In the rigors of any employee or job search, the interview is pivotal. It is the aftermath of already impressing the hiring manager with your curriculum vitae. It allows the companies as well as applicants the space to determine whether or not they see this as a thriving opportunity.

While there is no actual concrete concept to measure the effectiveness of your interview, there are some key performance indicators that could set off the siren that the interviewer was, in fact, interested in pursuing a professional relationship with you.

With so much out there left to get lost in translation, it is important to decipher the code comprehending the holistic good signs pertained in any interview. It is also important to steer clear of negative signs and to know what to do if you are stuck in a sticky situation. 

The job interview process is layered with the anxiety of trying to interpret the body language of the interviewer, the common interview questions, the company culture, the role that you will play, and much more. It is not a surprise that the waiting period tends to be equally nerve-wracking.

The general gist of a successful interview is determined by the collective opinions of the interviewers, fluid conversation, rapport-building, body language, and evidence that you’ll be a value-added candidate in the company’s future.

Although there is no concrete way to determine whether your interview process was, in fact, successful, there are factors that significantly amplify the probability. If you’re looking for ways to job search tips, predict whether or not your interview was a success, for key performance indicators that validate you in the eye of the hiring manager, or for proactive measures to pursue afterward, then this is the perfect guide for you. 

In the process of an interview, it is important to know the bad and good signs to look out for so as not to get lost in translation. It will serve as guiding stones, and help you decipher whether or not your interview went well.

That said, you won’t always be able to outline and pinpoint whether your interview was, in fact, holistically successful. It isn’t always clear.

The prompts and cues are usually very subtle. The interviewer is keen to not get your hopes up either way.

What are the good signs to look out for during the interview?

1. Did your interviewer prompt you with positive affirmations?

Each and every conversation that has happened can be holistically deduced into the body language of the person across from you. This will tell you if it is being translated poorly or if it’s a thriving conversation. Studies affirm that body language holds a shocking 90% of the meaning embedded in conversations.

An interviewer is probably responding to your body language and verbal cues. Eliot Kaplan, the Muse career coach, encourages applicants to pay attention to the body language of the recruiter.

If a recruiter leans in, agreeably nods, and remains engaged, it is a sign that the interviewer is impressed with you. 

Other indications of subtle body language cues include eye contact, focus and compliments (about you or your skills and experiences). An example of verbal affirmations is if the recruiter outlines that you have the potential in serving as a value-added entity. 

2. Did the interview last significantly longer than expected?

If you’ve been speaking to your hiring manager for an hour onwards, it probably is a very good sign that they’re pretty serious about signing you in.

Employers will not spend excess time having an aimless conversation with someone they do not see as a potential employee. Any interviewer that extends the conversation for much longer is invested in your potential. It shows commitment.

3. Did you have a discussion about the company culture and the role that you will play therein?

When a hiring manager is convinced that you are the ideal caliber, the tone of the interview shifts from skills assessment to discussing the competitive advantages of the workspace, and the potential role that you will play.

The remarks to take the job, subtle or not, are clear indications that you are strongly considered for the role. A few examples of this entail highlighting company culture, perks, benefits, daily tasks or activities, and much more. 

4. Did the hiring manager introduce you to some members of the team?

If your interviewer made the effort to introduce you to any members of the team, it’s an indication that you charmed them. A hiring manager will not take the time to introduce applicants if they are not under serious consideration.

Thus, any form of introduction is a significant step forward. Jill Panal, an HR consultant, suggests a hiring manager will only introduce you to the members of his or her team if they consider you to an esteemed caliber and they want other decision-makers to give their two-cents.

5. Did the hiring manager discuss a future with you?

If a hiring manager starts to discuss the future with you, this is an indication that you performed significantly well in your interview. Some examples of this are discussions about next steps, potential start dates, outlining precise responsibilities, etc.

If you experienced something of similitude, it is an indication that something positive is possibly brewing. It also says a lot about the recruiter. It indicates that the recruiter is organized, clear, and values transparency for their applicants (and their employees alike).

If a hiring manager is talking to you about the onboarding techniques, it’s a good sign that the interview was successful. Examples of onboarding processes include recommendations, reference checking, background checks, documents, and reviewing company policies. 

Pay attention to the selective language of choice that the supervisor uses with you could say a lot about if there is an intention of hiring you (or not). If an interviewer considers you a value-added member of their team, he or she will begin to address you as part and parcel of the team.

Regardless of whether they give you a job offer right off the bat, cues such as ‘once you start’ or “when” rather than “if you do” make all the difference. This amplifies that the prospective employer is envisioning a future professional relationship with you.

Ultimately, if an employer discusses a potential future with you, it can be deduced that they are preparing you to be a member of their team.

6. Did it feel more like a natural conversation than an interview?

If the conversation flowed organically and smoothly, it is almost definite that you have landed a job offer. A hiring manager gravitates towards candidates that engage and maintain composure in uncomfortable situations such as interviews. It also illustrates that you’ll fit right in with the company culture. It’s important to feel you’ve developed rapport towards the end of the interview. If your conversation unfolds into this, you will truly be unforgettable.

7. Did the hiring manager ask you about your current job search?

A hiring manager will only ask about your other potential job offers, opportunities, positions, and experiences to understand how urgent and competitive the offer needs to be before you’ll be swept off the market.

8. Did you remain on topic?

The sole purpose of interviews is to identify your ability to answer the hard questions on the spot to decipher comprehension, critical thinking as well as interpersonal skills. If you can remain relevant to the topics discussed while giving thorough and expansive answers, it amplifies that you are the type of person who does due diligence. This is always a good sign. 

9. Did you have the desired salary discussion?

Most interviewers will not discuss salary expectations unless they are considering a qualified candidate. If the hiring manager asks about your salary expectations, it’s a good sign that the interview went well. Some interviewers ask these questions to predominantly filter candidates who align with their budget. This indicates that the conversation was effective and convinced the hiring manager that he or she needs you onboard.

10. Did you get a tour of the workspace?

If a hiring manager chooses to take the time to give you a tour, introduce you to several members of the team, and show you the space you could potentially work in, it demonstrates a clear intention of an upcoming job proposal.

11. Did you leave with a business card or a general information card? 

If a supervisor gives you their business or personal card, it’s a good sign that the interview went smoothly. This resource will only be given to a qualified caliber that they want to keep in touch with. It’s essential to utilize this information respectfully. It’s advisable to reach out with a follow-up call (or email) to show gratitude to them for taking the time to meet you. This simple follow-up gesture could guarantee you the job. 

12. Were your references contacted?

The aftermath of a successful interview entails and necessitates that your references are contacted. It is advisable to prompt your references of a potential phone call (or email) during the waiting period. Keep in touch with the reference(s) to be informed of whether or not they were contacted. 

13. Did you receive a positive response to your follow-up email?

Supervisors have plenty of interviews with countless numbers of people on a fairly regular basis. Most of these applicants will do the common courtesy of sending in a thank-you email after the interview process experience.

Due to the number of thank-you emails being sent in so frequently, interviewers do not always have space or time to respond to candidates who they didn’t find intriguing.

Mathew Kerr, a career advisor, suggests that if your email is responded to quickly and graciously, it’s a strong indication that you should get ready to sign your contract.  

14. Did you get an invitation to a second interview? 

This is an obvious indication that you are advancing in your interview process. However, it is not a definite yes.

It does, however, give you a prominent window to prepare for another intervention. It merely means that you earned a space in round two. This is a great opportunity to readily prepare for the second interview

You had an engaging interview that you feel great about, now what? 

You expect to move forward in the interview process. The interview went great, now what? Well, take a moment to enjoy your win today. Afterward, write a thank-you email, if you haven’t already. Tap into cautious optimism. Keep your options open. Keep working towards your goal until you do sign a contract.

What are the signs that indicate that your interview didn’t go so well? 

If you believe you perceived negative signs or didn’t do as well as you expected, there is a good chance that you have. It is not uncommon to have less than candid interview experiences every once in a while.

These experiences could be rooted in many things. It could mean that you were not prepared enough, or that simply it was not meant for you.

Either way, it isn’t worth being hard on yourself for it. Consider it a learning experience. Keep leaning into the pursuit of a job you love that compliments your skillset. There will always be other opportunities and potential experiences. 

Did your interview end significantly sooner than expected? 

If you go in for an interview and leave significantly sooner than you were scheduled to leave, it isn’t a good sign. This almost always means that your responses to essential questions have decided that you do not align with what they are looking for in a potential employee.

Did you receive any form of detailing? 

If a supervisor is invested in signing you, he or she will provide you with generous information about the potential position. That said, if you are on the brink of leaving an interview with no information about your potential responsibilities or start date, there is a good chance that you are not under consideration.

An interviewer probably won’t be readily giving any specifics about the company to those who they do not see as a qualified candidate.

Was the interview too serious?

If an interview feels too stern, dull, disconnected, negative, or formal? If so, it is not a good sign. A successful interview has an organic flow in conversation therefore, anything outside of that fragment is a bad sign.

Was the hiring manager distracted? 

The interview process is exciting for all companies. It adds a plethora of flavor, talent, and skills to the company. This energy should be felt during an interview. A successful interview will be engaging and focused. Anything about lower energy frequencies or divided attention is perceived as a very negative sign.

Did the interviewer mention other potential candidates? 

An interviewer will engage when they believe that they have finally met their ideal employee. They will not bring up other potential candidates if they see you as right for the role. Any mention of other candidates or applicants indicates that the hiring manager is probably leaning their way. 

Did you get any details of possible next steps?

If an interviewer is impressed with a candidate, they will give extensive information to possibly ready them for the role. This effort helps save time and smoothen the shift from candidate to employee.

Some examples of this type of information include a time frame to expect a callback, contact information, and the holistic detail of the onboarding process. However, if an interview is translating poorly, then there is no need for the interviewer to share this information with you as they are leaning towards other applicants. 

Did the interviewer have any concerns about you or your potential? 

If the hiring manager or interviewer discusses concerns they have about a potential candidate, their potential in a specific role, etc. it is a negative sign that indicates that the interview is not going so well.

The scope of concern could entail years of experience, a lack of proficiencies, or gaps in employment. This does also necessitate that if no concerns were brought up during your interview, it is a positive indication that your interview did go well. 

Your interview did not translate effectively, now what? 

It’s human nature to feel disappointed particularly if you had your heart set on it. While there is a small chance that your interview went significantly better than you thought, it is important to try to make the most of your circumstances. It is important to allow yourself to feel the way that you do so.

Thus, if it means taking a moment to feel disappointed, so be it. However, don’t stay there too long. Instead, dust yourself off. Rather than reenact it excessively, here are some proactive steps that you can take: 

Proactive step #1: Send a thank-you email.

Regardless of whether or not your interview went well, it is important to send a follow-up email to thank the hiring manager for their consideration and time. This will leave a lasting impression regardless of the aftermath of the interview. 

Proactive step #2: Consider asking for feedback.

If you have a gut feeling that the interview didn’t translate well, it is advisable to ask for feedback to decipher what went wrong to make room for constructive criticism.

This will serve you in the future and reconstructs each and every “unsuccessful” interview to only sharpen the saw so to speak. Taking each failure as redirection and a learning experience will set you up on the trajectory for success.

Proactive step #3: Remember that it is not personal. 

Remember: it is not personal. If an interview didn’t go as well as it could potentially go, don’t get absorbed by the negative energy. Instead, take it as an opportunity to grow.

It is commendable to run a self-assessment in regards to your experiences in the interview, and consider how you could be more prepared the next time around. Write down constructive pointers of how you could improve in the future. 

Tips to guarantee a successful interview:

Here are some additional tips to ensure your interview is effective and successful:

1. Do your homework! 

This means practice, review common interview questions, and prepare. Always drawback examples that are rooted in your skillset, experiences, and ultimately your competitive advantage.

2. Research the industry and company

Research the industry as well as the company to show the interviewer that you are prepared and intentional about your pursuit of a career with them in particular. 

3. Align to their dress code

Decipher the company’s dress code before your interview and dress the part. 

4. Be prompt and punctual

It is best to show up five to ten minutes before your interview time. This is a great time to utilize grounding techniques, power stances, or simply to mentally prepare before the interview to show up as your highest self.

5. Relax

Don’t get caught up in your head. Instead, maintain eye contact throughout the interview process. Actively listen, engage and ride the wave of conversation. You’ve got this. 

Some golden tips on the aftermath of your interview

During this tedious waiting period, it’s important to tap into optimism, but be careful not to get too carried away. There are no definite certainties.

