Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Five Advanced Tips You Need to Know to Get Hired

Now that you have read about the first five basic rules to start any interview off right, it is time to examine the advanced tips that will set you a part from the crowd. In today's market, the most desirable jobs are almost as competitive as a pro football game. You need to bring your best defense and offence on the field if you hope to have a sporting chance. 

The Five Advanced Tips You Need to Know to Get Hired:

1. Know your weaknesses. 
One of the most popular questions a hiring manager will ask is, "What is your biggest weakness?" Don't let this question be your Achilles heel that sends your interview on a downward spiral. Everyone has blind spots as well as strengths, just like in sports, but the important thing is how you will interact in the team. The key is to sell your strengths and present your weaknesses strategically. Acknowledge your weaknesses, but provide a solution or a game plan on how to improve. This will show you in a much better light than if you try to justify it, sugarcoat it, or just brush it off. An example of this would be, "I'm a bit of a workaholic. But, I find that if I plan vacations or small breaks, I can balance this aspect of my personality." An alternative is to turn your weakness into a strength, which can be tricky to do and works in only some situations. An example of this would be, "My weakness is that I work too much, but that's because I'm dedicated worker and I love what I do." 

Watch what happens to habitual liar Jen from The IT Crowd, one of my favorite British Comedies, tries to get away with not knowing something vital for her job. Somehow she manages to turn her weakness into a strength, and therefore shows that she is indispensable. But be warned: she is a professional actress, do not try this at home.

P.S. IT stands for Information Technology, but Jen's explanation is much more humorous. Click here for The IT Crowd: Complete Collection of 4 Seasons.

2. Sell your strengths.

[Via Pixabay]

Another popular question interviewers ask is, "what is your biggest strength?" This is your opportunity to toot your own horn and show the hiring manager what you bring to the table. Show them how you will fit in their team and company, and how you will become irreplaceable. But be careful. You want to highlight your most marketable skills, but not sound like you are bragging or condescending. Strengths should also be carefully worded and relevant to the job at hand. A word of caution. Do not lie. I repeat, do not lie. You may be able to fool someone for a few minutes in one interview, but the truth will eventually come out. If you actually get the job and they find out that you lied, they have grounds for dismissal.

3. Get to know your interviewer and prospective employer. There are a few reasons why it is so advantageous to get to know someone before you come in to the interview. First of all people are naturally drawn to people who are similar or interested in them. Secondly, and more importantly, the more you know about something the more informed of a decision you can make.  This makes for a better match on both sides of the equation which will equal out to job satisfaction and employee productivity. Thirdly, the more you know about someone and their needs, the easier it is to market yourself to them. 
[Via Pixabay]

4. Know what behavioral questions are and how to answer them. Behavioral questions are just that, questions based on your behavior. But the key behind them is typically to see what kind of behavior you have exhibited in the past, and what you are likely to do in the future. Check out this great article to find out more about behavioral questions and how to answer them to your advantage: http://biginterview.com/blog/behavioral-interview-questions.
[Via Pixabay]

5. Leave a good impression. Last but not least, be sure to leave a good impression with your interviewer. Let them know you are the professional they have been looking for. Ask them when they can follow up with you and get a commitment on time. If a recruiter or hiring manager asks when you are available for another interview or when to start, then you know you are on the right track.

[Via Pixabay]

Did you like this article and my writing style? Vote for me for 'Awesome Writer of the Year'. Okay, there is no such thing, but the next best thing you can do is subscribe to my blog or like me on facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyfelstedmitchell. You can also follow me on twitter: @KJFMitchellQA for career tips or @KellyJFMitchell for writing thoughts and humorous tweets. See my LinkedIn Profile here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Top Ten Ways to Ace Your Next Interview

With the post-bubble economy still being in its tepid state, it isn’t enough to have the required experience and education to land your dream job. Nowadays you need to step up your game to stand a chance among a sea of hopeful applicants. As a seasoned professional recruiter who has placed hundreds of candidates, I know the industry secrets for successful interviews. Here are the top ten ways to ace your next interview, and insure that you get placed at the top of the pile of potential hires. For organizational purposes, I have divided the tips into a list of five basic musts and five advanced tips.

