Friday, 28 May 2010

Interview Tips: Things to say in an interview

Finally, after 5 interviews (1 for each month since January) and turning down 1 job offer last March, I landed a position with an offer that is hard to resist. I will start working in the largest brewery in North America on June 7 and I hope to live up to my employer's expectations. I want to share these tips I used in my interviews with the hiring manager, the Manufacturing Manager and the Brewery Director that helped to distinguish me from the other applicants.

It would have been much more difficult to get a foot in the door with such a great company, much more get a job fit to my skills and training but God is so good, I'm so grateful to God and my references who helped me in this job searching process. It's about time I let others experience the worthwhile interviews I had and I hope you'll learn from these tips too:

7 things you should say in an interview
by Mark Riddix,

Today's job market is as competitive as ever. You need to be able to effectively communicate you skill set so that you will give yourself the best competitive advantage to secure employment. During the interview process, you want to highlight as many of your strengths as possible. An easy way to do this is by slipping a few simple phrases into your next job interview. Here are seven things you should say in an interview.

1. I am very familiar with what your company does.
Letting a prospective employer know that you are familiar with what a company does shows that you have a legitimate interest in the business and are not just wasting their time. Do your homework before arriving for an interview. Check out the company website for information about products and services. Search for the latest transactions and pertinent business news.

Be sure to let the interviewer know that you are familiar with the newest company acquisition or the latest product that was just developed. Explain how your skills and experience are a perfect fit for the employer.

2. I am flexible.
Work environments are always changing. Prospective employers are looking for candidates that are open to change and can adapt at a moment's notice. In today's fast paced business world, employees must have the ability to multi-task.

Stating that you are adaptable lets an employer know that you are willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. This may mean working additional hours or taking on additional job duties in a crunch. Show your potential employer that you are equipped to deal with any crisis situation that may arise.

3. I am energetic and have a positive attitude.
Employers are looking for candidates with optimism and a "can-do" attitude. Attitudes are contagious and have a direct affect on company morale. Let the optimist in you shine during the interview process.

Be sure to always speak positively about past employers. Negative comments and sarcastic statements about past employers and co-workers will make you look petty. If you bad mouth your past company, employers are liable to believe that you will do the same thing to them.

4. I have a great deal of experience.
This is your chance to shine. Highlight any previous job duties that relate directly to your new job. If it is a management position, state every time that you were responsible for the supervision, training and development of other employees. Discuss your motivational techniques and specific examples of how you increased productivity. Feel free to list any training classes or seminars that you have attended.

5. I am a team player.
Do you remember when you were young and your teacher wanted to know if you could work well with others? Well the job market is no different! Companies are looking for employees that are cooperative and get along well with other employees. Mentioning that you are a team player lets your prospective employer know that you can flourish in group situations. Employers are looking for workers that can be productive with limited supervision and have the ability to work well with others.

6. I am seeking to become an expert in my field.
Employers love applicants that are increasing their knowledge base to make themselves the best employees possible. Stating that you are aiming to become an expert causes employers to view you as an asset and not a liability. You are a resource that other employees can learn from.

This is also a subtle way of illustrating that you have an attitude of excellence. You are aiming to be the best at what you do! This will let employers know that you are not just a fly-by-night employee, but in it for the long run.

7. I am highly motivated.
A motivated employee is a productive employee. Talk about how your high level of motivation has led you to accomplish many things. If you are a meticulous worker, discuss your organizational skills and attention to detail. Companies are always looking for dependable employees that they can count upon.

The Bottom Line
Remember that a job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer. Be sure to slip in the right phrases to give you the best chance possible of securing that cushy corner office on the ninth floor.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Circus and Victoria Day celebration

After the Bata Museum trip, we proceeded to the Harbourfront Centre for the Toronto International Circus festival. Taking the Spadina Streetcar, we passed by the stores in Chinatown. Looked like good bargains :) We took our picnic lunch at HTO Park in Harbourfront facing the lake with the sailboats and yachts, what a view!

While crossing the bridge to get to Sirius stage, we saw that the Acrobatics Show is SRO so we proceeded to the Redpath Round Stage for the kids show - Juggling, Balancing and Fire Acts. The kids found a good seat in front and we enjoyed the 2-hour show. They were too close to the stage that Kyle cried when he thought that he was the one the juggler is telling to sit LOL! Miggy used his new Digicamcorder and documented the show. Enjoy these videos and the photos that Lito took:

Here's the video captured using the Nikon D5000:

Monday, 24 May 2010

Bata Shoe Museum - It's all about shoes (and socks)

I thought that Bata Shoe Museum is only for kids considering the name, silly me but the museum is named after the founder Sonja Bata who first began collecting footwear since the1940's. Just a block west of St. George subway station, this museum with a unique architecture houses a world-class collection of 13,000 artifacts spanning 4,500 years of history and exhibits the cultural, historical and sociological value of footwear.

