7 Questions to Ask in An Interview and Why

I absolutely hate the part of job interviews where the interviewer asks “Do you have any questions?” However I recently learnt that one of the reasons that I got my current role was because I was apparently really eager when it came time for me to ask questions.

Of course I was eager. It was my dream job! But that was what made me realize how important this part of the interview was for a candidate. This is the time to show your interviewer that you are interested in the job as more than just a paycheck. This is also the time for YOU to evaluate whether or not this job is a good fit for you. Here are 7 questions that you should be asking and why.

1) What does a typical day look like?

If you get this job, you want to know beforehand what exactly a day will look like for you? This is especially great if you are speaking to someone who held the role before you. They would be able to advise what your duties are, who you work closely with and why. Their answer will also tell you how they felt about the job.  Asking this question shows that you are serious about the role and want to know more.

2) Where is the last person who held this job moving on to?

This is something I picked up from the media buyer I interned under. Asking this question allows you to find out if the person who previously held this role was promoted (yay for internal growth) or if they left the company. If they left the company, you might want to dig deeper and investigate why. Was it just for a higher paycheck or was there more to the story? Is there an issue with staff constantly leaving?

3) What’s your favorite part about working here?

This question is an excellent way to evaluate what type of an environment you are going into. What is the interviewer’s favorite part, if any? It is important that they have something that you too can see as fun or a highlight. If you asked me this back when I was in a toxic workplace, my answer would have been “home-time”. For my Marketing interview, the interviewer seemed genuinely excited about her work and that made me excited about the job.

4) What are the next steps in the interview process?

This is a great question to help you know if you were successful, what would you be doing next. Is it a personality test? A skills test? A group interview? This is also a great way to find out when you will receive feedback on your interview. 

5) If you were starting this job now, what advice would you give yourself?

This is another way to show that you are genuinely interested in the role and would like to know how to kick ass at it. People like to give advice to new starts (or atleast nice, helpful people do) so this is also a good way to build rapport with your interviewer. Again, be sure to evaluate the answers so that you know if this role is for you. I once had an interview where the interviewer told me that lunch breaks were often sacrificed for deadlines. What they didn’t mention was that the team NEVER took a lunch break (they ate at odd hours and they ate at their desks) and those who did take lunch away from their desks were looked down on. Thankfully, I never got this specific job.

6) What kinds of challenges can I expect in this role?

Again this is more of a “I want to know how to do my best at this job” as opposed to “I want this job because I need money”. Knowing what challenges await you in this role if you are successful allows you to know what to prepare for. Do you need to brush up on your Excel knowledge? Do you need to spend more time working on your presentation skills? Now is the time to find out.

7) What is the company culture like?

THIS! This is a really important question but also it is one that is rarely answered honestly. If you get the chance to walk around or speak to other people in the workplace, this is a good idea. Another idea is to get a glance at the staff if you can. You can clearly see the difference between happy and unhappy staff. Happy staff are bubbly and chatty. Unhappy staff are…not. Keep your eyes open. And if the interviewer comes up with the old “We are like a family” line- RUN!

The most important thing when it comes to asking questions in an interview is that you show a genuine interest for the role and the company as opposed to just being interested in money. Income is important but it’s the actual work that you’re going to be doing everyday and you want to make sure it isn’t something that will make you miserable.

5 Easy Tips to Increase Your Blog’s Traffic

Rome was not built in a day…and neither is blog traffic. When it comes to blogging, you need to be putting time and effort into gaining traffic for your site. As a newbie it can be difficult to know what to do in order to increase your traffic but here are 5 easy tips to help you along.

1) Share on social: Once your blog post is written (and edited and proofread for errors), share it on all your social media sites in order to increase your visibility. You can also ask friends and family to share your content so that your work can be exposed to a larger group of people.

2) Learn how to improve on your SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to optimizing your blog for search engines so that they’re able to crawl and index your website. Why is this important? SEO helps to put your blog in front of the readers who will benefit the most from reading it (eg, showing my blog to bookworms). There are a number of things you can do to improve your SEO but this article explains it pretty well. I’ve been learning SEO for so long that I wouldn’t even know where to start explaining it but I will say this. It took me three attempts at three different stages or my blog before I got the hang of SEO so absolutely do not give up.

