Let Interviews Work For You

Interviews can seem intimidating, especially for high schoolers,
college applicants or young adults trying to land their first job. The
competitive landscape makes interviews look as if it is a zero-sum
game. It can, however, be a win-win even if you don’t get the job; the
interview experience is invaluable and prepares your next one. Let interviews for work you.

The main thing you need to remember for an interview is preparation.

The interview is an opportunity for the employer to see if you fit the
organization’s culture and it’s also your chance to see if the
organization aligns with your attitude. You should know your value
before you interview. And we all have value.

For this post I list the four essentials:

  1.  Preparation
  2.  Appearance/First Impression
  3.  Understand The Process
  4. Post-interview ‘Thank you Note’

1. Preparation

How can you seek a job or apply to a school if you know nothing about the organization?

With the Internet readily available, there is no excuse not to know
about your target. Also, understand the Job Description and how it
fits in with the rest of the organization. As you research them, think about how you can be an asset, how your skills and goals match the job or why you are the best person for it.

Of note: your supporting letter should be tailored to the Job
Description, pointing to where your resume matches it, plus using the keywords within their document. Do consider having specific resumes for different types of jobs, though keep all your job history intact. Any gaps in dates will make the evaluator suspicious.

It’s also a good idea to know who your interviewer will be and to do
due diligence.

Once you have done your research, you should then be familiar with the culture and maybe the jargon used. Prepare thoughtful questions for the interviewer and be ready to ask them and respond to the interviewer’s questions. Indeed, don’t shy away from taking notes, as it shows you are organized and serious about the job.

Tips – the following should be taken in context and some may not be applicable:

  • Do role play before the interview.
  • Practice a firm handshake.
  • Rehearse your introduction to the interview.
  • Take a notepad or a professional padfolio to look professional.
  • Have a confident but not obnoxious demeanor
  • If you are seated in the interview room, stand and firmly shake the interviewer’s hand when they enter.
  • Do have breath mints on hand.
  • Be well-rested and well-hydrated before the interview.

2. Appearance

First impressions do count! It’s a matter of seconds. It works both
ways, but for this post, we will focus on the job seeker. Make the
most of it and be well-groomed with a welcoming and friendly demeanor.

Dress code matters. Wear an appropriate outfit that compliments your figure. For women, avoid tight, flashy clothes, don’t display too much skin and that includes cleavage.

Some conservative jobs in the business sector have specific dress
codes while others in the technology sector may be less conservative. Err on the side of dressing conservatively.

Many poor people trying to find a job can’t afford to go out and buy a new suit or dress. The Salvation Army and some thrift shops offer a very cheap an alternative where you can borrow a suit or a dress.

A well-maintained dark-colored suit or a dress is perfect for most
interviews. I wore the same conservative dresses to all my interviews, and I got the jobs I wanted.

Make-up: Make it subtle. I never wore lipstick to interviews because of the glass stains it left.

Hair: This is tricky for Black women. If you usually wear your hair in
braids or dreadlocks, then don’t change for the interview, though make sure your hair is well-groomed. If the organization has a problem with your hair, then perhaps that is not a job culture that will accept you or a culture you want.

Shoes:  Wear clean and comfortable shoes.

First impressions count, so ensure your first impression is one of
confidence and competence.

3. Understand the Interview Process

Some are merely one interview. I am accustomed to those. However, some are an oral exam with multiple interviewers. Some also involve various tests. Know the type of interview to be prepared.

Make sure your posture is one of confidence without appearing
obnoxious. Be able to talk about yourself comfortably.

And come prepared with your notepad.

4. Thank you note

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it’s essential to write it promptly.

Preparation is paramount. However, despite the best preparation,
sometimes you don’t get the job. Don’t be discouraged, instead
remember the interview process itself is a worthy experience that gets better the more one does it.  Let the interview work for you.

Thank the organization even if you don’t get the job and ask them to keep your resume on file should another position become available.

My brother mentioned in his first job that three supervisory positions suddenly became available. The competition was stiff, and he didn’t get it. While others were upset and angry at not being one of the three, he went to his boss who did the interview and thanked him for the opportunity. A month later, when three more positions become available, he got it.

Naturally, the goal is to get the job, but getting an opportunity can be an opportunity that leads to more…

RIP Aretha Franklin 1942-2018

Aretha Louise Franklin, born March 25, 1942, died at her home on August 16, 2018, at the age of  76 years, reportedly from complications of pancreatic cancer. She was a legend and the indisputable Queen of Soul.

