Why An Interview Is Always A Positive Experience Regardless Of The Outcome

Why An Interview Is Always A Positive Experience Regardless Of The Outcome

And 4 reasons why you should enjoy the process.
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We’ve all been involved in interviews that didn’t result in getting the job. It’s easy to look at the interview as a loss. It’s understandable that the time spent preparing for it can seem like a waste, but think about it – now you’re even more prepared for the next one. Here’s why:

  1. You know what kind of questions to expect. After having a few interviews, it becomes clear that there is a pattern to the questions that are asked. Of course it will vary by employer, but it helps to know potential interview questions ahead of time. Write questions and answers down from previous interviews in order to improve or extend on your answers in the future.
  2. You may be less nervous going into interviews. Whether it’s answering the phone or shaking a hand, these things only get easier with practice. Although it may be impossible to completely ease the nerves that come with the initial greeting of an interview, you may find that over time you feel more comfortable introducing yourself. Use each interview as a chance to work on your interpersonal skills and take notes after to review for the next time.
  3. You can start to recognize how you feel after each interview. I’ve heard it said many times that an interview is not just a company seeing if you’re a good fit. You have to see if the company is right for you as well. Notice how you’re feeling before, during, and after every interview. You’ll begin to notice the jobs you’re passionate about and ones you’re not necessarily excited about by comparing how you feel after the interviews. Did you hang up the phone and feel even more attached to the company? Or did you leave the office feeling confused? Don’t be afraid to address these feelings and compare them. Remember you are interviewing the company too.
  4. You’ll know what questions to ask. In every interview there is always a chance for you to ask questions. If at the first interview you didn’t have any questions, try to think of some for the next time. I like to ask the interviewer how they got started at the company. What position did they start in and why are they passionate about working there? This gives me some insight to the company culture and shows if there is room for growth. Come up with questions before each interview and be open to adding to them depending on where the conversation goes.

We all hope the end result of an interview is getting a job, but try to remember that every interview can be a positive learning experience, regardless of the outcome. Take notes after interviews and continue to go into every one with confidence and a positive attitude. The right company will come along eventually. Try to enjoy the process in the meantime!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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6 Tips On How To Be A Successful Restaurant Hostess

Don't let your fears get the best of you!
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Congratulations! You've just been offered your very first job as a restaurant hostess! Now what? I'll admit, I went home crying after my first day of training due to feeling very overwhelmed with a bunch of new information that I was expected to know immediately. However, while there IS a lot you'll have to learn in order to be a successful restaurant hostess, that doesn't mean you don't have what it takes to master the role.

To make you even more confident in your ability to succeed, check out the following list of 6 tips on how to be a successful restaurant hostess!

1. Know your table numbers!

As a hostess, you'll need to know the order of the tables in your restaurant so that you can seat your guests as quickly as possible. Note that the specific order of the tables may vary depending on how many people are in your restaurant.

Tips for success:

Remember, learning your table numbers takes practice, and you won't be expected to know all of them the first few times around. To help with the memorization process, make friends with as many of the other hosts/hostesses as you can. After you feel like you've gotten to know them a bit more, ask one of them to walk you around the restaurant to help you learn your table numbers. Finally, familiarize yourself with the order of the tables (i.e. ascending or descending), and you'll be all set!

2. Master the art of rotation.

While knowing your table numbers is one skill you'll need to have mastered, the art of rotation is another. This can be a tricky process only if you aren't given enough opportunities to practice it. Basically, when you're in charge of rotation, you're in charge of making sure that every server gets an equal number of tables assigned to them.

Tips for success:

If it's extremely busy, you'll have no choice but to seat whatever tables are currently open. On a more steady day, however, you'll need to base your decision on which servers to seat depending on what time those servers came in and how many tables they currently have open. To master the art of rotation, simply ask one of the other hosts/hostesses to walk you through their process of doing it, and then try practicing the same process on your own. You can even ask them to review your rotation and inform you of any mistakes you made.

Mastering the art of rotation will likely be the most difficult out of all of the tasks on this list, but it will become easier the more you practice it. Trust me.

3. Answer the phone like it's the best job in the world!

One of my favorite responsibilities as a restaurant hostess is getting to interact with people (which includes answering the phone.) No matter how you're feeling, you need to answer that phone like it's the best job in the world. Why? Because passion brings in business and brightens everyone's day. Not many people can pull it off, but if you love what you do, it will just come naturally.

Tips for success:

Take the initiative to answer the phone as many times as you can for practice. Don't feel bad if you have to ask the caller to repeat what they said if you didn't hear them clearly the first time. Sometimes you may even have to put them on hold to obtain answers to questions that you aren't entirely sure of – and that's fine too! Just make sure to let the caller know that you'll be right back with them and then follow through with your promise.

4. Become a "people person."

One of the most life-changing experiences you'll have as a hostess is learning how to interact with people from a variety of different backgrounds.

Tips for success:

Unfortunately, people can be quite vicious when it comes to food. Some of them will likely even try to make you feel or look bad if they don't get what they want. Don't give into that. Instead, stand your ground and respond diplomatically, or get a manager if you have to. Overall, be positive and try not to let your negative experiences affect the outcomes of your efforts in the future.

Remember, all it takes is listening, observing, and being considerate of how others around you are feeling. You'll get the hang of it!

