Saturday, 2 June 2012

Skype Interviewing - Like a Boss


How has everyone's week been? Lots of study? Lots of down? Lots of up? Bit of this, bit of that? If you're looking for a good read over the weekend check out my post (it appears one-off) Impact Brands Friday. It might stay one-off for a while (hehe). Anyways time to jump straight into it! 

This week a few friends undertook Skype interviews. These days it is common practice for companies to afford these to interstate applicants. Though not as personable as a face to face interview, there are instances where they are undertaken if the company does not want to fly you down or you do not want to fly down at your own expense.

Either all its a good experience to have under your belt! I was fortunate enough to help out my mates set the whole thing up and am happy to pass on some advice as to how to optimise your experience in a Skype/Videocall interview. It will be just like you're in the same room as your interviewer! I have split it up into two parts, 'pre-interview' and 'during interview'.


This is all the prep work before your scheduled time. This is a MUST. 

1. Internet connection 
Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. If you are using a laptop connect your cable instead of going the wireless. Wireless is not as stable as your direct port cable and you don't want to have any drop outs which will wreck the flow of your interview! 

2. Hardware check
Make sure your webcam is working and in the event of, have a secondary source ready such as a laptop. Use the Skype test function which engages your working mic and camera. 

3. Environment
Generally you want to conduct your Skype interview on private premises. At home. No distractions, no noise. Just like an interview room.

4. Camera Angle
Now my friends and I did a lot of testing on our laptops and desktops to find the optimal angle. We were using the laptop webcam as well as the classic Logitech (clip on the top of your screen) webcam. No matter how you position that clippy webcam you can never look at the screen and look at the camera directly (more on this later). You want the camera to face a neutral background, so if you can, move your monitor into position. We found the laptop worked best for mobility issues. 

Whether you go for more face or more body, we decided to go for 1/2 - 3/4s down the tie. It's a great ratio as interviewers can see your hand movements when you are emphasising your point.   

5. Skype Profile
My friends added the company's recruitment profile as a friend. MAKE SURE YOUR PROFILE IS CLEAN. What I mean by that is that you have no tacky picture and that you have removed any 'joke' profile details (You don't want your gender to be Female when you are most certainly a Male - or maybe you do? Shows creativity).  

Also ensure your Skype profile name has some resemblance to yours. This makes it easier for your interviewers to identify you when your time comes. If it's one you made when you thought DragonBall Z was the bees knees then its time to make a new account. 

6. Attire
Business attire. Dress like you would any face to face interview. Wear that suit around your home like a boss. Use the situation as an icebreaker (lol). 

During Interview

You just never know. Seriously. I know its tempting. You may never know when you need to get up for an emergency and you show off too much of your 'personal assets'. That's not the behaviours your interviewers have questions for (what behaviour is that?). And it gets cold. Really not all its hyped up to be. If you must go for the novelty of it, wear trackies. 

2. Eye Contact!
This is the important factor. Now what separates Skype interviews is that there is a constant trade off. Firstly you can look at your interviewers and see how they are responding to your answers so you know you are on the right track. Or you stare down the lens of your webcam as you respond (this is just like making eye contact). What you need to do is go for the direct eye contact and in between S. T. A. R stages of your answer (you know what I mean) keep on referring to see how your interviewers are reacting. But staring at that camera is paramount. That camera is a person. So treat it like one. 

In many instances when you do look down at your interviewers you lose that connection and your eyes do move away from the camera (it is actually by quite a bit, do it yourself sometime).

I recommend 80% (camera eye contact), 20% (interviewer on screen contact) but definitely tailor it to your individual situation!

3. Speak Clearly 
Usually mics have great pick up but make sure you measure your speech so you aren't mumbling but clearly ARTICULATING. Also don't be afraid to ask your interviewers to repeat the question if you aren't picking them up that well (they will totally understand!) 


All I can say guys is, enjoy the experience! It's a great thing to have done and if you encounter any technical issues, simply re-initiate the call.

If there are constant technical issues the interviewers usually offer to conduct the rest of the interview over telephone. However, if you can, stick with the video aspect. It really aids in making the experience as close to a face to face as possible. 

With that said, good luck in your future endeavours and chat soon. Also don't to forget SHARE THE LOVE if this could help someone!