Even if all the positive signs occurred in your interview, they still might go another way when filtering candidates and making final decisions. Until you do sign your contract, nothing is final.

The only thing you can do now continues to tread the path of the job search until you do sign a contract.

Send a follow-up email after a few days. Proactively decipher your performance reviews of your interview and possibly create a SWOT analysis to do better next time.

Reach out to your references and check if any of them were contacted. Apply to other jobs, go to interviews, and be even more prepared than the last time.

Understand the company, show how it compliments your strengths, relax, build rapport, be proactive, and maintain a sense of confidence. 


In early 2020, schools had to quickly shift to online learning. While online classes have been around for many years, the shift was so quick and drastic. The concept of online classes seemed simple at first. Listening to lectures from the comfort of your own home seems like a dream, right? Not exactly.

When classes had to be done online, students from all over the world reported feeling stress fatigue and suffering from adjustment issues. Not too long after shifting to online classes, everyone—students, teachers, and other school staff—complained of experiencing burn out, among other mental-health related concerns. In this article, I will share some ways to manage your stress levels.

Related reading: How to Motivate Yourself to Study – 10 Science Backed Tips 

Stress for students

Stress can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is good when it propels a student to become productive and achieve goals that they set. Stress is bad when it is unmanaged and it affects a person’s physical and mental health, preventing them from being productive.

Students have to be able to manage their stress levels because this is the only way to survive the stress of taking online classes. Moreover, learning how to manage stress is an important skill to have as they enter adulthood and the workforce.

Below are some tips that you can try. Bear in mind that not everything will work for you. These are just some suggestions. Feel free to try any or all of them.

Tip #1: Focus

Of the many things on a student’s plate amid the distractions and disruptions at home, students have to train themselves to focus on their classes. It can be especially difficult if you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The good thing is, the mind can be trained to focus.

One tried and tested way to help the mind focus is through meditation. Contrary to popular belief, meditation teaches us not to clear our minds, but to focus on one thing, and that is the present moment. Take a seat with the eyes closed and the spine straight. Close your eyes and breath slowly and deeply. Focus on your breathing.

This is exactly why many mediation practitioners choose to do it in the morning. Start the day feeling focus and centered before heading out into the online world. Training the mind to focus is not easy, takes a lot of time and effort, but over time, it can alter the brain.

Tip #2: Begin with an end in mind 

Attend your online class with a goal in mind, and at the same time, be mindful of your circumstances and challenges. When it comes to goal setting, it is best to makes ones that are doable and not too lofty.

Setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals will help you set realistic goals, and take steps towards achieving them. It’s good to work hard, but definitely helps to know what you are working towards and what to do to get there.

When setting goals, try to state them in a positive statement—instead of “I don’t want to fail in Chemistry”, you can state it as “Understand the Chemistry formulas and concepts well”. Set your priorities accordingly so that you can work towards achieving your goals..

Plan your schedule around achieving your goals. Going back to the “chemistry” example, if you’re having a hard time with the course content, then schedule extra study time. If necessary, look for a study buddy or a tutor.

Write your goal down on your journal, make it your smartphone wallpaper, put it up on your wall. It’s good to be reminded of your goals in case you get tempted to watch an extra episode of your favorite show.

Tip #3: Be organized

Being organized is an asset, especially when it comes to online classes. Even though the school provides the schedule of classes and takes care of the course content, it’s up to you to create an environment that is conducive to learning.

Setup a study area where there is good lighting, clear from clutter, and free from distractions. Clutter and disturbances can affect your ability to focus, and even cause stress. Keeping your study area clean and well-lit will help you focus on the class. 

Aside from having an organized study area, students also have to be good at managing themselves. When attending online classes, you have to be responsible for yourself and for your learning.

Being organized is an important step towards being able to manage the situations you might encounter and ultimately guide yourself towards accomplishing the tasks that you have to do.

Being organized helps combat procrastination and minimize stress.

Set a weekly schedule for classes, meetings, chores, errands and personal activities that you need to accomplish. If you’re looking at a daily schedule, you might feel overwhelmed with the things that you have to accomplish, but when you plan for the week ahead, you might realize that you have more time than you think.

Tip #4: Have a daily routine

Being organized will be helpful with creating and maintaining a daily routine that works for you.

Having a routine is important because it allows to plan your day in a such a way that you can be productive, making sure to have time for everything (academics, household responsibilities, self-care).

An example of a healthy routine would be to get up at 6:00am every morning, drink some water and do light stretches. Some would incorporate a 5-minute meditation session to help clear the mind. A routine does not have to take a full hour if all you have is 20 minutes to yourself.

Create a routine that you can commit to. The point of having the routine is to put you in the right mindset so that you can focus on your online task, and still have the time to accomplish day-to-day household chores and responsibilities.

Tip #5: Breathing and mindfulness

Breathing exercises are helpful in managing stress and anxiety. When you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you’re probably not thinking clearly and breathing properly. This can lead do bigger problems like having panic attacks, hyperventilating and other psychosomatic responses to stress.

One simple trick to nip stress in the bud is to take a few deep breaths when facing a stressful situation. Doing so allows the person to think clearly and find solutions to the concerns they are facing. Breathing exercises can be done anywhere. All you need is a couple of minutes—some opt to find a quiet corner

Mindfulness teaches people to be in the present moment. This means letting go of things that are beyond one’s control. The practice of mindfulness is rooted in Buddhist traditions, but clinicians often use mindfulness techniques to help alleviates stress, feelings of overwhelm and helplessness.

Tip #6: Affirmations

Get into the habit of positive thinking. Affirmations are short positive statements that encourages positive thoughts. Some examples of affirmations:

(1) “Accept the things that I cannot control and work on the things that I can”,

(2) “I am enough”, and

(3) “I will be okay”.

Choose one mantra for yourself. Make it a short one so it’s easy to remember. Keep these positive messages to yourself. Affirmations can help shift negative thought patterns that pop up when we are stressed. Affirmations can help a person gain some semblance of control and optimism when a wave of stress and negativity threatens to drown you. Recite your mantra whenever you feel the onset of stress and negative thoughts. If done repeatedly over time, it can boost your self-confidence.

Tip #7: Sleep

You need to let yourself recuperate from the stressful time that you have during the day. Doctors recommend having 7-8 hours of sleep every night, which is the ideal amount of time to allow yourself to rest and recover from an entire day’s rush.

Having enough rest is key to decreasing one’s stress levels, but unfortunately, sleep can disrupt a person’s sleeping patterns. To solve this, you have to create a sleep routine.

Similar to the morning routine I mentioned earlier, the goal of this routine is to have the mindset to wind down and rest. You can do this by taking a shower and doing an evening skin care routine. Put your gadgets away and turn off the TV for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Light a lavender scented candle if you need to.

Tip #8: Exercise

Engaging in any sort of physical activity such as running, hiking, yoga help relieve stress by taking your mind off of the things that you are worried about. Exercising helps release endorphins, the happy hormone. That “high” you feel from doing a quick run or a brisk walk uphill is caused by the endorphins. It can help lift your mood and decrease the feelings of stress.

You can squeeze in exercise at any point during the day. It’s particularly helpful to do back and hip stretches every couple of hours. Sitting around for extended periods of time is terrible for the body. You have to keep it moving to avoid losing function. 

The key is to find activities that you enjoy enough to want to do them a few times a week.

You can do shorter bursts of exercise if you’re particularly busy. After all, a 15-minute sweat session is better than none. 

Tip #9: Talk to someone

Do not hesitate to reach out to a trusted friend, family member or mental health professional to help you get through a rough patch.

Feelings of loneliness and isolation exacerbate an already difficult situation such as taking online classes. Find the right person to talk to. While it’s good to vent out frustrations to friends, doing this repeatedly can be counterproductive.

Find the people that can actually help make the situation better. If you are having problems with how the online classes are being conducted, talk to your principal or a school administrator. For subject-related concerns, talk to your subject teacher.

These people can help you deal with feelings of anxiety and stress, but they can also teach you good habits to help you move forward. There are a lot of wonderful free online resources that you can look into for assistance.

Stress is inevitable

Strictly speaking, any sort of activity can be defined as stress. Sometimes, a little stress and pressure can help bring out a person’s potential. It is in these difficult situations that a person is able to use their skills and talents.

Rather than avoiding activities and situations that can be stressful, it’s better to face the stress head on and manage it. The tips listed above aim to help students cope with the stress of online classes, but they can also be applied in other situations.

Final Thoughts

Online classes is stressful to both teachers and students. It is impossible to get rid of all sources of stress because in reality, a little stress can be a good thing. The best thing to do would be to deploy various strategies to manage stress so that you can focus on online class and be able to do other things.

In the absence of the physical presence of teachers and the sound of the bell in the schools hallway, you really have to learn how to be internally motivated and disciplined to be able to survive online class while being able to take care of yourself.

Be patient with yourself if you’re struggling with the minor adjustment to your routine. I suggest trying out one tip, and see how it works out for you. Find one that works for you and stick with it.


The Pomodoro technique is one of the most popular time management methods and productivity tools frequently shared online and by experts. It’s popular among students and professionals because it breaks down major tasks into smaller, doable, and time-bound tasks. 

In the sections below, I will discuss what the Pomodoro method is, how it works, its pros, and its cons. While the technique can be used for any task, some people have spoken about its downsides. We will look into these, and hopefully, you can find a way to make it work for you.

The struggle with productivity 

Everybody has a list of things to do, and our daily schedules are planned around accomplishing these tasks. It is important to stay on top of things. This to-do list is a map that guides us on which tasks to start, which ones to prioritize, and which ones are urgent. I think that nothing beats writing everything on a piece of paper, and trying to get as many of those ticked off before the end of the day. Unfortunately, some days are better than others in terms of getting things done.

Many books and studies have been written centered on how to maximize productivity, and it usually involves organizing everything from your surroundings, to your mind, and your day-to-day plans. It can be quite overwhelming.

The fact is, keeping one’s workday or school day productive can be quite challenging. On most days, it feels like 24 hours is not enough. Some tasks are more time and labor-intensive than others. There will be days when you end the day feeling so accomplished, and upon looking at your to-do list, find that you’ve only done less than half of everything on the list!

Related reading: How to Stay Focused When Studying?

What is the Pomodoro technique? 

The Pomodoro technique was first introduced in the 1980s by a man named Francesco Cirillo. He struggled to focus on tasks, so one day he challenged himself by timing himself while trying to accomplish a task. He got a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, set it at 10 minutes, and challenged himself to get as many tasks done within the 10-minute limit. This strategy proved to be effective.

Ten minutes does not seem like a lot of time, however, 10 minutes of undivided attention devoted to active reading is a lot better than 30 minutes of unfocused reading. You’ll probably end up having to read the same chapters just because you were unable to understand it the first time.

In case you were wondering, this technique got its name from a tomato. Pomodoro is the Italian word for tomato.

How does it work? 

The standard Pomodoro duration is 25 minutes of work followed by 5 minutes of break time—this constitutes one Pomodoro. After four Pomodoros, you can take a 15 to 30-minute break. To help you keep track of time, you can set alarms on your smartphone, download apps, and even desktop extensions to help you keep track of your work time and break times.

Before sitting down and starting your timer, prepare a list of things to do, have some water or coffee on your desk. The idea is to focus for 25 minutes straight, and use the breaks are for going to the toilet, gathering materials, or do light stretches.

Although there’s a standard that is followed by most people, you can make room for some flexibility. A Pomodoro study session can last between 20-40 minutes with 5-10 minute breaks in between. There are some subjects and tasks that might need more time, and if you’re particularly tired, you might need a longer break.

When to use the Pomodoro method

You can use the Pomodoro method for various types of tasks. It is most effective for those that require concentration (which is pretty much everything, right?). For students, it’s popularly used when studying for exams and writing papers. Below are some detailed explanations.

Studying involves a lot of time and concentration devoted to mastering course content and remembering important information. Studying is something that you need to do consistently to master topics without overloading the brain.

At the end of each school day, students can devote 1 to 2 Pomodoros per subject to review the topics discussed in class and to annotate notes. In this way, students can learn at a good pace, process the new information, and prevent cramming before a major exam.

Writing is not that easy. Apart from the writing itself, writing involves brainstorming, research, and revisions. Understandably, students lose so much time writing one single essay. However, because there are other homework and exams to prepare for, students have to be efficient.