A mother, a wife, an activist, a pianist and a great singer, she was born in Memphis, Tennessee to a Baptist minister father and a pianist and vocalist mother.

In 1970, Aretha Franklin offered to post bail for Angela Davis, a social activist. She said:

Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.

Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism but because she’s a black woman and she wants freedom for black people.

I have the money. I got it from black people – they’ve made me financially able to have it – and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.

The best way to remember this great woman is to listen to her music that will live on forever.

As a child growing up in Harlem, her songs were my inspiration.

Aretha Franklin – Respect [1967] (Original Version) [VGA 480p]

Aretha Franklin – Think [1968] (Original Version) [VGA 480p]

Aretha Franklin – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman [1967] [VGA 480p]

Aretha Franklin – Tribute to Whitney Houston [HD 720p]

Aretha Franklin 1942-2018
Source of image: Pinterest

Trump Dehumanizes People Of Color


President Trump added his former White House aide, Omarosa Manigault Newman, on Tuesday to the growing list of African-Americans he has publicly denigrated on Twitter, calling her “that dog” and a “crazed, crying lowlife” after her allegations against him of mental deterioration and racism.

In recent weeks, Mr. Trump has called Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, “the dumbest man on television.” He has questioned the intelligence of LeBron James, a star basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. And he has repeatedly said that Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, has a “low I.Q.”

Mr. Trump has also deployed the “dog” insult for white people, including Arianna Huffington, a founder of HuffPost. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump tweeted that a onetime political rival and fellow Republican, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, “lies like a dog.”

Is this president a role model for our future generation? After Bill Clinton claimed the oral sex was not sex, underaged girls across the country started giving head jobs since it was not considered sex— Clinton-Lewinsky Effect.

Trump views Kim Jong-un, a ruthless dictator, and Putin, the ruler of a country that meddled with our election, as ‘very fine’ people. The outcome of Putin’s meddling was Trump winning the presidential election. How Trump became president is part of the ongoing investigation by Mueller. It’s crucial Mueller be allowed to do a thorough investigation, despite Trump and the GOP attacks to stop him.

Trump used specific dehumanizing terms to describe black people critical of his incompetence and unethical behavior. Trump has not missed an opportunity to dehumanize black people. At taxpayers’ expense, Vice President Pence staged a walkout at one NFL football game. Later, Trump called NFL players who #TakeAKnee sons of bitches.

Is Trump a person, Americans, want to be commander in chief for another two years let alone another six years? Did Americans elect Trump or did Russia? Why do we hear crickets from the GOP for Trump’s dehumanizing remarks? Why aren’t the GOP concerned that our adversary, Russia, played a massive roll in Trumps’ victory?

Keep your eye focused on the investigation, don’t let Trump and the Russians destroy this country.


White Nationalists Rally Escorted And Protected Reveal Not All Lives Matter

Angry counterprotesters far outnumbered the small band of far-right demonstrators who turned out in Washington, and then quickly dispersed, on the anniversary of the violent Charlottesville rally.
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2018/08/12/us/politics/charlottesville-va-protest-unite-the-right.html

At the same time, some saw in the wall-to-wall media coverage a kind of public relations victory for the far right. “They are getting international coverage and profiles, and the bottom line is that exposure equals importance,” said Brian H. Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

The white supremacist rally police escort and barricade protection were profoundly clear messages to the country and communities of color. One message was cops serve and protect white supremacy unlike non-white communities. Another message was supportive coverage by traditional media.

Contrast the police protection received by white supremacists last week to the lack of protection and brutality meted out members of Black Lives Matter, a movement to increase awareness and end discriminatory law enforcement.

Reportedly members of Black Lives Matter, many identified as Black Identity Extremists by the FBI, are harassed, spied upon and trolled by the US government. Why aren’t their rights protected?

What I got from the NYT coverage was unfiltered dissemination of white supremacist beliefs. There was little balance in the article as it legitmized their beliefs.

Over the last few years, there have been larger marches by black groups that didn’t get traditional media coverage let alone coverage of a few dozen black people marching.

There is no genocide of white people. White supremacists exploit race groups to spread fear among white people. At the heart of white supremacy is the belief in white superiority and the inferiority of other races particularly those of color. It denies that structural racism led to white patriarchy, not genetic superiority or white values, morality or ethics.

Whites lives have always mattered. Why do many whites who say All Lives Matter can’t admit Black Lives Matter?