5. Be dependable.

In other words, don't get comfortable with being responsible for only one or two tasks as a hostess. There will likely be a system that you and the other hosts/hostesses will follow. For instance, one of you might be responsible for greeting the guests, and one of you might be responsible for seating them.

Tips for success:

It's okay to have a system, but you'll eventually need to become as skilled with as many hosting tasks as possible. Both your managers and co-workers will need to know that they can depend on you to accomplish a variety of tasks without their help, and that means you'll need to do whatever it takes to get comfortable with doing those tasks on your own. Ask questions when you need clarification on how to do something. Watch and learn from the other hosts/hostesses around you. Learn to be dependable.

6. Believe in yourself.

Even if you're still not entirely confident in your ability to succeed as a hostess, remember this:

Your manager saw potential in you the moment the hired you, and you were meant to have this job. Otherwise, you wouldn't have gotten it.

Now, all you have to do is believe that you have what it takes to be successful with it. You're going to make mistakes here and there for sure. Fortunately, those same mistakes are what will make you even more confident in your potential to be an outstanding hostess.

While being a hostess is something that will challenge you, it is also something that will help you to grow in many ways that you wouldn't have expected initially. Overall, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Learn from your mistakes and be confident in yourself with everything that you do. You've got this!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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11 Financial Tips For College Grads Who Don't Know Where To Start

Most people learn how to navigate their finances as they go, at the cost of making several mistakes and starting good habits later than they should've. Don't be like most people!

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Adulting is hard, especially when it comes to money. If you're like me and you took a personal finance class in high school or college, you probably don't remember much because the information wasn't relevant to you at the time. Well, now you're almost done with college and you're ready to be welcomed into the real world as a freshly-minted adult. Suddenly you realize that class was probably one of the most important classes you ever could've taken.

Here are 11 tips to start making money moves today.

1. Start building your credit

It may not seem important now, but it's a good idea to start building your credit early. In three to five years or so, when you're ready to apply for a car or home loan, you're going to want to be approved to get the best interest rates, and that means having a credit score of at least 760. See tips two and three for more on how to increase your credit score.

2. Open a credit card if you don't have one already

One huge factor in your credit score is how long your oldest credit card account has been open, so you want to make sure to start early. A first card many people get is called a "secured" credit card, which basically acts like a debit card so the bank knows you won't go all "Shopaholic" and max it out. Make sure to pay every single one of your monthly payments on time and in full. No excuses, no exceptions.

3. Make all of your student loan payments on time and in full

JUST DO IT.

4. Embrace the concept of paying yourself first

Paying yourself first is a concept that many millionaires, even billionaires, swear by. Decide how much of your income you want to save. Then set up a portion of your paycheck to deposit directly into your savings before you can even think about it. The rest can go to your checking account for spending on bills, food, rent, and other expenses.

5. Build a three- to six-month emergency fund

Did you know that 33% of Americans would struggle to pay $1,000 in an emergency? This is a serious issue. You don't want to ever experience living "paycheck to paycheck," let alone have a minor crisis throw your life upside down. That's why you're going to build this emergency fund before you do anything else with your money. Think of this fund as something that you can't touch until you absolutely need it. If and when that time comes, you'll know, and you'll be so grateful that you were smart and were prepared.

6. Open a Roth IRA

There are so many things to be said about Roth IRAs and why you should get one as a new college graduate. In short, IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account. A Roth IRA is unique because any money you put into it is taxed now, so you won't have to pay taxes on it when you're retired and ready to use it. The main benefit: you also won't have to pay any taxes on the money you earn in the account. In addition, because you're young, you get to take advantage of the power of compound interest for a long time before you retire. This could potentially earn you hundreds of thousands of dollars. The best time to open a Roth IRA was yesterday. So go do it now!

7. Contribute as much as possible to your 401k

A 401k is basically an investment bank account that you can't use until you retire, and it will be taxed once you start using it (so it is not taxed now). Many employers offer 401k matching, and they open one up for you when you start your first job. If your employer offers 100% matching up to 6% of your salary, that means that if you can afford to put 6% of your income into your 401k, your employer will also contribute the exact same amount. Listen to me: this is free money. I like free money. You like free money. Take it.

8. Open a high-yield savings account

This is 2019. Don't keep your money in cash or in a regular savings account, where it'll depreciate 2-3% in value every single year it sits there. Get yourself a high-yield savings account, in which interest rates are anywhere between 2.0 and 2.25%, and watch your money make money while you sleep.

9. Start tracking your spending

Since it has become much easier to make quick and painless purchases these days, you should definitely be aware of your spending. I personally like to use a free app, like Mint, that does all the work for you because it puts all of your financial accounts (ie. savings and checking accounts, investments, loans, assets, etc.) into one place.

10. Create a monthly budget for each of your spending categories

These include food, housing, transportation, entertainment, subscriptions, health and wellness, and maybe more. You should know the things you always buy on a monthly basis and how much they typically cost. Comparing your budget to what you really spent after a month will show you exactly where your weaknesses are. Try to stay at or under your budget for each category every month unless there's an unusual event, like a vacation or a car repair.

11. Learn the basics of investing

Compared to the other tips on this list, this is one you can put on the back-burner for a bit. However, that doesn't make it any less important. It's critical for everyone who is financially independent to understand the basics of stocks, bonds, Exchange-Traded Funds, Mutual Funds, REITs, and more that you can use to diversify your portfolio, including in your new Roth IRA and 401k!

What are you waiting for? Up your financial game!

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