The Pomodoro technique helps by putting mini-deadlines on each element of writing. For example, a student can allot 2 Pomodoros to looking for sources for a writing task, 2 pomodoros to reading and annotating the sources, 3-4 pomodoros to writing, and 2 pomodoros to revising.

These tasks need not happen in a single day. Depending on the deadline set by the teacher, the student can a lot a few Pomodoros per day until the writing assignment is due.

Of course, the Pomodoro technique can be used for other tasks. Some have used it when decluttering, cleaning, and organizing. These tasks have to be done regularly to maintain a clean space.

You can devote 1-2 Pomodoros every couple of days to dust off shelves and get rid of clutter on your desk. This way, you won’t have to spend an entire weekend afternoon cleaning, and instead use the extra hours taking a walk or catching up on your favorite shows.


Using the Pomodoro technique seems easy and foolproof. It’s quite easy to implement, and it does not require any special tools other than a timer. Here are some tips to help optimize your study session using the Pomodoro technique:

  • Take regular breaks – the great thing about the Pomodoro method is that it assigns the break time for you. The method teaches students how to work efficiently and pace themselves. The frequent breaks also help the brain by giving it time to rest. It is during these breaks when the brain can process the information that was initially absorbed during class.
  • Work in intervals – Working in fixed time intervals trains the brain to focus. It’s not easy to put your undivided attention on a task for 25 minutes but with continuous practice over time, students will get better at focusing. Soon enough, the 25 minutes can be extended to 40 or even 60 minutes of undivided attention!
  • Use in conjunction with other study and productivity hacks. Because you’ll be working in short bursts followed by frequent breaks, students have to plan tasks and minimize distractions. On top of using the Pomodoro technique, students can also block social media apps and entertainment websites even during the scheduled breaks.
  • Minimize screen time, even on your short breaks. A couple of minutes of social media scrolling can turn into 20 to 30 minutes of watching TikTok videos and engaging in Twitter wars. Save this for the end of the day or the weekend. Instead, use your short breaks for grabbing snacks or resting your eyes, and the longer breaks for taking a walk around the block or having a power nap. There are other worthwhile things to do!
  • Repetition is key. Training your brain to focus takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and do your best to stay on task even if you struggle in the beginning. Have your to-do list and study plan to keep you on top of your task priorities.
  • Feel free to customize. As you become more comfortable with the 25-minute work and 5 minute break time intervals, you can challenge yourself to work for longer periods while maintaining the same break time. Likewise, if 25 minutes seems overwhelming, you can start with 15 minutes of work and 5 minutes of break time, then slowly work yourself up to 25 minutes.


  • Trains the brain to focus. Each Pomodoro session is devoted to accomplishing one component of a major task. By doing this, a person can accomplish one task fairly quickly. This is the opposite of multitasking, which encourages people to perform multiple tasks at the same time. Initially, people thought multitasking was a time-saving productivity hack, but as it turns out, multitasking prevents people from using time efficiently.
  • Prevents mental fatigue. This technique encourages people to work at a steady pace, therefore preventing yourself from overworking your brain. Although studying might not be physically exhausting, the mental exhaustion from cramming can backfire—instead of helping you remember what you studied the night before, you might experience mental blocks.
  • Increase attention span. Devoting undivided attention to a single task and doing this continuously over time will increase your ability to focus, therefore lengthening one’s attention span.
  • Time awareness. When using the Pomodoro technique, you will have a clear idea of how much time it takes you to complete a task (e.g. 2 Pomodoros to work on 5 math word problems). In the future, you’ll be able to plan your schedule more efficiently.
  • Manage your distractions. Training your brain to focus is difficult, but all this effort can be easily undone if you give in to distractions. Using the Pomodoro technique is one of the ways to manage distractions. Because there is allotted time for breaks, you can at least train your brain to wait until the work session segment of the Pomodoro session is done before indulging yourself. If cutting out social media is unrealistic, you can at least limit use by only checking your social media accounts during the scheduled breaks.
  • Reward yourself. Before sitting down for a Pomodoro session, prepare a list of tasks. Tick off each task as they are accomplished. It seems insignificant, but looking at a fully accomplished to-do list at the end of the day (with each item ticked off) is rewarding.

When the Pomodoro technique does not work

Some people have spoken against the rigidness of the Pomodoro method. For example, writers know how hard it is to get into a writing flow, and if you stop while you’re in a writing flow, it’s so hard to get back on track. It’s the same for some students.

A student who struggles with math word problems might stare at one word problem—reading and re-reading it—but when it starts to make sense after 20 minutes, forcing that student to stop at 25 minutes seems counterintuitive. It takes a lot of time to break down the concepts and analyze the details.

What if you finish ahead of schedule? If somehow you finish some tasks earlier than expected, you can move on to the next task. The idea is to keep working until the time is up. This is why you have to have your study plan and to-do list on hand. The Pomodoro method is not perfect but works for certain tasks.

Final Thoughts 

You can make the most out of your study sessions by using the Pomodoro technique. We tend to either underestimate or overestimate the time needed to complete a task.

The Pomodoro technique helps you plan efficiently so that in the long run, you’ll be better at accomplishing tasks on time. It is one of the best time management methods for good reason.

Using this technique, you can manage your time when it comes to studying, writing, and research—tasks that seem to have no clear deadline. It’s a way to make sure that you get things done even if deadlines are not fixed.

The best part about using the Pomodoro technique is that it trains the brain to focus on work and study tasks, and at the same time, gives time for breaks. Taking time for yourself does not feel like something to feel guilty over.

Moving forward, it teaches people to set realistic goals. Whereas procrastination leads to more stress (putting something off thinking that you have time to spare, but when you finally get to work, you realize there’s not enough time), with the Pomodoro technique, you can set time-bound goals and take steps towards achieving them.

So, you were offered a better job opportunity – congratulations! You’re on to bigger and better opportunities that will tap into your passions, and elevate your financial trajectory for years to come. But before you allow yourself to get too carried away, you still need to dissolve your current contract. Despite your reason for departure, leaving a company is bittersweet.

While you’ll probably celebrate your final day with your colleagues, however, every day before then will be filled with responsibilities to supplement the transition period, and fill out the necessary exit-interviews or paperwork. 

When urged to withdraw yourself from your workspace, it’s professional to send your employer a letter of resignation that allows the current employer an adequate time-period to prepare for your departure. This is also referred to as a notice period. A notice period begins the moment you submit a letter of resignation and ends on your last working day.

Related Reading: How to Give Two Weeks Notice

Why is a notice so important?

Once you’ve decided to resign, regardless of the degree of negativity pertained in your current workspace, it’s important to do so professionally and courteously. Failure to do so results in causing tremendous chaos for your current workspace. It’s unprofessional and apathetic.

In contrast, a notice alludes to common courtesy and more importantly, respect for your coworkers. Here are more reasons as to why it is pivotal that you do leave an adequate notice period

Adequate notice periods enable a smooth transition for the organization and the team.

It’s important to give a notice period to your workspace because the process of recruitment is often lengthy. Your notice prompts the transition of your team and organization to begin the process of the job posting, perusing applicants, beginning the interview procedure, and finally hiring an employee replacement.

In the interim, it allows space for your current employer to delegate the duties entailed in your position to others.

If you spontaneously opted for a breach of contract, your team would undergo serious distress to fill-in on your end which isn’t fair to anyone.

This will also burn bridges, possible lawsuits, and a hopeless chance of any form of recommendation or references. 

A notice period is important if you intend on leaving your workspace on a positive note.

It’s important to leave your workspace on a positive note. Giving a notice period is a good way to do so. It allows your team to be prepared rather than irritated. It is another way to maintain a thriving professional network and connections which will always serve you when you require a reference. 

A notice period is necessary if you intend to abide by the terms and conditions of employment contract. 

You have previously signed an employment contract with terms and conditions during your probationary period. The terms of employment instated a notice period to be given at the end of your employment contract. Therefore, if you do consider a breach of conduct, you would be performing misconduct

How long do you need for a notice period? 

The average notice period is about two weeks. The time does vary in respect to your degree of seniority. The higher up the hierarchy, the longer your notice period is expected to be. However, there are a few factors to keep in mind when trying to determine the length of your notice period, such as: 

You must understand the exit-policy in your employment contract or employee manual.

Each work environment is different, and each contract is different too. It is important to do your due diligence to identify the clause or condition that is in your contract (or employee manual) that depicts the minimum notice period of a resignation process.

Use the details of your employment contract or the employee manual as your guide. Keep in mind that your current employer may ask you to prolong your notice period due to specific hindrances, if possible, allow it. 

How long did you spend with the company? 

Depending on the time you spent with the company, you need to allow a notice period to undergo that. The average notice period is two weeks, but it could last for a month. It could, of course, extend too much longer if you are higher up in the hierarchy. 

Is it vacation time in your department?

Be transparent. If you plan to have your previously booked vacation and never return, it’s important to communicate that. Set a meeting to communicate your plans of discontinuing post-vacation. Be considerate of the situation at hand, and understand that your employer may or may not honor your leave. 

Do you work in a team? 

Be considerate of your coworkers and organizations. If many are on vacation or parental leave, this will hinder the company’s efforts to meet their deadlines. Be flexible and allow some additional time so that you do not cause further inconvenience. This will work in your favor when you need a reference. 

Are you in the midst of a major project for your company?

Another aspect that affects a notice period is your quality of work and particular specialization. Consider the time required to mentor and train others to carry-on positions and to assume unfinished tasks.

If you are working on a large project, you need someone with a specialized set of skills to execute it in your absence. However, it would be the best if you would complete the project at hand before the end of your working period, or your notice period. 

Is it the end of the financial year?

Companies often work around the fiscal calendar. Toward the end of it, they are working to complete projects and set new goals and challenges for the upcoming year. Therefore, it’s important to keep that in mind when planning for a notice period. 

Why are you resigning? What are your goals? 

Be sure that you’re moving for a purpose and alignment with your current goals. It’s important to make a shift to what’s in your best interest. At this point, you’re probably set to carefully articulate your reason for quitting your job.

It’s important to provide constructive input about the new job opportunity that tailors to your skill-set and allows you to bloom into your highest potential. Your professional goals should also help you determine the length of your notice period. 

Overall, you need to use your judgment and opt for strategic timing. There is no such thing as a perfect time to quit your job or to have a hard conversation.

However if you could allow for more time to override the inconveniences, the process will be smoother and your reputation will be inspired. Considering these many factors will elevate your trajectory and self-image when you’re ready to move on to bigger and better things. 

Is it the right time to have this conversation? 

A two weeks’ notice makes your resignation period more fluid, but it needs to come down to whether or not this is the right time to quit. If you’re in the process of an unfinished major project or assignment, hold off a bit on submitting your resignation to maintain stability. If you choose not to, you will unnecessarily burden your colleagues. 

That said, if the culture of your current workspace is truly toxic, then you have to focus on your best interests. 

How can you bring up the process of resignation clearly and effectively?

An effective way to communicate a resignation in a scheduled professional meeting – even if there is an available open-door policy. This avoids the bombardment during the hurdles of day-to-day tasks. It is important to note that the very first person who should know about your plans to move on professionally should be your supervisor.

Although you will also need to eventually communicate this to your HR department, your supervisor should be the first to know. Otherwise, it may be perceived as offensive as this is already a very sensitive topic.

In this meeting, tell your supervisor why you’re leaving, share a plan of transition, and thank them for this experience. This meeting is sheer discussion and collaboration so be prepared for various outcomes on either side of the spectrum. Either way, don’t take it personally.

This discussion could even spur into a counter offer. If it comes to it, then you have to make a decision. If you’re looking to smooth an uncomfortable conversation, then you just need to stay strong, positive, and professional.  

The next step is to put it in writing which ultimately means providing your current employer with a formal letter of resignation. The best practices to submit the most effective and professional resignation letter yet are:

  • Be clear and consistent with the information you pertain to.
  • State the position you are resigning from.
  • Be clear as to when your final working day will be
  • Include your (positive) reason for resignation as well as your last working day. 
  • Be gracious for the opportunity, the support, and the management services. 
  • Avoid negativity at all costs. This is not the place to rant about your inconveniences at work or petty debates. Being emotionally reactive will only burn bridges. It isn’t worth it. 
  • Offer flexibility to support the transition phase, but do not promise anything you cannot deliver. 

It’s worth mentioning that the company will keep your resignation letter for documentation, as well as future references. Here’s a sample letter to guide you in the process of serving a letter of resignation to your current employer: 


Dear Mr./Mrs. [Supervisor’s last name],

This is my formal resignation from my current position at [Company Name] as an [position] effective on [final working day], [notice period] weeks from today. 