I'm so glad we got the free Museum and Arts Pass from the library, the visit to this museum is worthwhile. Paying patrons will not be stripped off their wallets because it's only $10 per adult and family pass cost only $30, it's actually value for money. We learned so much from the history of footwear from around the world and seeing the shoes (and socks) of historical figures and well-known personalities gives you a sense of achievement.

We enjoyed trying on the different shoes. I liked this clogs and the red shoes which makes me feel like a princess - so dainty.

The kids asked about the big shoes and the weird ones like the chopines and the pointed metal footwear which looked like a deadly weapon. I love the shoes from the Baroque era and the tall platform shoes used by the upper class of 1800s in bathing to go to the heated tubs - surreal. I wondered why didn't the exhibit included any shoes from the collection of Imelda Marcos. Maybe the Philippines need to put up it's own Imelda Marcos Shoe Museum exhibiting the more than 3000 pairs LOL!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Lex @18 months and Orange Honey Pork Glaze

Lex turned 18 months today. Another milestone few physical but more on emotional, social and mental developments. His teeth is still 8, 6 front teeth and 2 molars. He eats on his own, selecting his preferred food - likes veggies unlike his dad and brothers. Knows how to do the following signs - more, bath, play, eat, sleep. Nods and turns his head when he wants to say yes and no. He knows how to pray or acts like one. Clings more to his Dad (when his Dad arrives from the office, he stops what he's doing and go to him to be carried). Very mobile, runs around when he is not in the playpen or stroller. Sings or hums with his musical toys. Socializes with churchmates as long as there is food to bribe him haha! Points to some parts of his body, his favorite is his navel and private. He pretends to read and knows how to write/scribble - he wrote on our ref using a permanent ink pentel. He is babbling more, just like a broken tape recorder but Says - wee-wee, mama, dada, kai (short for Kyle - especially when he reports why he is crying (sumbong) LOL! He is very obedient. One time he ate lollies and I told him to brush his teeth actually telling his dad to do it but as I was talking to Lito, he went to the washroom and Lito found him gargling but the water in the tumbler came from the bowl LOL! My little baby is now a little boy - our star in the making. My Future matinee idol!

I baked brownies and cooked a special dish to celebrate. Miggy and Lex liked it but the other two who prefers salty food, didn't show much liking. Try this different flavor dish, it's easy to do:

Orange and Honey Pork Glaze

Serves 1 to 2, depending on the size of the pork cutlets.
1 to 2 tbsps. of butter
2 to 3 pork cutlets (you can also use pork steaks or chops)
1 large onion, finely sliced
juice of 2 to 3 large oranges
1/4 c. of honey or to taste
To garnish (optional):
orange slices
fresh tarragon sprigs
chopped roasted walnuts

1. Melt the butter in a pan. Over high heat, sear the pork, flipping them over when one side is nicely browned around the edges.
2. Right after flipping the pork, add the sliced onion, and cook until other side of the pork is also browned along the edges and the onion slices start to caramelize.
3. Season the pork with salt and pour in the orange juice. Lower the heat, cover and braise the pork in the orange juice until the liquid has almost dried and the onions are soft and brown. Should take 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Pour in the honey. Stir. If the sauce is too sticky, add a tablespoonful of water. Then, turn off the heat.
5. Serve the pork as is. Or, garnish with orange slices, tarragon sprigs and chopped roasted walnuts.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Things to do this Victoria Holiday weekend

Monday, May 24 is Victoria Day holiday. Here's a trivia, we watched "Young Victoria" - the story of Queen Victoria before her remarkable reign. She and Prince Albert from Germany (or Belgium?) had nine children who all became leaders of other nations in Europe. The Queen supported by Prince Albert was notable in her leadership and reforms including educational reform and abolition of slavery among many others. Queen Victoria still holds the longest reign in the UK history.