The Five Basic Rules to Start Your Interview Off Right:

1. Dress to impress. The best rule of thumb is to dress one level up from the standard dress code of the company you are interviewing with. Don’t know the dress code? Call ahead and ask the receptionist or the person who recruited you. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. It would be more embarrassing to show up underdressedthough if you have the personality of Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness [sic], you still stand a chance.

2. Show up on time. This seems simple, but as a recruiter I can’t tell you how many times that my whole schedule has been derailed because someone didn’t show up at the expected time. No matter what role you are interviewing for, time is of the essence. It is common courtesy to show up early or on time, and punctuality always leaves an impression of professionalism. If you can, try to show up fifteen minutes early. But if a delay is inevitable, let the recruiter or hiring manager know as soon as possible. 

[Via Pixabay]

3. Know the ins and outs of the job that you are interviewing for. Make sure you know about the job description before you arrive. Try to find out the scope of the project, skills required, and even goalsbut don’t go overboard and try to memorize the job description. Some recruiters and hiring managers resort to using stock job descriptions, which may contain extraneous details that are not even relevant to the job. I’ve also even seen hiring managers ask for the impossible (i.e. Five years of a technology that has been out for one year). What does that mean for you, the interviewee? Be aware that the job description is generally a ‘big picture’ wish list. Be ready to help the interviewer see that you fit the general requirements of the job. Showing that you know what they want and what they need will get you one step closer to getting the job.
[Via Pixabay]

4. Bring a copy of your resume. Bringing something tangible to your interview is a great way to show initiative. Not only does it show the recruiter or hiring manager that you care, it also gives your interviewer something to refer to and focus on in your interview. Although a lot of hiring managers and recruiters will have a copy of your resume already printed, sometimes they don’t. There’s nothing more awkward than having to go over your work history without having your resume to back you up. Plus it gives them something else to look at, instead of staring you down.

[Via Pixabay]

5. Put your phone on silent. As more and more people become cyber-dependent on their smartphones, I find that it is more important than ever to stress the need to silence your phone when interviewing. While some people have legitimate excuses to answer calls during an interview (such as an on call doctor at a hospital), most calls can go to voicemail and be answered at a later time. If you don’t turn it on silent, you run the embarrassing risk of answering the phone during the interview. While it won’t kill your chances, it will most likely stall your engine at the start.

[Via Pixabay]

[Next, The Five Advanced Tips You Need to Know to Get Hired]

Did you like this article and my writing style? Vote for me for 'Awesome Writer of the Year'. Okay, there is no such thing, but the next best thing you can do is subscribe to my blog or like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyfelstedmitchell. You can also follow me on twitter: @KJFMitchellQA for career tips or @KellyJFMitchell for writing thoughts and humorous tweets.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Quick Note On My Travel Blog for France

I've been meaning to update my travel blog for quite some time, but now in the aftermath of what happened on Friday 13, 2015, I have decided to postpone any more blogs on Paris. Instead, I will post what is possibly the most touching video I've ever seen.

It saddens me that we need to explain such senseless acts of violence to children, but in this video a father did just that while also teaching his child to choose hope over fear. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

How to Change Your Name After Marriage

The (Not-So-Blushing) Bride's Guide to Changing Your Name After Marriage:
by Kelly Felsted (Soon to be Mitchell)

After all the flowers, favors, and food have been consumed or disposed of, the fast-paced tornado of chaos has calmed down and now I am left wondering what to do with my free time. Fortunately for me, as the new blushing bride, there is a long list of things for me to do. First things first: I've got to change my name. If course its easier said than done, and I'm living proof. It was four months until I managed to get around to it. I'm an avid believer in procrastination when it comes to stuff like thison the plus side I got to wear my future Mrs. Mitchell shirt for a few more months.

What's in a Name?

Even though Romeo thinks that a rose by any other name might smell just fine, your legal name is a large part of your identity. So it is only logical that a change to your marital status would require you to change the way you identify yourself on a piece of paper. Some people may decide not to change their nameshowever choosing not to change your name may hinder future generations in their family tree search.

1. Legally change your name:

The first step is obvious. If you got married and you are changing your name to take your husband's, you can change your name at the social administration office. If you are doing a variation or alteration you may have to pay extra and go through the courts. (See step #2) They changed my name at the social security administration office for free.