I am so gracious for the opportunity to work with your thriving community. I truly appreciate all of your support and experiences that were made working and progressing with the [department]. 

I will readily and proactively do everything I can to help during this transition period. I am willing to train anyone who will fill my position anytime between now and [final working day]. 

Thank you for being so understanding of my effort to pursue [career goal]. May you have a continued legacy of success in all of your future endeavors.  


[Your Name]

What are the most common mistakes made when attempting a resignation?

These are the most common mistakes that people make during the resignation process. You need to avoid these measures at all costs. 

  • It’s always a bad idea when an employee does not dare to resign in person.
  • It lacks serious professionalism when an employee resigns without giving notice.
  • It is not advisable to resign without a formal resignation letter.
  • It shows that you are emotionally reactive and immature when you choose to resign on impulse. 
  • It is not intelligent to cause a scene or drama in a professional atmosphere.
  • It is a sign of severe immaturity if you resort to damaging records. 
  • It is a sign of a lack of integrity when you resort to slacking off during your notice period. 
  • Bragging about your upcoming job opportunity is always a bad idea in a professional environment. 
  • Ranting about your current company on your social platform indicates that you are not trustworthy. 
  • Telling colleagues of your plans to resign before your supervisor is offensive. 
  • Bad-mouthing about your supervisor or colleagues will only make you look bad. 
  • Not saying goodbye displays indifference and will sever the bonds you’ve made at the workplace

Here are some graceful exit strategies: 

Remain positive

Do not badmouth your employer when explaining your reason for departure. You should either reform that sentence into a positive form about your pursuit of a different trajectory of work or avoid having that conversation altogether. It won’t result in friendship, but rather it’ll result in alienated colleagues and a tainted reputation. A better choice is to end your working period with dignity, grace, and professionalism.

Limit your talk about your new opportunity

Although you are excited, try to limit talk of your new job opportunity. Try not to flaunt it, but instead be humble and brief. Instead, focus on your current hurdle and get through this phase while fulfilling all the notice period requirements.

Offer to stay longer, if possible

Be flexible and willing to extend your notice period if your employer asks. This will make your current employer think highly of you. If you absolutely cannot, it is understandable. However, be apologetic and do your best to supplement the situation while you can. 

Prepare handover notes for your successor

These notes should include the following: 

  • A holistic briefing of your current role, and all the tasks that you should be attending to.
  • A detailed list of unfinished or pending tasks.
  • A clear list of all deadlines, upcoming projects, and events.
  • A description of how to perform or troubleshoot critical tasks. 
  • A clear indication of the whereabouts of important documents, resources, organization system, etc.
  • A compiled list of all of the important people that your replacement will need to collaborate with. 
  • A document with the contact information for important stakeholders. 
  • A reminder of recurring meetings
  • All passwords, usernames, and access codes.
  • A policy handbook (especially if there is a specialist version).
  • Reminders or hacks of how to do the job efficiently.
  • Links for locations of files on the internal network.

As an additional step, you could include a detailed outline to train your replacement. 

What now?

You’ll probably have to undergo exit interviews. During your exit interview, they will ask you about your experiences working at the company, and with your team. This career guide wouldn’t encourage you to lie.

However, it is not worth ruining your exit interview by bad-mouthing, complaining, or ranting about anyone. This will not affect them in any way, but rather it will only make you seem untrustworthy and possibly like a burden. It also expends an unnecessary amount of energy to foster that anger. At all costs, remain objective and brief. It’s merely standard procedure. 

Nonetheless, you can breathe easily now because the challenging part is over. You are free to start fantasizing about and preparing for your new job opportunity. 


Taking notes is a foundational element of building good study habits. It goes beyond simply copying words on a screen or a whiteboard, or writing the words that a lecturer is saying word-for-word.

Note taking helps us process the information that we receive in any setting, whether in class, a meeting or a self-study session. Note taking helps us remember the important concepts, terms and other pertinent information.

There has always been a debate about whether it’s better to take handwritten notes or typed notes. Educators, learning experts and researchers recommend taking handwritten notes because it helps with information processing and memory retention.

But what about typed notes? In a digital age where everything is going online and paperless, shouldn’t we at least consider alternatives?

Related reading: How to Take Study Notes – 7 Effective Note-Taking Methods

Good note taking

When you look up the term “notes” or “good notes”, you will see pretty, aesthetically pleasing notes on notebooks with impeccable handwriting and pastel highlights. However, good notes and good note taking skills have more to do with the content itself. Making it pretty is just a bonus.

For students, good notes are a condensed version of a chapter or a lecture. It not just about copying the keywords and their definitions in your own notebook or computer. It has to do with taking that information and putting it in terms that you understand. 

When taking classes from experts and highly intelligent individuals, they may use jargon or move at a fast pace. The student has to be able to capture the important parts and details of these lectures and classes, and organize it in a way that helps them understand and remember these details.

Hand written notes

Taking handwritten notes promote cognitive processing. When taking notes by hand, we are forced to condense the information and write it in terms that we can understand.

Handwritten notes is ideal when it comes to dissecting and connecting concepts. This gives students the opportunity to engage with the learning material—remember concepts, dive deeper and make connections—encircle keywords, draw arrows between related concepts!

Handwritten notes help us recall information. When writing notes by hand, students are more “engaged” in the sense that they have to discern which parts of a lecture need to be remembered. Since handwriting is limited by a student’s writing speed and ability to process information, the student will likely take notes of the information they deem to be important. However, there is a risk of omitting important details for more complex class material.

Another important but often overlooked benefit of taking handwritten notes is that is allows students to practice their handwriting skills. Fine motor skills are an important developmental milestone.

In a digital world that places importance on typing speed and tapping on screens, many young students are not able to practice using their hands. When taking notes, not only are students able to practice information processing, they are also able to practice writing legibly.

Typed notes

There is an apparent preference for handwritten notes as opposed to typed notes among educators. The main issue with typed notes is that students focus more on typing everything that a teacher or lecturer says word-for-word without context. By focusing on typing, students are not able to process information and identify the key concepts and important details.

There is also the risk of students attempting to type notes and do other things at the same time. Students who type fast can spare a few seconds or minutes to do things that are not related to the task at hand. This can lead to distractions and can derail a student’s momentum.

However, typewritten notes have their place in the realm of note taking. Typing notes can be helpful in a lectures, especially when the speaker is going through the materials quite fast. Because it is faster to type than to write by hand, it might be better to type everything verbatim as the lecturer is speaking. The key is to  review verbatim notes later on – paraphrase, rephrase and summarize the content. This will encourage the brain to process information.

Typed notes can be helpful with factual information. If you need to memorize important terms and concepts, it might be more efficient to just come up with a list of key words and their meanings.

Handwritten notes on a digital device 

The world of information technology has found a way to merge the best parts of handwritten and typed notes. These days, there are apps that allow users to make handwritten notes on digital devices, specifically, tablets. Apps like GoodNotes and Notion can be downloaded on an iPad and synced with your personal laptop.

Although some features may vary, the general feature of these apps is that students can write on the surface of a tablet on the app as if they were writing on a notebook. These apps mimic the functions of a notebook while keeping everything paperless. The best thing is, it is stored digitally, further minimizing the need for paper notebooks and pens. This solves the problem of repeatedly purchasing writing materials and storage once the semester is over.

A note on distractions

The main concern about typing notes is the higher risk for distractions. You will essentially be working on digital devices where you can access websites, apps and files that can lead you astray from your task. One moment you’re looking up related content to the subject, the next thing you know, you’re looking at memes and random videos on the internet! It’s not just entertainment sites and social media that can distract—you might end up doing tasks for other subjects instead of listening to the lecture.

Opting to take handwritten notes might minimize distractions, but you can still get distracted. If your brain is already overwhelmed with information, you might unconsciously grab your mobile phone and start going through your emails and social media. Likewise, a few seconds of doodling might lead to a full-on daydream session.  

The trick to this problem is to be aware when your mind starts to wander. If this happens, take a few minutes off to have a mental break. Stand up, take a sip of water and stretch your neck muscles. Keep this break brief so as not to break your momentum.

Which one to use?

Choosing which method to use depends on your personal preference and circumstances. Whereas handwritten notes encourages conceptual understanding, typewritten notes can be effective for memorization. Educators and researchers sing praises for hand written notes (and for good reason!), however, do not disregard typed notes as it can also be helpful.

Choosing the best method is a little more complex than you might think. Although personal preferences plays a role, there are other things to consider. In the online learning setting, students are forced to sit down and stare at their screens, while occasionally engaging in recitation.

Instead of passively listening and waiting for the teacher to send the PowerPoint slides, take notes, annotate your books and ask questions. There is a higher risk for distractions in online classes. One way to deal with this is to take notes.

Go for the method that allows you to focus. Typing might be best if you have physical difficulties that prevent you from writing fast enough or writing at all. It might also be a good option if you are unfamiliar with the topics being discussed and have yet to figure out which information is important. The good thing about typed notes is that it’s easier to come up with more comprehensive notes, edit and search through. It’s also easier to share with your peers.

Tips for taking notes

  • Focus on the topic that you’re writing notes for, especially if you’re typing notes. If you’re unfamiliar with a certain concept, highlight it and don’t look it up on your browser as it might distract you from your flow. If you need to ask questions, ask the teacher or lecturer.
  • Handwritten notes may not come out as neat and organized at first, but do not be discouraged. You may rewrite notes at a more convenient time. What’s important is that you’re able to take notes while the lesson is on-going.
  • You will see more improvements the more you write notes. Your hand will hurt less, and your brain will get sharper at retaining important information. Keep going!

    Final Thoughts

    Effective note taking is an important part of the learning process. You can summarize and organize an entire semester’s worth of course content into notes that you can comprehend.

    It’s a lot different from simply highlighting textbooks and readings because when you take notes, you are essentially rephrasing concepts, various terms and ideas in your own words. While handwriting notes helps with this process, typed notes can also be useful. 

    When it comes to note taking, the best method is the one you are using—that is to say, both are good. Having handwritten or typed notes is better than having none. The goal of any note taking method for students is to help a person develop a deeper understanding of study tools and materials so that these can be reviewed and remembered when needed.

    You do your job search, and carefully select the positions you wanted to apply for. You prepare your CV and cover letter professionally and go through the interview process with more than one potential employer. Then, the unexpected happens. You’re contacted by more than one company and told that you’ll shortly be receiving a job offer. So all of a sudden, you have multiple job offers.


    However, this can place you in something of a dilemma. How can you make the right decision about which offer to accept? How long will you have to make up your mind? What are the factors that you need to take into consideration when you have received multiple job offers.

    In this guide we’ll look in some detail at what constitutes a job offer, what are the factors you should consider before making a decision about which one to accept, and the reasons why it is important to handle the offers that you don’t accept in a professional manner.


    Before you receive any offers

    It is a good idea, whenever you attend a job interview, to take some time, immediately after it’s over, to review the overall experience. This may have been an employer you were very motivated to work with, but first impressions are very important. Your first contact with the company can give you a very different picture from the one that’s portrayed on the website and in their marketing materials.

    Make some notes about the following points and they’ll help you create a really rounded view of how it went – for you and for the recruiters.

    The environment

    How did you feel about the physical environment of the company? Was it attractive to you, and could you see yourself feeling at home there? How important is natural daylight for you? This may seem trivial, but working day after day in unnatural light can become stressful and even depressing.

    A warm welcome?

    Were you welcomed professionally and called by name? Interviewed at the agreed time or made to wait? Did your interviewers introduce themselves, and explain their roles in the interview?

    The team

    If you met your potential future manager, what was your feeling about him or her? This is a key consideration, as we’ll see later. What about the HR team, if you met them?

    The company culture

    What sense did you get about the company culture and its values? They may claim that ‘People are our greatest asset’, or ‘We value our employees’, but did you see or hear examples of how these great sentiments translate into reality.

    Your interview performance

    Take some time to assess how you came across in the interview. Did you make your case clearly and professionally? Did you let them know how you’d be able to add value and solve problems for them? Reflecting in this way will help your performance grow stronger in each job interview that you attend.


    What exactly is a job offer?

    The answer may seem obvious, but in fact, many people mistake claims and promises for an actual offer. For example:

    A job offer during an interview

    It may be that during an interview, the recruiters tell you, immediately, that you’ve got the job. This can seem like a great outcome, but, beware! It could be that you’re the ideal candidate that they’ve been looking for, so their search has ended. Or, it may be that they have no other candidates, and they are simply desperate for someone, anyone, to fill the position.