To celebrate this holiday, we have several options. I have 3 free Museum and Arts Passes I got from Toronto Public Library and maybe this is a good time to use them. Gardiner museum, Bata Shoe Museum and Toronto Historic museums are all easily accessible via Toronto Transit Commission but some of them have family events scheduled in June. The Toronto Historic Museums pass can be used in at least 10 places including the Scarborough Gardens and Museum which we intend to visit. Other destinations are:

Colborne Lodge in High Park
Fort York National Historic Site
Gibson House Museum
Mackenzie House
Montgomery's Inn
Scarborough Museum
Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens
Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre

I found other things to do this weekend at someone sent from an egroup and it's all worth checking out.

I like this one below in particular because it's free :)

HarbourKIDS:CIRCUS is an exciting weekend festival of FREE family activities! For the 3rd yr in a row HarbourKIDS can play ringmaster all Victoria Day long-weekend at the Toronto International Circus Festival. The whole family is invited to the extraordinary world of circus. Full of wonder, magic and excitement, the art, stories, music, games and shows at HarbourKIDS:CIRCUS will remind us that anything is possible! HarbourKIDS is a free family programme for kids ages 5-12. May 22-24, 2010.
Date: May 22, 2010 to May 24, 2010
Location: Harbourfront Centre

This is also a boat ride away to Centre Island, a must-see destination this Summer. I wonder if it's already open :) Can't wait for this weekend!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Early Summer @ Ontario Place

The sun is up and shining bright and so off we went to Ontario Place. Once again, the day is for the kids. Most of our time was spent lining up for their preferred rides. One ride is approximately an hour of standing and waiting in line. The park has 5 main areas with different themes but we lingered in Market Place where most of the kids' rides are located. Miggy and Kyle had a blast at the Cyclone Speedway and the inflatable slides. Miggy was so patient lining up in the Power Wheels Track, imagine staying in line for more than one hour! If you could just see how excited he was when he finally sat on the green T-Rex ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) and all smiles too while passing by other riders. When he parked the vehicle, he was raising his arms as if winning the race, hahaha!

Kyle had his moment in the Hoops Zone where he practiced shooting because the height of the court is for his age. Lex enjoyed running around in the trail near the lake and the yacht yard. With his ninang Wei and Ninong Jason running after him, I had my time too - posing in one of the yachts with the perfect word / name of the boat to describe me - Motivated :)

We had lunch picnic with Lito's officemates and their families on a hilltop overlooking a lake. very relaxing place, the swans added to the serenity of the place. The cool breeze coming from Lake Ontario added to an afternoon nap mood but the kids couldn't wait to go to the ride, no time for shuteye. We missed lots of attractions - the "Imax Theater", the Atlantis Pavilions, the world of weather and the adult rides which I wanted to try. We hope to be back here again in Summer.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

My Sons' Mother's Day Greetings

Kyle: "I love my mom because he is good cooking" LOL!

Miggy: "Happy Mother's Day, Mom! Thank you for taking care of me"

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Fresh Pepper in seconds

I am so excited because I was just contacted by a representative from CSN Stores, a site that has over 200+ stores that includes everything from speaker stands to cookware to homes decor. My latest discovery led me to a wide variety of kitchen gadgets that I've always wanted to have.

I'm always amazed at the pepper mill that the waiters use on my pizza each time I request for fresh pepper. I love the flavor and aroma of pepper especially if they are freshly grinded. I would love to have this BergGHOFF Pepper Mill as post Mother's Day gift in my latest internet find. This kitchen and dining table wonder is made with high quality grinder mechanism in ceramic to prevent corrosion. The stainless steel housing is stylish and convenient to use. It comes with a Salt Shaker perfect in our dining pleasure. What's more interesting is that this is an electric/battery-operated mill, you don't need to twist and turn.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! We should be thankful because we are blessed with mothers. Mothers only want and give the best for their children. Mothers are the first teachers, first doctors, first counsellors, first everything that the child knows and trusts. The saying "Moms know best" is true. Women in general have instincts and whenever there are problems or potential issues, she kneels and utter a prayer. She shows and teaches her faith in God who is her source of comfort, hope, care and love. The woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31 is the ideal woman, wife and mother that God wants us to follow. "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise" Happy Mother's Day to all mothers!