Always Remember,

Friday, 1 June 2012

Let's Reject Rejection - Like a Boss: Pt. 2

Hello everyone,

One word as to my disappearance. Assignments. Don't worry, this post is a treat!

With the graduate recruitment season slowing down and APS jobs being the final recourse for many 2013 graduate applicants it definitely can be disheartening. Continuous rejection can really get you down. If you haven't read my first (super popular) post about initially dealing with rejection give it a view here. Hopefully it provides a helpful start and I really do hope it has helped those who have already viewed it.

I have been fortunate to receive two offers over the last few weeks which was largely unexpected so do not give up hope! (I admit I had) I hope many of you find your place, it does take time but your time will come. I know it.  

I want this blog project to enlighten, inspire and assist you. I am happy to provide further gems from 'The Happiness Trap' by Russ Harris. This book has truly aided me during this time and I hope this installment (plus my annotations) does the same for you. Like the disclaimer in the first part, if you don't believe in this 'self help nonsense' feel free to vacate the InnovCloud for now! If you do have an open mind, read on!

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

This week I present a question based exercise from the book which I used to great effect (and still do!).


Ask yourself: 

1. How would I act differently if painful thoughts and feelings were no longer an obstacle?

2. What projects or activities would I start (or continue) if my time and energy weren't consumed by troublesome emotions?

3. What would I do if fear were no longer an issue?

4. What would I attempt if thoughts of failure didn't deter me?

When you think about these questions, what troublesome thoughts and images appear? Do you visualise yourself getting hurt in some way? Does your mind tell you, "It's hopeless" or "It's too hard" or that you can't make these changes because you are too weak/inadequate/depressed/unlovable?

Write a list of these thoughts and once you've done it, set aside five minutes a day to practice defusing them. Practicing defusion is the key to success. Defusion is simply seeing thoughts for what they are - nothing more than words and pictures and by doing this they will have less influence over your life. 

In my next post about Rejecting Rejection Like a Boss I will go into defusion! But for now, engage with those questions and make your list. Look at your list and think how super silly you are letting meaningless text control your attitude, your emotions, your life. Take that list scrunch it up and BIN IT. When you feel those thoughts coming on again, rinse and repeat, LIST IT and BIN IT.


Hopefully that helps you in some way because it definitely helped relieve me of negative thoughts (and sometimes I still do this, when those pesky assignments get me down!)

I hope everything works out for you. I may not know you, I may not ever see you but know that your perserverance and persistence is an inspiration to me. 

With that said, don't forget to bookmark, subscribe to the feed or tell a mate about my blog if you feel my experiences and thoughts can help you or them further.

Always Remember,

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Choice is the Enemy

Hi peeps,

I know I know, its been too long. Don't worry I'll make it up to you. I will have more from 'The Happiness Trap' by Russ Harris coming your way soon. It should be a good read!

However I have a pressing issue. I got another offer. I'm not going to act like a big shot or anything but it is really hard to weight the pros and cons. I understand I am now in a very enviable position for a marketing graduate with less than or near 1% of the total applicant cohort given a role. For example an approximate ratio is 1500-2000 applications for 1 or 2 roles. And I've got 2 of them (in very large global companies). Choice is now the enemy. But enough stat crunching and chest puffing (I am not up myself, believe me!), what do you look for in a potential employer? Let me give you my list (in no particular order):

Base Salary
The main moola cake maker. Also what needs to be scrutinised is the ability to have your salary reviewed whether bi-annually or annually during the grad program. Average graduate salaries for commerical roles range from ~$50 000 to ~$60 000. (not necessarily gospel!)

Bonus Scheme
This adds the sprinkle to the desert. Helps you aim for higher performance. That your initiative drive and determination are rewarded. Make sure whether you are eligible for the bonus scheme in your first year, or whether it kicks in later. Usually a % of your base salary with potential multipliers.

Superannuation is awesome. Anyone who says otherwise is a loser. 12% should be new legislative rate for next year (I believe). APS gets 15% like a boss (but thats all they get, JOKING!)

Corporate box access, health club, discounts on products, product allowance etc. The list goes on! Whatever bakes your cake guys!