    One red flag you should look out for is if they ask you to start immediately, without giving proper notice to your current employer. Explore why they are in such urgent need, and take your time before giving your response.

    A verbal offer after interview

    When you’ve had your job interview, and it’s gone well on both sides, you may well be contacted, by phone, with the news that you’re going to be made a formal written offer. While this is indeed good news, keep in mind that things can change, and a verbal offer may be withdrawn, or a start date delayed, or the position even put on hold until further notice.

    The best response is to thank the person profusely, express how happy you are to get this news and say you’ll look forward to receiving the written offer, so you can see the details.

    Until that written offer arrives, never assume that the job is yours. Continue with your job search, and attend any interviews that you’re invited to.

    A Written Offer

    This is the one that counts. Your written offer should contain all the main conditions of your employment. A more detailed contract of employment is likely to be attached. Review both of these carefully and ensure you understand what you’ll be accepting. If there are any items that you feel should be included, contact the company and ask them to answer your questions, in writing.

    You are usually given a certain time limit to sign and return. Keep in mind that if you don’t respect this deadline, the employer has every right to withdraw their offer and select an alternative candidate.

    Once you accept an offer, your job search has officially ended. It is not fair on your prospective employer, nor on any others, to continue attending interviews in search of better offers.


    Components of a written offer

    When reviewing a written job offer, ensure it covers the following points. If any are missing, contact the recruiter and ask for written clarification.

    • Your position title.
    • The name and position of the person you’ll be reporting to.
    • Start date: check that you will be able to honour the notice requirements of your current employer.
    • Your weekly hours of work.
    • Your basic salary, shown annually or monthly.
    • Benefits such as annual leave, health and life insurance, and medical leave entitlements. It may state that you will be eligible in line with company policy. If this is the case, ask to see the company policy.
    • Share schemes or equity. If there is an incentive plan in place, ask to see details.
    • Bonuses and commission rates. Make sure you understand the criteria, targets and schedule of payments.
    • Notice periods on the part of the company and the employee.
    • Probationary period if one is in place.
    • Contingencies. Is the offer dependent on the result of reference or background checks?

    You may also receive a full job description, a full employee contract, an online copy of the Employee Handbook, and possibly some additional policies (such as a Non-Disclosure Policy) to read and sign. These may be sent with the written offer or supplied after it has been returned.

    When you receive multiple verbal offers

    So now we’ve clarified that until you receive a formal written offer, nothing confirmed, let’s move on to consider what action to take if you receive more than one verbal offer, and you’re expecting these to be confirmed in writing very soon.

    Review your list of priorities

    It’s likely that each position will have advantages and disadvantages, so before the written offers arrive, it’s important to review your original list of priorities. What is it that you’re looking for in your next position? Salary? More challenge? Less commuting? A clear career path? Make a list of the five most important needs.

    Keep applying

    It can’t be stated too often: until you receive that written offer, you have no offer. So, continue with your job search, keep updating your CV, and tailoring your cover letter for different employers.

    What NOT to do

    Do not, under any circumstances, contact one potential employer and tell them you’ve received a job offer from another. Never disclose the details of a rival offer in an attempt to negotiate a better one for yourself.

    Far from motivating them to hurry up with the hiring process, and send you an improved written offer, it just tells them that you’re not really interested in who you work for. They might well reconsider their decision. It’s quite likely that, rather than wasting their time, they’ll switch their attention to a candidate who genuinely wants to work with them. Don’t be surprised if the offer you were expecting never arrives.


    When you receive multiple written offers

    Now, you’re in a much stronger position, and you have the information you need to make the best decision, for you, at this point in your career.

    Compare apples with apples

    At this point, make a careful analysis of the written offers. Create a table and compare each component of the offers against each other. If you notice that certain information is missing (see the list above), contact the recruiter and ask for clarification, in writing.

    There’s no need to compare the contents of the entire handbooks, of course, but read through one, and if there are sections that interest you, do a search in the others.

    Go back to your post-interview notes and see if there was anything promised in the meeting that isn’t mentioned in the offer. Again, contact the recruiter and politely ask for clarification as perhaps there had been a misunderstanding.

    Include your gut feelings in the comparison. Where did you feel you’d be most ‘at home’? Which team impressed you most? Which working environment was most appealing to you?

    Also, include the five most important priorities you identified earlier.

    Assess the advantages and disadvantages

    Next, in your five most important categories, give each of your potential employers a score out of 10, with 10 being the highest. For the remaining categories, award a score of 1-5 points

    Notice where there is a substantial difference between employers, and consider the advantages you’d gain from working with each one, as well as the disadvantages.

    It’s not only about the money

    We all work to earn money, and receiving a written offer with a huge leap in salary can be exciting. But don’t fall into the temptation of overlooking all the other aspects of the offer.

    You’re most likely going to spend at least a third of your time with the employer you choose, so don’t let a generous salary offer lead you into a dead-end job that you dread going to every day.

    Look closely at other benefits. Maybe one employer allows more annual leave or flexible working hours. Maybe the salary is slightly lower, but the medical insurance will give you peace of mind for your family. Maybe the company car will enable you to sell yours and avoid maintenance costs in the future? Maybe a uniform will save the expense of buying a working wardrobe?

    Who’s the boss?

    There’s an old saying, ‘People join because of the company, but they leave because of their boss’. There’s no doubt that your relationship with your direct manager will impact your entire experience with the company, so when deciding which of multiple job offers to go for, you should give this question top priority.

    Look back on your interview. Did you feel a good connection with your potential boss? How was their energy? What did they describe as their priorities? If they were totally focused on results, and results are your priority, then there’s a good chance you’ll be valued and your working relationship will blossom. However, if you’re more focused on expressing ideas, and exploring possibilities creatively, there’s much more chance of misunderstandings and clashes. Is that how you’d want to spend the next few years? If you feel there’s a potential mismatch with your future manager, it could be better to choose an alternative.

    What are the career development opportunities?

    A good starting salary is attractive, but you should also look ahead. What does each potential employer offer in terms of long-term career development? Have they explained this to you? Most companies expect you to spend at least two years in any role you’re hired for, allowing time for you to prove that you can perform well over time. You may be offered a promotion, of course, but this will depend on a whole range of factors, many of which will be outside your control. Are you ready to work in the role you’ve been offered, without unrealistic expectations of early promotion?

    Without jumping too far ahead, what would be the next steps on your career paths within each company? What kind of career advice or mentoring will be available? How much will they invest in your future, in terms of training, support for further qualifications, or cross exposure to broaden your skills base and make it easier to progress?

    Work / Life balance

    During the interviews, was the actual workload discussed? Your written offer may state that you’ll be contractually obliged to work 40 hours per week. However, were there hints in the interview that employees are expected to be connected 24 hours a day? Will you be expected to work unplanned overtime? If you’re a manager, are you expected to work long hours and be on constant call to ensure that your goals are met? If the working pattern that’s expected of you doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, regardless of how much you’re paid, the most likely result is stress and burnout.

    Depending on the type of role, of course, you may want to negotiate when and where you’ll do your work. Would you want to be allowed to flex your hours? Work from home some days, or every day? Or simply to have the freedom to choose your hours, depending on the work required? It may be worth sacrificing some salary in order to create a more balanced life.


    This is an important factor and a significant point of comparison between employers. How much time each day will you need to spend traveling to and from your work location?

    When you start a new position, full of energy and enthusiasm, the daily commute may seem a small price to pay. But as time passes, and you realize that you could be spending the time in more rewarding ways, it could be a factor that drains your motivation and makes you think about ways to escape.

    Will any of your potential employers expect you to travel between company locations? How much would you enjoy that? In certain sectors, such as hospitality, employers typically expect employees to be prepared to relocate to progress their careers. Would you consider this for the opportunity to develop your ideal career?

    Titles and tiers

    For some, the job title and the job tier/ level can have high importance. Would you prefer to be called a ‘Customer Support Manager’ or a ‘Herald of Happiness’?. (Yes, it’s a real position in a well-known IT support company).

    Your job title can influence your status and progress within a given company. More important, though, is how it will impact any future external job applications.


    Decision time!

    By now you’ll have considered the pros and cons of all your written offers, by reviewing:

    • Post-interview notes
    • Written offer
    • Employee Handbook & policies
    • Your list of job priorities
    • The additional information you’ve requested from the employer

    It’s time to make your decision. If it’s clear cut at this point, well done!

    If there’s one offer that you’d like to accept, but one or two small points are causing you to hesitate, it may be worth calling the recruiter and asking them if they have any flexibility to make the changes you need.

    Express your enthusiasm for joining the company and, once again, do not tell them that you have another offer. If the response is positive, or ‘Let me check’ confirm a time-frame for their written response.

    If the answer is negative, go back to your comparison table. Has the position changed?

    Finally, you will make your decision and it’s time to let your potential employer know.

    • Sign and return the offer letter and any other documents as requested.
    • Forward passport, ID, and certificate copies.
    • Call your future manager and confirm that you’re looking forward to joining his or her team. Ask him or her to share any documents which it may be helpful for you to familiarize yourself with, as preparation for your arrival.
    • Inform your current manager that you’ll be leaving, confirm your last working day.
    • Submit your written notice to your current employer.
    • Confirm your start date to your new employer (if this differs from your offer letter).
    • Stay in regular touch with your new employer, especially if you are working a long notice period or taking a vacation before starting your new role.


    The job offers you don’t accept

    Once you have signed and accepted your preferred job offer, you’ll need to consider how to handle those that you are not going to accept.

    There may be a temptation to send a short ‘no thanks’ email and move on to start your glorious new career. However, it’s wiser to keep in mind that it’s a small world, and the choices you make at this point may return to haunt you. By communicating with the utmost professionalism, aim to make them regret they were unable to attract talent such as yours.

    So, follow the steps below to close the chapter on your application in a positive way, and ensure that you’d be welcome to approach them again in the future.

    • Inform them promptly that you won’t be accepting their offer. This should be as soon as you sign an offer letter with another company.
    • Even if you’ve been sending friendly emails to your contact person, ensure that you write the email turning down an offer in a formal and professional style.
    • Express your appreciation for their time in interviewing you (use the names of the interview panel), and for your contact’s work in progressing the hiring process.
    • Wish them every success in the future



    When you’re in the fortunate position of considering multiple job offers, the key to making the correct decision is to take your time to consider every aspect of the offers you’ve received. Many factors will influence you in addition to basic salary, and one of the most important is the impact that your choice will have on your long-term career development.

    In the past, it was typical for school leavers or graduates to select the industry or profession they were best suited to in terms of qualifications, personal preference and even location.

    The goal was to find a position then stay in the job for life. The most likely move was vertical, progressing upwards through the ranks of the same company via internal promotion. The one who would think of career change used to be considered a job hopper.

    However, in today’s rapidly changing world, serving the same employer for the entire life is no longer seen as possible, or even desirable. As technology transforms the way we work, certain jobs become obsolete, while new ones emerge.

    We need to keep abreast of trends that may impact our employment prospects in the future, and flexible enough to respond to new opportunities.

    Through this guide, we’re going to look at some of the factors which might lead you to make a career change, and, once you’ve made the decision, offer some career advice and ideas to support you in finding a job and making the transition into a rewarding new position.

    Related Reading: Top 10 Online Courses in Career Development

    Why change careers?

    On the face of it, changing careers may not always seem rational. After all, you may have spent years studying to obtain the qualifications needed, and then more time to gain experience in your chosen profession. 

    Before you embark on any major upheaval in your professional life, it’s worth spending some time to analyze the reasons for making a career move.

    First, ask yourself:

    ‘Am I drawn to a specific new career?  Or, do I just want to leave my current one?

    There’s a big difference. If you already know which career you want to break into, and are highly motivated to do everything it takes to get there, the chances of success are high.

    However, many people find themselves feeling that it would be a good idea to for a career change, without having a fixed idea of what else they could do.

    These are some of the most typical reasons for considering a career move:

    ·      You realize you made the wrong career choice

    When leaving school or university, the pressure is on to start your working life. However, what seemed like an exciting career in your early twenties can sometimes fail to meet your needs as you mature.

    It may be too pressured or perhaps not demanding enough. There may be nothing new to learn, so you’re simply bored.  When you start to feel that getting to work every day is a chore, you could be in the wrong career.