If for some reason you are changing your name to something other than your husband's, you must go down to your local courthouse and obtain a name change form. They require that you bring an official copy of your marriage certificatethat's the one with the raised seal. Why? Because they don't like people randomly changing their names to things like Princess Consuela Bananahammock. (This often costs beaucoup-bucks so make sure your new name is worth it).

Here is the link for the courts in Utah: Instructions: https://www.utcourts.gov/resources/forms/namechange/instruct.asp
Name Change Form:

2. Change your name on your Social Security Card:
Instructions: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/
Form: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf
Social Security Number

3. Change your Driver's License or ID at the DMV. Also, don't forget to change your Passport if you have one:
Here is the website for Utah. Click on the link for "Name Change" and it will help you set up an appointment at a location near you.

You can complete the form online and print it before going in to your Passport appointment. If you are traveling overseas, be sure to allow a few months for processing.
US Passport: https://pptform.state.gov/?Submit2=Complete+Online+%26+Print

4. Change your name for your bank accounts, loans, and retirement accounts:
This includes your savings and checking accounts, your stocks and bonds, your credit cards, your car loan, your student loans, your house loan, your loan-shark loan, your 401k, your IRA, your 403b, your kick-starter fund or whatever rainy-day fund you have lying around.

5. Change your name on your insurance:
Change your name on your car, home, mortgage, health, and life insurance. It may not seem like a big deal now, but when you need to make a claim it will save you one less frustrating step.

6. Change your name on your social media, email, and utility accounts

I know it seems kind of strange to put this at the very end of the list-- I updated my Facebook marital status before I was back from the honeymoon. But, honestly, in the grand scheme of things, this is the least important of all changes.

7. This step applies to anyone with a legal copyright, registration, trademark in their name. (Artists, writers, actors, etc.) If you have ever officially obtained a copyright in your maiden name, there are two things you can do: 
  • The first option involves filing a Form CA. This creates a supplemental registration on a single registered work. As of Dec 2015, that costs $130 and covers only one registration.
  • The second option is to record, or file, a document that can refer to a number of registrations. You will need to refer to Circular 12 for information on how to do this. This option sounds complicated, but it will make your life a lot simpler if you have more than one work registered. As of Dec 2015, it costs $105 to cover one transaction that refers to one title, and another $35 for two-eleven works. You can calculate the fees by viewing this pdf file: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/sl04d.pdf.
Contact copyright.gov/help/index.html if you need help finding out which option is best for you.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flower Girl Baskets

How to Make Unique Flower Girl Baskets:

Are you looking for a way to make your wedding something unique while staying on a budget? Try this quick project for adorable baskets that your flower girls will love.

Here are two unique Flower Girl baskets that I have created. My wedding colors are gold and blue, so I chose to go with a neutral white and gold. I have both blue and white petals for my wedding, so they will contrast nicely with the baskets.

What you will need:

  • Wicker basket(s), spray paint if you want to change the color of your basket(s)
  • Cloth ribbon, white or your base color
  • Sheer wire ribbon, gold or your accent color
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Silk Flowers
  • Pearl or bead accents
  • Metal charm to match your theme, if desired
  • Solid and sheer cloth material, white or your base color
  • (Optional) Glitter Glue, gold or your accent color

How to make your basket:
  1. If you haven’t done so already, pick your base and accent colors. White or Ivory is traditional, but I have seen some baskets with unique colors like teal and purple. Make sure they go with the flower petals you are going to pick for your wedding. Get your wicker basket and spray paint if needed. I started with a wicker basket. I was lucky to find three matching wicker baskets at a secondhand store. I then spray painted them white.
  2. Once you have picked your colors, trim your wicker basket with cloth ribbon of your base color. Wrap the ribbon around the handle to make a seamless handle sheath. Wrap your wire accent ribbon around the middle of your basket. Glue to the body if you can not wind it through the wicker.

  1. Create your basket liner with the solid and sheer cloth material. I will try to include a variety of liner designs for different size baskets, but since your baskets will vary I can’t include all shapes or sizes here. Once you have created your liner trim it with your cloth ribbon. Cut a hole for each handle, and use the ribbon to tie a bow on each side.
  2. If you have a metal charm for your theme, tie the ribbon around the charm on one side.