3) Guest Post: Guest posting on other blogs is another way for you to build visibility. It allows a wider group of people to view your work and if you post on a blog in a niche that is different from yours, you can also attract a different audience.

4) Pay to play if possible: For me this is one of the last options but paying to promote your work whether this is on Google Ads, social media to just getting someone to advertise your blog, is another way to help increase your traffic. Some people say that in the digital world you need to pay to play however this isn’t something that I have needed to do.

5) Create a mailing list: My absolute least favorite way to increase blog traffic is through the building of an email list. This takes more effort however it helps to build a community of loyal readers. There are lots of ways to build an email list and I will go into detail about this later however creating a mailing list ensures that you have people who are engaged with your content and want to be informed whenever you create a new post.

There are a ton of ways to gain traffic for your blog and this is just a few of them. Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let me know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Sticky Fingers #2 (Sticky Fingers Collection) by J.T. Lawrence

Sticky Fingers 2 by J.T. Lawrence

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I desperately wanted to read a book but I know that my attention span has been horribly short lately. And then I found this on my Kindle app and knew it was a winner.
J.T Lawrence has a wonderfully entertaining writing style but the “Sticky Fingers” collection is one of my favorites because of how unexpected and unusual the stories are.
I figured this would be easier to read than a novel and I was right. I finished this book in one sitting and was left wanting more (a rather unfortunate side-effect of this collection).
I do not want to binge read because at some point I will then run of books to read but I cannot wait to start another “Sticky Fingers” book.
This series is well-written, gripping and entertaining. If you’re looking for a good book, need to fall back into the habit of reading or just want to escape reality, this is the series for you!
You could pick up any of these books and they will do a great job pulling you in.

View all my reviews

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Working in Marketing Before Taking The Job

Go to Marketing they said. It would be fun, they said. But no one prepared me for how different the Marketing team would be from my old team or what a drastic culture change I would have to adjust to. Here are a few things I wish I knew about Marketing before signing up to be an intern.

The number of reports and spreadsheets is also something I wish I knew before I took this job (ie. the number is ALOT!)

1. People treat me differently now– This is something I cannot get over. There are some people who treat me the same and they are few and far between (they are also my favorite people). However there are two types of people who treat me differently- those who are nicer to me which automatically puts me on edge. I worked in the same department for three years. If the way you are approaching me has changed, I do not know how to respond to that. The other group of people are those who do not speak to me at all. It’s like I have personally offended them with my decision to pursue a Marketing career. Considering the fact that I worked and studied for three years, trying to get into Marketing, this behavior personally offends me. But speaking of studying…

2. The importance of always being open to learning– One of the things I was really excited to give up (along with working weekends) was studying. Or so I thought. Moving to Marketing was exciting but the Marketing industry is always changing. If you want to be great at your job, you need to keep an eye on changing consumer trends. You need to follow experts in your field no matter what type of marketing you fall into.

3. It’s tough. The work is difficult– Another thing that surprised me about working in Marketing was that at the beginning, there was ALOT of tough days. There were days that I would come home and cry because I had no idea what was going on. To be fair, alot of this stemmed from the fact that the person I was supposed to intern under had gotten another job and left the company but it was difficult to go from knowing so much in my previous job to knowing so little when I started my internship. We all have to start somewhere and honestly those tough days were what made me better at my job.

4. Sometimes people don’t want you to succeed. At all– In my first week as an intern, our department was invited to an office event. Only a few people from back office was invited and a few people from my previous job. The brand managers and head of department insisted me and the other intern join even though it was our first week and we were uncomfortable about attending (atleast I was but I decided to rip off the band-aid). It was awful. Naturally I gravitated towards my old team and that’s where the issue started. Apparently those who had been one of the chosen few from my old team from the event were not happy to see me. I kid you not. I heard my name, turned around and then the staff hurriedly walked away whispering about me being there. I left the event in tears. I refused to go back the next time until finally one of the Marketing managers pried the story out of me. She dragged me to the event the time after that (and the time after that) until I had finally gotten used to it. I never went back to my old team after that. It broke my heart but it was better for my sanity.

5. There’s after hours work– In Marketing your tasks are duties are in a specific sub-field. For example, mine was paid media. So if my work was not completed in time, it fell to me to ensure that I completed it even if it was after hours. This took alot of getting used to since in my last job we were paid overtime for working extra hours but eventually I got better at my job and the after-hour work stopped.