    ·      You’re in a career that may disappear

    For example, the need for highly-skilled technician drafters, who were required to produce detailed technical drawings, has now been virtually eliminated due to the development of CAD technology. Customer helplines and online support is now often handled by AI rather than specialists.

    If you can see that these kind of changes are likely in the foreseeable future in your profession, it’s prudent to start thinking about a career change before they happen.

    ·      There’s a lack of potential for progression in your area.

    It may be that you enjoy your chosen career, but there are limited opportunities for further meaningful career development. Perhaps your employer isn’t able to help you achieve your career goals, and there are no other suitable employers in your location. As an alternative to moving away from your area, you prefer to consider a career change.

    ·      It doesn’t meet your needs for work/life balance.

    Sometimes we love our job, but if it takes over too much of our life, other aspects which are important to us will suffer. This can happen in industries such as hospitality, where long hours and shift work are the norm.

    No matter how much you enjoy the work, when family responsibilities increase, there may be a need to find a career with a more predictable working pattern, to restore your work / life balance.

    ·      It doesn’t meet your financial requirements

    No matter how much you love your chosen career, if you are left struggling to pay the bills each month, it’s natural to wonder if there is an equally satisfying alternative, which pays better.


    Identify what’s important to you

    Once you’ve decided to make a career change, increase your chances of success by taking a systematic approach.

    Step 1 is to look at where you are now. What does your current career give you that’s important to you?

    There could be many things:

    • Friendship with great colleagues
    • The feeling of being an expert
    • Opportunity to solve-problems, creativity
    • Opportunity to carry out practical work
    • Freedom to plan the day
    • Opportunity to coach juniors
    • Great working conditions
    • Close to home, no commuting
    • Flexible hours so you can pick up the kids

    Make a list, then decide which are critical, and which you could live without. Try listing them in order of importance

    Step 2: What is important to you that your current career doesn’t provide? Where are you lacking at the moment? Make a second list.

    • Financial rewards?
    • Stable working pattern?
    • Variety and stimulation?
    • Opportunity to work independently?
    • And there is much more to count down

    Again, think about which of these are critical in the choice of your new career, and which are optional. There are also many online tools to help you analyze what’s important to you.

    Step 3: what are your long term career goals? Ask yourself, at the end of my working life, what do I want to have achieved? What would a satisfying career have been like?

    For example, would it have:

    • Let you develop the younger generation?
    • Given you all the financial rewards you wanted?
    • Honored you with awards and recognition?

    This is another useful way to think about what will really satisfy you in terms of your career. Let your imagination run a little wild here, then pick one or two things you hope your career will achieve for you.

    After carrying out this analysis you should have gained a more detailed picture of what you would be looking for when you make a career change.


    Your target career

    Now, you’ve established what you want to achieve by a career change, it’s time to identify your target career.

    You probably have one or more ideas in mind already, but before you make any decisions, a reality check may be needed.

    It’s at this point, if it’s possible, that the best course of action is to seek some objective career advice. There are a number of sources where this assistance will be available.

    • If you’re a recent graduate, consult the career advice service in your local educational institution.
    • If you have more work experience, a government employment office may be ready to assist, especially if your industry is under threat of future decline.
    • Approach local recruitment agencies or consultancies. This is also a good way of introducing yourself as a candidate for the future.
    • Online resources. There is a wealth of information and a quick Google search will provide useful background on your chosen career. Look for official industry sites or those run by professional bodies
    • Also, search for online blogs written by people already working in the industry. What is it they love or hate about their line of work? What insider information can you glean from them about the pros and cons of your target career?
    • If salary is an important consideration, as it is likely to be for most people, the big job boards have a wealth of salary and other data, compiled from job seekers and recruiters.
    • Approach a local employer in your chosen sector and ask for their feedback on the prospects of finding employment. Here, you will need to be diplomatic: you are requesting assistance for your research, not seeking a position (at this point, anyway).
    • Make an appointment with a professional career counselor who can guide you to the correct decision. This is a great option if you want to talk about your options on a confidential one-to-one basis. The downside is, of course, that you will have to be prepared to pay for this service. However, when you consider the benefits of making the right career move, or the consequences of making the wrong choice, expert career advice may be an investment worth making.


    What skills do you have?

    At this point, let’s assume you have identified the career you want to pursue. It may also be the case that your goal is simply to exit your current career and you’re still undecided about which path would be the best for you to make a career change.

    Without any doubt, no matter how long you have been in your current line of work, you will have amassed skills and knowledge that may be valuable to a potential employer. It is now time to consider what you have to offer.

    Recruiters are typically searching for strengths in two areas, and both are valuable:

    Hard skills

    The technical knowledge needed to perform in a role. This can also include formal qualifications gained through periods of study and professional licenses which permit you to do the job.

    Soft skills, aka people skills

    These are more intangible and tend to reflect the personality of an employee, although some can be developed and learned. Team work, planning, time management, leadership, creativity and listening are some examples.

    Your hard skills may apply specifically to the profession or industry you are currently working in. Certain qualifications, such as in accounting or training will be valued in virtually whatever sector you choose to work in.

    However, soft skills can be useful in any number of contexts, and are therefore considered ‘transferable skills’.

    As an example, let’s look at the soft skills a barman could typically expect to have or develop:  customer service, problem-solving, inventory management, creativity, flexibility, ability to handle pressure, teamwork, conflict resolution, etc.

    Or, the soft skills an offshore drilling engineer would need  in order to be effective: communication, attention to detail, problem solving, commitment to a team,  self-reliance, cross-cultural awareness, commitment to safety, ability to handle tough situations for long periods, resilience, etc.

    Take some time to analyze your current role in this way. What hard skills and what soft skills do you have, that you would be taking with you into your new position?

    Are your hard skills relevant in the sector you want to move into to?

    What soft skills do you demonstrate in your current role?

    Make a list of everyone you can think of, together with what you actually do which demonstrates that you have that skill.


    Filling the gaps

    During your research into your chosen career, you may have realized that certain hard skills are needed, which you don’t possess. It’s not always possible to learn on the job, and if you’re making the case that you can move into a new position without a background in that sector, a degree or other certification may well be necessary.

    For example, if you want to follow a career as an aromatherapist, you will need a basic qualification to even be considered. If you’re moving into the teaching profession, a qualification would prove that you have studied and reached a level of knowledge. A CAD designer needs to be qualified to be considered even for an entry-level position.

    If you’ll need to fill gaps in your hard skills in order to make the transition to a more meaningful career, and this will involve resuming or continuing your education, consider carefully, as you’ll have to be prepared to invest:

    • time
    • energy
    • commitment
    • financial resources

    If your chosen career requires soft skills, such as leadership, and you feel that you’re not strong in a particular area, it’s also a good moment to discover ways you could practice and demonstrate your expertise.

    For example, if you don’t have the opportunity to use leadership skills at work, what about getting involved in a voluntary or community activity that would allow you to take a leadership role?


    Start your job search

    Once you’ve made up your mind that a career change is a right thing for you need, and you’ve done the groundwork so you know what you will need to make the move successfully, as well as what you can offer to a potential employer, it’s time to embark on the search for that elusive new position.

    In a crowded and competitive job market, you need to be ready to invest time and effort.

    As you have a specific target in mind, there are a number of places where you may find details of positions that match your career choice.

    • Job boards
    • Recruitment agencies and consultancies
    • Newspaper adverts are still useful, especially for when employers are recruiting locally
    • Trade magazines and websites
    • Linkedin is a powerful source of career opportunities
    • Employer websites: an excellent starting point if you already have an employer of choice
    • Social media, typically local Facebook pages

    As you start your search, make it as broad as possible. Use keywords to save time trawling through irrelevant ads.

    Keywords are also helpful in other ways. Whenever an advert relates to the new position you’re looking for, note the requirements.

    Which hard skills are essential? Which soft skills are mentioned time and time again? This information is going to help you tailor your CV to optimize the chances of being invited for an interview.


    Make your case with a tailored CV

    When you’ve finally found the role you’re looking for, in the company that you’d love to join, you may think it’s time to dust off your old CV, add a couple of lines to update it, and press ‘send’.

    Unfortunately in today’s overcrowded and competitive job market, all that’s likely to get you, if you’re lucky, is an automated rejection letter.

    Recruiters receive hundreds of applications every week, and don’t have time to trawl through CVs in the hope that they’ll find some nuggets of information to answer the only question they have: ‘Is this the right person for the role?’

    It is essential to create your CV with the intention of answering that question.

    • Use an attractive, modern template. There are many resources online to help you create a CV with a clean and professional look.
    • Make your personal statement count. This should be located just under your personal details, and will be the first thing a recruiter scans. Use a maximum of 80 words in 3 or 4 sentences to mention who you are, relevant qualifications, your track record and experience. End with what you are looking for, i.e. a career change, and why.
    • When listing your employment history, weave in details of your soft skills into every point. Never cut and paste your job description. Instead, describe what you achieved. such:
      • ‘Led a team of 7 sales consultants to achieve increase of 23 % in B2B revenue’.
      • ‘Planned and delivered social events for up to 200 people’.
    • In the education section, only include details of your highest qualification, and any additional certifications which are relevant to the role you’re applying for.
    • At the end of your CV, mention any sporting, voluntary or extra-curricular activities you take part in, which can highlight your soft skills.
    • Never give in to the temptation to list everything you can think of which might be of interest. Cut your CV down ruthlessly so it only includes what could be relevant to the role you’re applying for.
    • Understand that if your recruiter is using an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) the software will be trawling for keywords. Therefore pay special attention to any keywords in the job posting and make sure to integrate these into your text. You can identify keywords as they come after sentences such as:

    ‘The ideal candidate will have (keyword)…..’

    ‘The person we’re looking for is (keyword)…’

    ‘Are you (keyword), (keyword) and (keyword)?

    When the software can’t find keywords, your application may be rejected before a human being has even set eyes on it.


    Make your cover letter count

    Whenever you’re given the option to include a cover letter with your application, don’t waste the opportunity. It’s your chance to introduce yourself and to let the recruiter know why, even though you are coming new to this career, you are a strong candidate, who will bring many strengths.

    Writing a cover letter with impact needn’t be a daunting task. Keep it to four short paragraphs.

    • Introduce yourself with a short, statement, using their keywords.
      • A great leader knows they can learn from their team. In my 7 years…..’
    • Don’t waste time by mentioning the job title or where you saw the ad.
    • Make it clear how you can add value. Mention some of your hard or soft skills and explain how these can help in your new career.
    • How can your unique blend of skills solve a problem for them? For example, if they have an issue with employee turnover, your listening and counselling skills can get to the source of the issue.  If they are concerned about declining customer satisfaction, you can bring lessons from your hospitality background.
    • Close the letter by emphasizing your commitment to your career change, and to joining their organization. Thank them for their interest. Make yourself available for interview.



    While all the standard interview protocols apply, you have the added challenge of presenting yourself as someone with the experience, skills and determination to hit the ground running and learn the details as you go along.

    Even if you are not offered the new position you’re looking for, take each job interview as an opportunity to gain more details and in-depth information about your chosen career path.



    The decision to make a major career change is not the one to be taken lightly. Approach your career move carefully; consider your reasons for wanting to make the change, and what you hope to gain.

    Analyze your own strengths and weaknesses, understand the job market. Then when you’re ready to make your move, you’ll be armed with everything you need to find a rewarding and meaningful new career.

    Your application and resume drew their attention, and the employer is interested to know more about you, your skills, attitude, and other key criteria they are looking for in the persons they want to hire. This is a significant achievement for you towards getting the job you want.

    But it is equally important to know that ‘job interviews are like first dates; good impressions count, awkwardness can occur, and outcomes are unpredictable.

    While you have achieved so much and reached so close to being employed, very simple negligence from your side may be counterproductive. This guide is about interview preparation, key consideration and along with some interview tips and techniques for the same.

    Below are some important skills and considerations in preparing for a job interview.

    Related Reading: 14 Signs a Job Interview Went Well


    1. Be Prepared

    Recruiters give high importance to the preparedness of the applicant. According to Kristin Sailing, a data scientist on the Talent Management task force of the U.S. Army, the interview is a better measure of emotional intelligence indicators, preparedness, punctuality, work ethic and all the other little things that might make a good interpersonal fit.

    There are a few classic techniques, but still very important in order to get ready for a job interview.

    Spending some time to understand and concentrate on the interview preparation around those basics will be very helpful for you to impress the employers by providing an excellent responses to the job interview questions during the interview process. 

