And that’s great! They need to be in there.

But sometimes we think we can do things faster than we can.

(Write a post in an hour, anyone?)

And you may be tempted to schedule more than you can do – partly because it looks good on paper, partly because you’re not sure how long it will take, and partly because you just want to get it done.

But there’s only so much time in the day! We can’t get to everything…

You may even have a full-time job or family to take care of outside of running your online business! And there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re falling behind on things. Bleck.

So don’t try to be a superhero when you plan your week. Schedule just one or two “work” things a day and then immerse yourself in getting them done.

Oh, and make sure the things you plan will grow your business, not just eat up your time.

Which leads me to…

3. Cross off things that eat up your time each day.
When you think about it, there are only a handful of things that will really impact your business. Those are things like:

Creating content (free and paid)
Client projects and meeting
Creating products
Planning workshops and events
Sounds pretty straightforward, right?

Ahh, if it weren’t for those sneaky time-crushers…

The Facebook ping you have to check…
A message you forgot to send…
An email that just popped in…

But let me ask you a question:

When is the last time you read an email that positively impacted your business? (except for mine, *wink)

The thing with emails is, most come with their own agenda.

So if we’re being totally honest, you only need to check it 1x a day, and that’s just for sanity’s sake.

Which means you can block out time for email + admin stuff, say, on Fridays. Or first thing in the morning. Or whatever.

Then after that…

Shut it all down and get to work. Don’t let distractions stop you from growing your business.

4. Take 15 minutes to plan your day tomorrow.
Make sure you block out 15 minutes a day to review your progress.

(should be the last thing you do each day)

That’s when you cross off things you got done, reschedule things you didn’t, and update tomorrow’s schedule so you can crush it again without wondering where the heck you left off.

And here’s the REAL magic of reviewing your day…

Once you see what you achieved (vs what you planned), you start to become a ninja planner. The best part is, you get real about how you’re spending every minute of your day.

For example:

Sometimes I’ll *pretend* to start working at 8:30am but not really do much until 11.

That’s two and a half hours, friend…

We can’t waste time like that!

5) Quick Recap
Plan your week on Sundays. Then, at the end of every day, review and update tomorrow’s schedule.

Cross off things that are time-suckers. And don’t worry if you don’t get to something. Or if something needs to drop off your list completely

Because the goal of time blocking is to help you get better at:

Estimating how long things will (really) take
Planning enough time for complex projects
Squashing multi-tasking
Working in your passion zone
Getting more of the right stuff done
One last tip before I sign off, make sure you block out 15 minutes between tasks. Every time you switch gears, your brand needs time to catch up, and that will help. 🙂

Source: (Through Pinterest).


Career planning is one of the most underrated exercises. And maybe one of the biggest reasons why most professionals end up doing an ordinary comfortable job and not living up to their fullest potential.

That is true that your career is not entirely in your hand as it gets affected by many external factors such as global economic situations, technological changes, family priorities etc. Still having a plan in hand can save you from many unexpected downturns.

Many professionals shy away from career planning, as they think it will equip them with a rigid pathway, which they will not be able to follow but rest assured this is not the case.

Career planning will give you a basic plan for your career trajectory. It will make you aware of your shortcomings, you will know what steps you need to take in order to overcome these shortcomings. You will become more conscious of your choices and priorities in life and this will further save you from getting stuck in a bad job or a career. Basically, it is a plan, which will maximize your growth prospects.

Now let’s talk about what steps to follow to prepare a career plan.

Successful Career Planning

Know Thyself:
Be true to yourself. List out your strengths and weaknesses.

Know your values, your skills, your work pattern.

Have a clear picture of your ambitions and dreams in your mind.

Draw a map for your future financial needs, your family priorities etc.

Take a few personality/ behavioral assessment tests to know more about your personality.

Knowing yourself better is the most important aspect of career planning as there are careers out there, which seems very lucrative, but might not be fit as per your personality and preferences in life and choosing such career will leave you drained and unsatisfied at the end.

Know The Market :
After self-evaluation, the second step is to know what is out there in the market.

Which companies are performing well.

Which industry is booming.

What job options are there in your field of interest and what these jobs require in terms of qualification and experience.

Talk to people, know about the real scenario behind these jobs.

Learn how to make an entry and how after an entry you can advance further.

what skills you lack in order to get that job and how you can get yourself skilled in those skills.

Extensive market research and your network can help you in getting all such information.

What Works For You:
Now when you know about your skills and potentials and also about what is out there in the market.

It’s time for matchmaking or linking your skills and priorities with available options and then planning.

Chart down a plan of where you are and where you want to be.

Then mark down those industries or jobs or promotions (those which are in match with your personality and skills) that you should get in every stage to reach to your final goals.

Write down steps of what you need to do in order to reach there.

Find out what skills and qualification and experiences you lack to achieve your goals. And what action you should take to gain those skills, qualification & experiences.

Don’t forget to consider other factors such as cost, location, family priorities etc. while making the plan for all the stages.

Time For Action:

After charting down a plan, things will get pretty clear to you. You would know at what stage, what action needs to be taken. So its time to start.

If in order to reach the second stage, you need to change your job. Then go for it. Make a dynamic CV, start learning those skills which you lack, start interacting with people working in different organizations and applying for jobs.

If you want to change your career field altogether, then go for an internship, shadowing or training.

If you think that a promotion or movement within your current organization will help you in achieving your goals then start aiming for that.

Source: (Through Pinterest).

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