I definitely wish I had known these things before taking the job. It would not have changed anything since I have wanted to work in Marketing for so long however I would have liked to have been more prepared. Growth is painful but so worth it in the end

5 Ways to Repurpose Your Content

Content Creation is important to help build your brand and position it (and you) as an expert in your field. If you’re a book blogger, like me, it can be especially difficult to create content that stands out. However, repurposing your existing content means you’re exposing your work to more people with less effort. A total win-win!

Here are a few ways that you can repurpose your content:

1) Create a Video: Video is growing in popularity right now. With the rise of TikTok, Facebook Reels and YouTube, it seems like everywhere you go, you are bombarded with videos. Creating a video from existing content (eg, a book review or an article) means that you can reach a whole new audience. Some people prefer to absorb information through watching a video so your video could be just what they need to become a new fan.

2) Create an e-book: I love e-books. Of course, I do. I’m a book blogger. For those of us who prefer written content to videos, creating an ebook is a great way to get our attention. Don’t have enough content for an entire e-book? Go with a round-up instead (this can be a video, an infographic or a blog post).

3) Create a quote for social media: I especially like this if you’re trying to push sales for a product (eg, you could use customer testimonials or a quote from a book- in order to promote said book) or even to share a nugget of wisdom from an article or video. Create a graphic for social media and link back to the original piece of content.

4) Create an infographic: Personally this isn’t my favorite piece of content to generate. However it is one of my favorite pieces of content to consume. Infographics break down information into easily digestible chunks.

5) Create short videos: Take the most valuable information from your content and break them up into short-form videos (i.e videos between 30 seconds and 2 minutes). Boom, you now have content for TikTok, Facebook/Instagram Reels AND YouTube shorts.

Have you ever tried repurposing your content? What are your favorite ways to reuse content as a blogger? Let me know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying (One of Us is Lying, #1)

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a review copy of this book from Penguin Random House.
I have read “One of Us is Lying” when it first came out. However with the release of the TV series, it was time to catch up.
I did not remember enough of this book so rereading was such a pleasure.
Five students from different cliques at a high school walk into detention but only four walk out.
The nerd, the popular girl, the bad boy, the athlete and the outcast who ran a gossip app.
Except Simon, the creator of the gossip app, dies in detention.
Eventually it is revealed that Simon’s next post was supposed to ruin the lives of his classmates. They all have motive, they were all present at detention and because of this they are all suspects.
Even all these years later, “One of Us is Lying” is still so thrilling.
I tore through these pages eagerly and cannot wait to start watching the Netflix show

View all my reviews

Presenting…Marketing Monday’s

I start way too many sub-themes on this blog.

Anyway, a recent conversation with a coworker made me realize that while a significant amount of my time both during and outside work is spent on learning Marketing, not alot of that time is actually spent utilizing the information.

My solution- like most things- is to write it down. More specifically, I want to write it down here.

So I’m started a new section/sub-section and calling it Marketing Mondays. It’s going to simply be tips and tricks I pick up from working in Marketing but those that can be applied to you as a blogger or a brand.

These will be bi-weekly (so I can focus on providing a nice, decent chunk of information and not just rush through stuff).

I also hope that 1) this allows me to blog more without 2) taking away from the studies I should not be doing but do anyway (The number of online information you can find about Marketing is INSANE! Please can I just be given a Marketing qualification already?)

Fiction Friday: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Jonathan Ball publishers in exchange for an honest review. It did take me a while to pick this one up but that is because I heard such great things. I didn’t want to go into this book without being able to binge-read it.
Ph.D. candidate, Olive invents a fake boyfriend in order to coax her best friend, Anh into dating the guy she went out with once.
Desperate to convince her friend, Olive kisses the first man she sees. Her unsuspecting victim turns out to be Adam, a brilliant professor who has the reputation of being an ass.
One thing leads to another and the two are then forced to pretend to be in a relationship. Adam has his own (very valid) reasons for needing to be in a fake relationship. Of course, events transpire that bring them a little too close to each other (which I loved).
This book has all the tropes (okay, I lie. Most of the tropes) and does them all beautifully. Adam and Olive have a very clear chemistry and the events that lead to them pretending to be together are genuine. I loved that everything did not seem forced. This was just two people with no interest in dating who needed to appear to be in a relationship.
“The Love Hypothesis” was a well-written, fun read that I really enjoyed. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance, definitely give this a go.