    It is really crucial to develop a checklist for interview preparation to get better organized and ensure everything is planned in an excellent way. You can find many interview checklist online, such as checklist for interview skills.

    1.1 Research about the Company/Organization

    In general, you must have certainly researched the employers when you applied for a particular position, but it is still worth further exploration.

    Particularly, at this stage you may want to focus more on the niche of the organization, what do they prioritize most in their employees, what are your strengths and possible weaknesses so that you can highlight the strengths during the interviews.

    The website of the organizations, social media accounts, past annual reports and employee reviews on Glassdoor or Indeed can be very helpful to best understand the company and anticipate the most common interview questions.

    Use this information, while introducing yourself and talking about past experiences and how you can add value as a staff member.

    1.2 Boost your Confidence

    Being nervous during an interview is very common. But it is important to understand that the more nervous you sound the less competitive you become because it affects the quality of your presentation, it may deliver some negative impression on the level of your confidence which may lead the decision against you.

    It is equally important to understand that nervousness comes from negative feelings such as the interview is going to be very tough, the panel will ask difficult questions, I may not be able to answer.

    But the fact is that you have been chosen for an interview from a crowd of applicants, the employer would like to understand more about you and there is a very good possibility to get a job.

    If you focus on positive things you will start enjoying the moments, you will sound more pleasant, more confident which will strengthen your competitiveness for the position. So, focus on positive things.

    This is not only true about interviews but everyday life. So, learn to develop a positive self-concept and make it a habit. You will not only master your interview but every step that sounds difficult for you at the moment.

    You can also try some deep breathing techniques for relaxation. Take deep breath in with a feeling that you are inhaling all the positive energies in the environment, and deep breath out with the relaxation.

    There are several resources available online for free such as Managing Stress for Positive Change available in linked in. You will get free access to this course for the first 24 hours. Once you are fully relaxed you can best respond to the job interview questions in a more confident way.

    1.3 Keep yourself healthy and fit

    Some minor health issues can also create huge difficulty during your interview so keep yourself healthy and fit. Prioritize to have good rest and sleep, take healthy meals and keep yourself hydrated.

    1.3.1 Dress Code

    Another basic interview preparation is choosing an appropriate dress code. Although, appropriate dress code during job interviews varies according to the working culture of the company.

    However, it is important to avoid items that are distracting in nature, sandals or flip-flops, poorly fitting clothes, or shoes. If you are not sure, wear professional, or business, attire, without being overly formal.

    1.3.2 Effective Opening

    The opening of the interview sets the scene for the rest of the interview and creates a strong impact on the interviewers’ perception, so make a great opening of the interview. There are a few things you can do to keep your stress away and enjoy the interview; you can try some simple relaxation exercises such as breathing techniques.

    Greet the interviewer, be respectful and polite. Be aware of your voice, be comfortable, speak naturally. Feel good, remember ‘80% success is showing up’.  You can also get best prepared for a great opening by anticipating the most common interview questions.


    2. Highlighting Strengths and Softening Weaknesses

    This is one of the most common interview questions in a job interview but often candidates fail to make the best use of these questions. This is mainly because the interview answer requires some preparation and balanced content with good examples to back up your interview answers.

    To best prepare for these questions, list the top 5 or 7 strengths, and see which of them are the most relevant to the job you have applied for, how have you used these strengths and what are the most convincing details for the interviewer around these strengths.

    Make a simple note with these details, look for the numbers, for example, your role is writing a winning grants application, you can think of the total number of grant applications you have written, the percentage of a successful application, the biggest amount you have secured, your role in the team, etc.

    This not only tells about your strengths but about the organization skills, presentation skills, the level of details you can capture which the employer will really be looking for in their employees.

    Another challenging part is responding to the job interview question ‘what are your weaknesses’. In responding to your weaknesses, you can carefully and honestly present them to the interviewers to turn them into your strengths. Below are some of the key consideration for sharing your weakness in a way to turn them into your strengths:

    –          List the weaknesses you have.

    –          Make sure you do not include the essential skill for the position, this will be very counterproductive for you.

    –          Analyze the selected weaknesses you would like to present if asked during the interview, how they have impacted your performance in the past, how do you overcome those challenges and how are you planning to get rid of these challenges.

    –          Details out what support you need from the company. See if the expected support is realistic, that can be offered in general.

    –          Present how you have improved on those weaknesses and how do you assure that this will not impact your quality of performance.

    –          Do not sugar coat your weaknesses, do not use vague language. Be clear and confident but not boastful, after all weakness is weakness.


    3. Effective Closing

    Ending your interview with the right note leaves a good impression on the interviewers. Many interviewers are undecided about rating the candidate until the last minute of the interviews and a positive ending provides you an opportunity to get the advantage of this.

    Below are the things to consider while ending a job interview.

    • Ask about the next steps and timeline.
    • Very briefly restate your enthusiasm for the role.
    • Thank everyone in the panel for interviewing you and offering your availability for the next steps or any additional clarity required.


    4. Interviewing with Confidence

    Presenting yourself in confident ways help you to better demonstrate your presentation skills and respond to the job interview questions by the interviewers in more logical and interesting ways which is key to success.

    Confident presence in a job interview will also make you feel good and enjoy the interview as well. In addition, employers will also be looking for confident candidates to hire.

    There are a few things that you need to consider to look confident and to boost your confidence:

    • Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with interviewers while you are listening to them and while responding to their questions. This helps you to engage the interviewers. Engaging the interviewer helps to make effective communication which is crucial in any job interview.
    • Posture: Good posture is also equally important in a job interview. Do not squeeze yourself into a small space, do not cross your hand. Some people also have a tendency to move their hands, or tap their feet, be aware of such smaller things. If you enjoy your interview, you will face such instances less.
    • Talk Naturally: It is important that you talk slowly, naturally. You are not too low in voice and you are not shouting either. Make sure you are smiling and enjoying the talk. All these things are simple that we consider in our everyday conversation but during the job interviews it is not uncommon that people make mistakes on such simple things not because they lack capacity but because they fail to pay attention to such small things.
    • Listen and Enjoy: Focus on listening, if they present in a casual tone, make some jokes and laugh be part of the same. Enjoy the conversation, make sure you use good moments to present your strengths in a natural way; do not be impatient.


    5. Virtual Work Environment

    With Covid 19 pandemic mobility restriction virtual work has been a standard for many companies and questions in relation to virtual work is a mandatory part of the job interview process.

    A very typical job interview question is ‘are you comfortable in a virtual work environment?’. The best way to respond to this question is to be prepared for this.

    If you are comfortable working from home, you can focus on your interview-answer on why it is a strength for you, how to ensure efficiency and quality such as being organized, maintaining a format environment during work hours, or flexibility in work.

    Demonstrate the past experience of working from home. Also share how you maintain work-life balance, in working from home.

    If work from home is not feasible for you, then you need to ensure to communicate that clearly, what alternative might be feasible and at the same time indicate decently why you are still interested in the position and how you add value to the role compared to someone who might be easily available to work from home.


    6. Asking Great Questions to the Panel

    Getting staff members is as important as getting a good job. Therefore, the interviewer will certainly want a new staff member of their company who has good work ethics, certainly interested in the role and company, and has an outstanding capacity that is needed to perform the role.

    One of the best strategies to give this impression on the interviewer is to ask good questions to the interview panel.

    What are the great questions? You can use this opportunity to check if you have answered all the questions and if the interviewers have not got answers to any of the questions they have asked.

    This will prevent you from being negatively rated for any of the questions that you might have covered partly unintentionally.

    There are some other basic questions that you can use in any of the interviews such as ‘what is company culture? What is the staff turnover rate? How do you help your team members grow professionally? What are the major challenges the company is facing and what is the department (for which the role is advertised) doing?

    Asking questions shows that you are really interested in the position and would like to best understand it. It also indicates the level of understanding of the company which every employer will be interested to know.


    7. Handling Telephone Interview

    Many of the tips and techniques for an interview will hold true for the telephone interview that are applicable for face to face interviews.

    The additional consideration is that you cannot use eye contact, do not get non-verbal cues and technology may create barriers in communication.

    The best way to prepare for a telephone interview is to try a mock interview with a friend.

    Develop a list of the most common interview questions, and attend a full-length mock interview, record it and listen to it after you have completed it.

    Note down the key areas of improvements and plan how you can improve it. If your friend who is willing to support you on the mock interview is professional with the relevant capacities, you may ask him/her to ask some questions that you have not proposed, which will help you to see how you respond to the unanticipated questions and what improvement might be possible in such a situation.

    Try your best but be prepared for the limitations during the telephone interview. After all the interviewers also understand the limitations of the telephone interviews.

    Video interviews are very much similar to the telephone interview with the advantage of seeing each other to get some non-verbal cues.


    8. Developing Interview Skills

    You may have seen some people who can do very well in interviews and showcase their knowledge skills very well and some others who struggle to showcase their knowledge and skills in job interviews. By interview practice, you can master these skills as well as the best interviewers do.

    • Visualize Your Dream Job and Make it Your Lifestyle: Visualizing the future careers, seeing it with clarity, and understanding what it means to be most successful in the role is key to be prepared for any of the jobs you dream for. Once you have these details you can make it your lifestyle to grow professionally towards that job. Such as if you want to be a writer, you may make a habit of writing at least a few paragraphs every day. This not only improves your skills but provides you confidence and helps you develop a great portfolio that you can use with great confidence during job interviews. This is a long-term process but provides very powerful tools and interview techniques that you can use during your job interview and helps you to stand out from the crowd.
    • Practice: To practice in a meaningful way, you can use mock interviews, record them and listen to note down the improvements. Once you think you are ready to see how your improvements look, you may want to try again. In interview preparation, it is important to be well prepared but do not to be over-prepared. The focus on the interview practice should be on the key message to respond to the most common interview questions, tone and way of presentation. Trying to memorize the content may have adverse impacts so keep it natural.
    • Interviewing techniques: Be familiar with the interview techniques such as formal competency-based interviews, lunch/dinner interview, group interview, etc. All of these different techniques have many things in common, but there are differences as well. Such as for competency-based interviews you will need to prepare in advance about your performance in the competency areas and be able to articulate it in context. But lunch/dinner interviews may focus more on interaction with you, the content may vary such as your aspiration, your behavioral and attitudinal aspects, your interest areas and so on. So, it is important to understand the interviewing techniques and present them accordingly.
    • Be Open and Honest: It is always important that you present yourself in an honest and open way with the interviews. If something is not fair and does not sound reasonable, very decently present why it is not a good fit for you, but at the same time proactively offer some alternatives that might be feasible for you and fair to the employer. Do present as a good professional with a passion for the job you have applied for but be aware not to present as a flawless individual.
    • Expect the Unexpected: In a job interview expect the unexpected, the questions you have never thought about may be asked, you may have made some minor errors, you might have missed some simple things to check and ensure. Expecting the unexpected is key to such an interview. Once you notice such things, do not panic. The best way to face unexpected situations is to keep calm, try to understand as much as possible and respond wisely. If this is a question you cannot answer at all, say it clearly. If you are not sure but making some guess, say it clearly that you are making a guess. This not only shows how mature you handled the situation but also your true capacity to do the things and you can turn such unexpected into a strength rather than a limitation.
    • Exploring Some Online Courses: One of the strategies to best familiarize yourself and try some of the skills is to explore some of the online courses. There are some great online courses on preparing for job interviews and developing interview skills. You can find many interesting courses on a job interview at Coursera Online Platform, similarly, you may also find How to Succeed at: Interviews available in Future Learn. Unlocking Your Employability offered by the University of Queensland Australia and Resume, Networking, and Interview Skills by FullbridgeX are other interesting courses available on the Edx platform. It will really be worth trying to explore such content when you have plenty of time to explore such resources rather than rushing after you have received an invitation for job interviews.


    9. After Your Interview

    After the interview, take time to send a thank you email to your interviewer through the official contact of the employer. Make sure you present why the interview was an excellent experience for you. Keep it short and focused. 

    A great businessman Andrew Carnegie has said that ‘the average person puts only 25% of his energy into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.

    Although the author focused more on the business while saying this it is equally relevant to being strategic in every action we perform. So, getting the best out of an interview and securing a job offer is more of being strategic and you can learn all these strategies with little effort but for longer-term success.

    Whether you’re fresh out of college or you’re looking to change careers, knowing how to search for a job is not a skill that comes naturally to most people.

