Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Polishing up the Act

Interviews can be quiet unsettling, especially if they are job interviews. I noticed this in the seminar we had today about Interviewing Skills. It was quiet evident that for most of us there was sufficient or lack of appropriate interview skills.

Confidence in oneself and in one’s capabilities came out as the most important aspects when the unstructured interview techniques were performed on us by consultants Wickus and Willemien. Important aspects of interview preparation, like power dressing, the personal documents to take, and the appropriate questions to ask where all tackled in the seminar. Most of us left the seminar with a clearer view of what to expect in interview situations and to expect harsh employers during the interview process.

Regardless I felt quiet good after Wickus mock interviewed me for the post of “Research Analyst for Coca Cola Company.” Both the interview panel and participants who were watching me go through the interview process right from being “welcomed” into the company through the “interview itself” said my interviews skills were quiet good. However, I was told that I need to grow in the art of selling myself especially where the unstructured questions come in. This is the only part in the interview process where one gets to talk about their skills. I realised when I was being interviewed that I was so hard bent on answering the questions that I soon forgot that I had a purpose. I was supposed to convince my potential employer that I am the right person for the job because of my qualitative and quantitative skills, or that I am patient and persistent with the ability to work long hours independently with a goal to solving problems etc.

Despite this, it was intimated to me by the consultants and participants that I came across as a confident and relaxed person capable of steering organisational goals in the right direction. Oh how I wish this interview was the real thing! Imagine I would have been looking forward to my second interview as Wickus intimated to me. Anyway I am glad I had this experience. Forewarned is forearmed as the popular saying goes. I will definitely polish up my act using some of the tips suggested by the consultants we had as well as those from Interview Center Website


I have the tendency of wanting to make others get a feel of my stress by snapping at them during conversations. I have been made to realise that there are so many ways of dealing with stress that can make me come across as a very rational and reasonable person. Firstly is the need for me to identify all the stress symptoms like having headaches, feeling tense, being demotivated and all the others.

Normally it is easy for me to notice that I am stressed out. It begins with having long sleepless nights and thinking about the same things that are stressing me over and over again until the headaches set in. It then follows that it will become difficult to concentrate when I am in such a mindset. What has redeemed me the many thousand times I have been stressed is to always focus on the positive and the good side of what may have been stressing me. Rarely do I go out to seek people to help me out of a stressful situation. Shameen reminded us today that it is very important to have support networks like family and friends to help us out of stressful situations. I am glad I have the benefit of having someone close (Clema) to confide in when I have problems or stressors.

In the workplace it is very critical to respond in an emotionally intelligent manner to situations that have a potential of deteriorating into serious problems where one can end up not fulfilling organisational goals. Health is always affected when one is stressed. Thus it is of paramount importance to be able to manage and organise one’s time effectively through working consistently and maintaining a steady pace all the time.

My stress level according to the Stress Level Test was 41 and when placed in the 33-50 range showed that I have a moderate stress level with a tendency of being a workaholic. According to the results I generally do not cope well with stress. Overall result – Quiet good. I intend to work on raising my stress management techniques so that it does not come in the way I interact with people both on a professional and personal level. I found the website Stress Management from Mind Tools very informative, its link is