Work Culture
One of the biggies. You need to ensure the people around you have the same personality, attitude and professional mindset. This factor pretty much motivates you to go to work 9-5 everyday, your ability to socialise with your new team.

Work Environment
This goes hand in hand with the culture, where are you sharing after work drinks? What is the buzz like in and around your workplace? May not be a high priority for a few people but the lifestyle of the area can assist in making work that little bit more enjoyable.  

Career Progression
Another vital factor. You need to see what the pot at the end of the rainbow (program) is. You need to ensure after the program you have a key role or even a management role if you are a high flying performer. Ensure your program gives you that stepping stone.

International Mobility
It may or may not be high on your priority list but a company which encourages you to undertake overseas travel to engage with foreign markets is definitely an exciting prospect. Especially when they pay for your relocation costs. Booyah!

Have I missed anything on my list? Let me know how you rank my list! And as usual share the love people. Will chat soon guys. Thank you!

Always Remember,

Sunday, 20 May 2012

I'm Still Here!

Hi y'all,

It has been a while! I have been a very busy studying bee. To everyone who has received offers already, congratulations! The graduate season is winding down. For those who need a pick me up, check out this post. I really hope it helps you out, keep on moving forward and never look back. Though you are the master of your own destiny, fate guides the impact of your actions. If it was meant to be, it will be! 

That said, I am happy to say I have secured a graduate position for next year! Through endless rejection, my personal brand has aligned with a company. And it was a company with whom I thought I was out of the running. A very pleasant surprise.

Want to know the company? It's a pretty impressive global marketing powerhouse with many brands. I am very excited of the prospect of proving my worth in the company and showcasing my 'career zoomer' attributes.

Due to the fact that I have a less than impressive readership of my blog (sob), I will not disclose the company (hahaha).

So help a homie out and share my blog around, I promise I will keep the post count ticking! I have a few other processes still happening so it won't be the last you hear of me.

And I don't want it to be the last I hear of you. So stick around and let's find our Mecca together. My crazy thoughts will always be here for you.

Always Remember,

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Hi y'all,

For anyone with an android phone (but I know there is an iPod version) LogoQuiz is a great way to kill time and see what brands have been retained in your conscious and subconscious!

Sometimes you will recognise the logo but you simply can't find the name! That brand hasn't connected with you, you haven't engaged with it on a practical or emotional sense. You may have seen it fleetingly on print, billboard, online or TV advertising where you have simply retained it's image but not its meaning. 

Give it a run, see how you go. Really great way to score a few logo's between classes or on the train or bus!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Key.

Hi people!

Yes I am still alive (nothing unfortunate has happened to me...yet). It's a big week for the 2013 graduate cohort. I have had to put my head down and cover my uni studies because 3 out of 5 working days this week I will be a busy bee. Yes I am being cryptic but I will definitely keep you guys in the know (later).

Don't let your studies slide. This is what keeps me focused during study time, hope it does the same for you.

"Getting that graduate job offer is simply your opportunity to opening a door. Your degree is the key. You definitely want to be in possession of that key when the time comes."   


Now you are probably thinking, he didn't just quote himself? Yes I did. It just happened.

What you going to do about it?

Let's fight. (haha)

Seriously take that onboard when you approach this week. And as usual make sure to share it around, bookmark, subscribe to the feed if y'all feelin' it.

Always Remember,

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hit the Refresh Button!

Hi homies!

Today I reconnected with some old friends. And it wasn't hard. You may have reviewed my post here about fading relationships. I took my own advice and got out of my bell tower. Unfortunately, the outside world still does not accept my grotesque appearance *forever alone*. Yes meme time, sorry.

Though I simply had a coffee (whilst I watched them eat) it was a start. Make your own starts guys. Try to find that time. I know it's hard but reconnecting with friends enables you to hit that refresh button and realise what you are studying for, what you want to aim for. Make them proud. Put your head down and drive home your own personal brand in your studies and career.  

Also, a kind individual gave me the contents of their RB goody bag from their Final Stage day, take a look. I am sure you guys would recognise these brands! (Also spot the "Not Happy, John" sticker, blast from the past? Just stuck it on my desk to be cool and rebellious.) 

Another week almost over, it went real fast! Next week is a big one for me, I will keep you posted!

Always Remember,