    In fact, it’s less of a skill and more of an art. Finding the right job is about more than just scouring online jobs on Monster or job classifieds in the paper – it’s about having the right expertise to find employment in your given area of work and about knowing exactly where to look.

    If you’re looking for work and trying to make the most of your job search, you may want to consider these job hunting tips. After all, there are career opportunities everywhere – it’s all about knowing where (and how!) to look.


    Make a List

    Your first step in job hunting? Make a list – and don’t worry, you don’t have to check it twice.

    However, you should revisit it often to make sure it requests everything you care about as you are knee-deep in your career search. At the very least, you should have a list of companies you would like to work at or potential job titles you’d like to have.

    This will help keep your job search focused and targeted as you attempt to find employment. It will also give you a place to start in your career search. You can use this list of “wants” to start your research.

    We are incredibly fortunate to lie in a time where everything  – and all kinds of information – you might need is readily available on the web. Take advantage of that! Research companies and look up detailed information about potential employers online.

    As soon as you have a list of dream employers figured out, you can engage in some specialized outreach that will really help you get your application noticed.


    Prepare Ahead of Time

    While it might be tempting to start immediately slinging that CV or resume at any job ads that come your way, you’ll have better results if you take the time to polish your materials first.

    Before we start scouring job websites, take some time to evaluate whether your resume, cover letter, and portfolio (if you have one) are up to snuff.

    Don’t just use a generic resume and cover letter for every job application, either. Instead, research the specific requirements of the job (and ideally, do more extensive research into the company to which you intend to apply to make sure you have what it takes to be successful there).

    Fine-tune your materials and tailor your resume and cover letter to each position you apply for.

    After all, nothing says “reject pile” quite like a form cover letter with a generic “Dear Sir or Madam” scrawled on the top.

    Before you start trying to find employment, it’s a good idea to reconnect with your references, too. Make sure they are still willing to vouch for your character and expertise and proofread to ensure that you have their updated contact information on file.

    Proofreading is smart across the board, as a matter of fact. Go through your resume and cover letter to make sure you have all dates, descriptions, and positions down correctly.


    Don’t Forget About Applicant Tracking Systems

    One of the major challenges of applying to jobs in this day and age is something that your grandparents never had to deal with – applicant tracking systems.

    An applicant tracking system is a computer program that scans your resume and other application materials for relevance before your application is ever even seen by human eyes. Unfortunately, highly qualified candidates are often rejected before they even make it to a real person because certain keywords were absent from their materials.

    You can optimize your success in this initial stage by scouring the job posting and including any relevant keywords that are used in the job description. Tailor your resume so that it includes words and phrases that will catch the eye of a lower level recruiter, too, if that’s who might be reading your application.


    You Don’t Have to Be Boring

    Yes, you need to be professional when it comes to your resume, cover letter, and even your interview. Unfortunately, though, many people assume that “professional” must equate with “boring.” That’s definitely not the case. You need to stand out, and boring your audience to tears is not the way to do that.

    Avoid using common cliches in your resume and make sure you have some charming, even humorous answers lined up for potential interview questions. You’ll still want to showcase your skills and credentials, of course – and always keep things polished and professional – but you don’t have to make yourself look like a total snooze-fest, either.


    Practice for an Interview

    It might seem like you’re jumping the gun to practice interviewing before you’ve even filled out a job application, but it’s not. Practicing for interviews is a great way to help you keep calm and collected if and when you do get that surprise phone call from a prospective employer.

    Practice and rehearse your answers to some of the most common interview questions ahead of time and you’ll be cool as a cucumber when your phone rings.

    Not sure what kinds of questions you should brush up on? The list is extensive and can vary, but in general, you may want to prepare answers to the following questions:

    • Tell me about yourself (sure, not a question, exactly – but still the most common talking point posed by any interviewer)
    • Why do you want to work here/why do you want this job?
    • What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses?
    • What is your greatest professional achievement?

      What is a challenge you faced at work, and how did you deal with it?

    • What was one time you demonstrated leadership skills?
    • Tell me about a time that you failed.
    • Why are you leaving your current job?
    • What is your preferred management style?

      What are you passionate about?

    The list goes on, and the questions you should prepare for will vary depending on the industry in which you work. However, these questions offer a great place to start if you aren’t sure what a prospective interviewer might ask.



    Sure, you can spend hours each day looking for work by poring over newspaper job classifieds or job hunting at career fairs.

    However, there’s quite a lot of truth to the common cliche – “it’s all about who you know.”

    When you’re looking for a job, there’s no better way to find one than by leveraging your personal connections. Going to a career fair is a great start when you’re looking for a job, but you’ll have better results if you can attend industry events or if you can partner with a recruiter or industry insider who will give you the inside scoop on how to search for a job in your niche.

    You can also join an organization or club about which you’re passionate. This will not only help you connect with people who might be valuable in your job search later on, but it can also help you pad your resume if you’re lacking in work experience or other meaningful tidbits.

    You don’t need to go to formal networking events to find what you’re looking for, either. Often, reaching out to friends and family is a great way to find a job. Get in touch with people you know to find out what kinds of opportunities might be available where they work – and don’t forget the alumni association at your college, either.


    Get Organized

    You should tailor your resume and cover letter to every job to which you apply – you know that. But keeping everything straight can be a challenge, particularly when you start having to juggle interview dates, names of interviewers, and other information.

    Staying organized is key to success in your job search. At the very least, consider creating a basic Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet.

    You can track all the jobs you’ve applied to (or want to apply to), including information like the company name, contact information for a recruiting or hiring manager, the date you applied or interviewed, deadlines, follow-up information, and the status of your application.

    After all, there’s nothing more embarrassing – or time-wasting – than applying to a job to which you were already rejected. Whoops!


    Use Job Sites

    There are all kinds of tools available to us, as 21st-century job seekers, that simply did not exist as little as a decade ago. Make sure you leverage all of them to maximize your job search success.

    There are all kinds of websites you can use to find a job, many of which update the list of job opportunities on a daily, hourly, or even a minute-by-minute basis. Some of the best include FlexJobs, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Monster. Each offers its own unique attributes, benefits, and drawbacks (FlexJobs, for example, only hosts positions for remote work or flexible options, which can be limiting if you’re looking for a full-time gig).

    One often underutilized job site service is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is free, and it offers a variety of services to job seekers. For starters, this website makes it easy for you to upload and post your resume and to search job listings that are tailored to the experience and qualifications listed in that resume.

    With LinkedIn, you also have the unique ability to network with colleagues and prospective employees. It’s a great way to find positions that are relevant to your preference – and positions that might be easier for you to get based on the “who you know” principle we talked about earlier, too.


    There’s an App for That

    Spending hours scouring job websites for relevant postings might not be your cup of tea – or if you’re like most busy job seekers, it might not even be something you have time for.

    To that end, you may want to consider using an app instead. There are all kinds of services mentioned above that also have app components. You can receive updates and notifications to help you organize your job search and stay on top of relevant postings in your field.

    Some of the most common job-seeking apps include Glassdoor, Indeed, and Linkedin.

    However, there are additional apps you may want to tap into that won’t necessarily help you find job postings, but instead to maximize your job search. Workflow, for example, is an app that will help make it easier for you to organize your job content and to create shortcuts so you can save time in your search.

    Similarly, Orai is a speaking coach app that will help train you to become a better speaker. What does that have to do with looking for a job? The interview, of course. When you’re a better speaker, you’re more likely to nail the job of your dreams – that’s just basic logic!

    Don’t forget about social media, either. After all, Facebook and Instagram aren’t just about sharing your favorite recipes or those pictures from your trip to Bali. You should be leveraging social media to help you build your personal brand.

    Even if you don’t use social media to reach out to various prospective employers or job search connections, take the time to clean up your profiles – you never know who’s going to take a peek, and you definitely don’t want those beer pong pictures taking center stage as you’re applying for that well-paying job at the law firm.


    Have Some Confidence

    When it comes to bragging about ourselves, most of us are really ill-prepared. Part of this has to do with good manners – after all, didn’t our mothers teach us not to be braggarts?

    However, when it comes to the job search, it’s important that you really take the time to sell yourself. You shouldn’t inflate your abilities or experiences, of course, but you definitely need to play up your strengths and background. There’s no better time to allow yourself to shine than when you’re applying for a job!


    Avoid Common Job Search Faux Pas

    One of the most important tips when it comes to a career search has nothing to do with what you should do, and instead with what you should not.

    For example, you should avoid mailing your resume to employers. While this used to be a somewhat effective method of finding a job, today, it works less than ten percent of the time.

    Job searches move quickly now, with some positions filled in a matter of mere days. There’s simply not enough time for you to monkey around with the US postal service.

    If you really don’t want to do things the modern way, feel free to drop off an application or your resume at the company’s physical location. This is an effective way to get yourself noticed, and it’s a million times more effective than sending your materials along in the mail.

    Another mistake that people make when looking for a job? Doing so while they’re already working. Of course, it’s totally fine to look for another job while you’re still employed – and many professionals would strongly advise you not to even quit your current job until you have another lined up.

    But what you should avoid doing is scheduling interviews, working on your resume, or using company resources to network or connect with potential employers while you are on the clock with your current employer.

    Not only is it incredibly unprofessional, but it’s not going to look good when you get caught – it could very well lose you the job you already have.

    Instead, save the job hunting for after hours. You’ll be more focused on your job application, anyway, meaning you’ll likely have far better results.


    When All Else Fails…Mark the Calendar

    Believe it or not, not all days are equal when it comes to looking for a job. Some days of the week (or even months of the year) are better than others. For whatever reason, Tuesday tends to be the best day of the week to send in a job application. Why? It could be because Tuesday, right in the middle of the week, is late enough for your resume to not be ignored on a hectic Monday morning but not so late in the week for it to be forgotten altogether.

    Additionally, there’s some research indicating that you might be more successful in your job search in the months of June, May, March, and February (likely for reasons similar to the one listed above).

    This can vary depending on what industry you are applying to, though – for example, applying to a job as an accountant might not be the best idea if you send in your resume in April. Wait until the rush dies down first!

    Consider marking the calendar to optimize the times at which you work on your job applications. However, don’t be so obsessed with your job search that it consumes all of your time. We get it – finding a job is likely the first thing on your mind, particularly if you aren’t currently working or are feeling some financial pressure.

    But it’s important that you give yourself a break every now and then to avoid getting burned out. When you spend your every waking moment thinking about your job search, you’re sure to start making mistakes on your applications or to start cutting corners where really, you should be taking a more polished approach.


    Always Express Gratitude

    Even though many common courtesies in today’s world seem to have gone by the wayside, that doesn’t mean that should carry through to your job search. Instead, be sure to express gratitude to anybody you come into contact with at a company.

    Even if you’re rejected, a thoughtful thank-you can really go a long way. While there’s nothing quite like a handwritten thank-you note to show you appreciated the time given to you in the interview, even a simple email is enough to set you apart.

    If you can, try to send a thank you message within a couple of hours (or at least the same day or early the next) of meeting with a company, recruiter, or individual.

    Make sure these messages are personalized and non-robotic – if you can, reference something specific from the encounter to help you stand apart from the competition. The speed, quality, and integrity of these thank yous really go a long way!


    Get Ready to Accept That Job Offer

    If you’ve followed all the tips listed in this article, chances are, the job offers are rolling in (at least, one can only hope!).

    So now what?

    Now it’s time to either accept or decline that offer. Once you receive an offer, it might be tempting to accept it immediately. However, you should always take the time to carefully evaluate the offer to make sure you are accepting a job that is a good fit for your wants and needs.

    You aren’t obligated to accept a job just because it was offered to you. In most cases, it makes the most sense to take at least 24 hours to evaluate the offer, compare it with other offers you may have received, and to talk it over with your family or partner (if you have one).

    Don’t dilly dally too long, though. Not only will the offer likely not be around forever, but being seriously delayed in responding to an offer might irk an employer enough to withdraw the offer – and not offer you any other kind of position in the future.

    That’s why it’s important to respond to an offer promptly, even if you aren’t planning on accepting it. Don’t leave anybody hanging as you don’t want to burn any bridges that you might desperately need in the future.

    And remember, your response to a job offer doesn’t necessarily have to be a clearcut “yes” or “no” answer, either. You’re absolutely entitled to negotiate terms by making a counteroffer or by negotiating for additional perks or benefits – just don’t get too carried away!

    Ultimately, finding a job is a simple process that’s made easier with a bit of planning, organization, and good old-fashioned people skills. Consider these tips on how to search for a job, and you’ll be living it up at your brand new office space in no time!