  1. On the other side take the silk flower and wrap around the bottom of the basket handle.
  2. Wrap the pearl or beads around the flower.
  3. Take another portion of the sheer wire ribbon and wrap around the flower. Take the ends and
create a bow.

Voila! You have your one-of-a-kind Flower Girl Baskets.

Next Week:
Nothing scheduled. I'll try to get something up soon.

How to make Butterfly Streamers

Monday, May 11, 2015

Eiffel Tower

Virtual Tour using Google Maps

Thanks to Google Maps, you can see the view from the top of the Eiffel tower from the comfort of your own computer. But for those who can make the trip to France, there is no substitute for seeing it in person. There's nothing quite like looking out to the west, towards the United States, and seeing the world from another perspective.

The view from the top:

Be sure to check out each floor (3.5, 3, 2) and to click arrows to "move" around the tower. Top Floor:

Check out these Virtual Tours:
The Louvre


Virtual Reality Tour of the outside of the Louvre 

Check out these Virtual Tours:
The Louvre

Pompidou Centre

Pompidou Centre (The National Museam of Modern Art of the Georges Pompidou Centre)

Virtual Tour with Google Maps

Be sure to use the arrows to move around and +/- to zoom in and out.'

Here is a street view of the Pompidou Centre. 

Here is another view of the Pompidou Centre. 

Check out these Virtual Tours:
The Louvre

Friday, May 8, 2015

Butterfly streamers

How to Make Beautiful Butterfly Streamers:

I created these streamers when I was inspired by the Japanese wedding tradition of creating one thousand cranes to wish a couple happiness and prosperity. As the legend goes, when someone folds one thousand cranes they are granted a wish or prosperity. To create my own twist on a tradition for my wedding, I chose to substitute cranes with butterflies. Butterflies represent transition, growth, rebirth, and eternal love-- so it was a natural choice for me. If you want to choose a different animal or shape to create something unique for yourself, here is a link to a website with many different origami shapes.

Getting Started:

Items you will need:

  • Ribbon-- I used plastic ribbon but this can be substituted with cloth ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • One or two colors of glitter glue
  • One or two colors of paper

Now start folding your butterflies:

For variety I created three different sizes. This is optional. The small butterflies were very hard to fold, but they look adorable and are worth it.

I have included some vague instructions on how I folded these butterflies, but you can find more detailed steps on this website for origami.

  1. Cut into a square
  2. Fold in half horizontally
  3. Fold top part in half again horizontally
  4. Fold in half vertically
  5. Fold each half diagonally
  6. Fold inside out half way horizontally, pinch both horizontals inside the center
  7. On one side fold down, these are the wings on the back
  8. On the other side fold tips of the butterfly flaps inside

Step 6
Step 4 
Step 5

Step 7
Finished Butterfly

Now just repeat one thousand times-- or maybe just twenty times or so. It really depends on your patience level and how much time you have. It is something you can do while watching TV. I watched a Netflix marathon of my favorite sci-fi series, and at the end of each episode I had over twenty butterflies completed. 

Next, "glitterfy" your butterflies:

  1. First I started by arranging the two colors and different shapes into piles.
  2. Then I started coloring the white paper with gold glitter, and the blue paper with blue glitter.
  3. Feel free to mix it up. I added a few dots of opposite colors to get a wide variety of butterflies. I even added some sequins to a few of them.
  4. Put them aside and let them dry.
Experiment and try adding both colors.

Now make your streamer:

  1. Cut your ribbon to your desired length. I made mine a little less than twenty feet because I want them to stream down the balcony at my wedding reception. You don't have to be as ambitious. Six to ten feet will work just fine.
  2. Heat up your glue gun.
  3. Pick the spot you are going to hang your butterfly. You want to start about one to two feet up the streamer so that you can use the ends to hang it up. Place a dot of glue onto the ribbon.
  4. Put the butterfly on the ribbon with its back touching the glue. Be careful not to touch the glue, or to wait too long to apply the butterfly. This glue dries fast and is very hot.
  5. Once the glue has dried repeat steps three through five. You can vary the direction, side of the ribbon, and spacing between butterflies. 


Add glue to ribbon. Place butterfly on glue. Wait for it to dry. Repeat.