Here are more mother's day gifts I received today: My son Miggy made me a greeting card and he brought home the flower they planted as science project and told me that it's his gift to me. Then another surprise, my blog was featured in Blogs Canada - Canada's premier registry of news, information and blogging. It showcases the best political pundits, the top news and information sites in Canada, winners of the Canadian Blog Awards, the best social commentators, daily political cartoons by John Fewing and of course personal blogs like mine! With more hits, I hope to receive more paid blog opportunities soon.
My blog is featured on BlogsCanada

Saturday, 8 May 2010

What Irmee wants, Irmee gets :)

I was surprised! I was just telling Lito that I saw a good bargain for a netbook in a Best Buy flyer and last night I got my early Mother's Day (and Birthday daw) gift. I am so happy. I used to have that motto - "What Irmee wants, Irmee gets" when I was a teenager but time and circumstances changed that attitude. I thank God I'm not like that anymore (well, sometimes hahaha). I put "I want, I want with a smiley" comment on the ad making it in my wish list to buy when I have my own job. Lito granted my wish and now I got my own Netbook to use. Our Lenovo and Twinhead are always busy because the kids already know how to use a computer and linger on that poptropica and starfall sites. Now I have something to call my own personal gadget because it's pink.

What is a Netbook?
A netbook is a small to medium sized, light-weight, low-cost, energy-efficient laptop, generally optimized for internet based services such as web browsing and e-mailing.

The form factor of a netbook is smaller than that of a notebook and they are very light in weight (usually 2 to 3 pounds). Common features include a small screen (usually around 7-inches to 10-inches diagonal), wireless connectivity, but no optical disc drive, and a smaller sized keyboard (usually 80 percent to 95 percent of normal size)
- perfect for smaller hands like mine haha.

I haven't tried using it yet. Too excited maybe but I need to read the guides first before I explore on my netbook. Based on the reviews I've read, it's a good buy considering the functionality, style and of course, the price. I can't wait to blog, plurk and facebook without someone telling me to hurry hahaha. For now, I'll just smile and savor my very first Pink Netbook - an Acer Aspire One D250

Product Specs:
Model: AOD250-1729
OS: Genuine Windows 7 starter
CPU: Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.60GHz)
Storage:160GB hard drive / multi-in-one card reader
Display: 10.1″ WSVGA (1024 x 600) TFT display (Acer CrystalBrite Technology)
GPU: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
WiFi: 802.11 b/g WLAN
Lan: 10/100 LAN
Webcam: Integrated Acer Crystal Eye webcam
Color: Coral Pink and White
Battery: three-cell battery – up to 3.0 hours life depending on configuration and usage
Thickness (closed) 2.5 cm
Weight (including Battery) 1.11 kg
Dimensions 10.2″ (258.5mm) W x 7.2″ (184.0mm) D x 1.0” (25.4) H

Monday, 3 May 2010

Take time for yourself

It's spring. The new season brings new beginnings and new goals to reach for. But sometimes we get bogged down with all the things on our "to do" list that we forget to take time for ourselves. I got this article written by Hellen Buttigieg in a new homes magazine and I feel like sharing it because we all could use some tips like these:

Live in the moment. We have become a society of multi-taskers, but in an effort to be more efficient, we have robbed ourselves of the pure pleasure that comes from performing simple tasks. The next time you wash the dishes, fold laundry or set the table, focus only on the task at hand. engage your senses. Notice the fresh smell of clean laundry, the rainbow colours in the soap bubbles, the beauty of a table set with care. you'll feel less frazzled and more peaceful.

Let go of the "shoulds". Next time you catch yourself thinking guilt-inducing thoughts like, "I should go to the gym" or "I have to wash the windows" shift your perspective. Find a way to make the task more enjoyable so you can replace the should and have to with "like to" or "want to" or "could". re-framing your thoughts in this manner puts you in control because you are deciding to do the task out of desire, not criticism.

Put yourself out there. Life has a way of flowing effortlessly when we put ourselves out there. If there's something you've been wanting in your life, take one small action toward it and notice how other things fall into place. It could be a simple phone call you've been putting off, a book you've been meaning to read or a website you wanted to visit. Do it now and have faith in the power of taking the first step.

Tie up loose ends. Regularly schedule one hour a week to devote to tying up loose ends. These little "to-dos" take less time to complete than you think and yet, left undone; eat away at you, draining your energy and clouding your mind. If you finish in less than an hourm use the extra time to reward yourself with a special indulgence.

Eliminate catalogue clutter and enjoy mental freedom. Are catalogues piling up every flat surface in your office or home? If you've had them for over three months and still havent read them; it's time to take an honest look at whether they are adding value or complicating your life, drain your energy and rob you of peace of mind.

Make bill paying easier by synchronizing due dates. Paying bills can be time consuming and difficult to keep track of, especially if they are due at various times throughout the month. Consider calling all your creditors and have the due dates on your monthly bills changed to either the 1st or 15th of the month. Put a reminder on your calendar to ensure they are paid on time. Consolidating tasks saves time and mental energy.