View all my reviews

2022 First Quarter Wrap-Up

In the Summer of 2017 (more specifically, December 2017- a truly magical time in my life), my manager told me about how her manager had spoken to them about how the business set goals for each quarter. Her manager had remarked that it was such a great idea and he thought that the staff should do that too.

I would later go on to practice that method for years, dividing the year into quarters and then setting goals (personal, professional, financial and study goals) throughout the year.

For 2022, I didn’t have any goals. Due to a professional setback, I had decided to step away from my “work, work, work, study, study, study” routine and focus on my health.

Atleast the idea was that for the first quarter, I would focus on my health. But things did not go as expected.

Sure I lost 3KG and the only studying I did was one Hubspot course in Email Marketing. But besides from that my source of stress was still work. Specifically money.

The company that my dad worked at was placed on short-time, my dad was having issues with his heart and I was supposed to still be maintaining a healthy lifestyle because I had graduated from being insulin-resistant to being pre-diabetic (Go me! I guess there was one thing I was excelling at. Food. I was excelling at food). If you’ve been here for a while, you might remember that this is almost exactly like The Horrors of 2019

And then… the department manager told me these very simple words that caused me to melt down. “We’re working on your contract.”

So…some context. In December 2021, the internship contracts were supposed to end but because of some issues the interns were not offered permanent roles. They were given new titles which would be looked at in March. So it should have been an exciting time. How long have I been working and waiting for a role in Marketing? FOREVER! Sure, the manager telling me that it was close to becoming a reality made me slightly ill but that was fine, right? Everyone gets a little nervous.

Except I went home and got violently ill. I threw up everything I ate that day (and was morbidly fascinated by the fact that omg I can projectile vomit wow. Also why didn’t the carrots from my lunch digest completely? Is this why the doctors kept pushing me to eat veggies? Did they come out of me like that always and I just didn’t know? Honestly you would be surprised at the things one thinks of when one is bent over a sink trying to hold oneself upright and not fall face-first into undigested carrots)

I was mildly concerned but was still not going to pursue the issue. Until I realized the next day, I had an abscess the size of a golf ball on my arm. I was horrified. What was going on?

Again, I ignored it. I, champion of the “Listen to Your Body” squad ignored my body. My psoriasis flared up. I started having trouble sleeping. And then the department manager asked me my salary. I gave it to her. But it was then that I knew. I couldn’t do this. My entire body protested at the thought. My stomach gave a lurch that made me wonder if I was going to throw up at work and if so, how would I explain it? No, I’m sorry I just get sick whenever you mention my future job?

Desperate for answers, I went externally. This is a very important life lesson. Have a support system that 1) knows you personally 2) knows you professionally and 3) is calm, rational and non-judging.

I knew that I didn’t want to raise any eyebrows so I sat down with my former manager and explained my issues. She agreed that it might not be a good idea for me to run towards the thing that was making me sick.

I decided to get a second opinion from someone who I didn’t know as well but who seemed level-headed and of sound advice. All this confirmed was what I already knew.

I was devastated and I cried non-stop. I didn’t work for three years to behave like this. What was wrong with me???

But that day, I slept throughout the night without an issue, the abscess had deceased significantly by the next morning and my psoriasis flare-up was paler. I felt lighter and happier. I hated it but I had made the right choice.

At some point I need to figure out what it is I need to do and it terrifies me. I feel like there’s a big gaping hole where my future should be. But I also feel like I need to take the time to heal my mental health. There’s been a lot of things going on behind the scenes that’s been affecting me too so it is important to me that I take the time needed to process.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner

Her Perfect Twin

Her Perfect Twin by Sarah Bonner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a review copy of this book from Jonathan Ball publishers.
There were a few things that drew me to this book- the plot, the mention of the lockdown, the fact that obviously it couldn’t be that the main characters hubby cheated on her with her sister (or did he? Read this book to find out).
Megan has an adoring husband that she cannot stand, a beautiful home, bad memory and a sister that loves to steal whatever is hers.
But when Megan finds pictures of her twin sister on her husband’s phone, she tracks Leah down for answers. Their relationship has always been strained and their conversation ends with Megan killing her twin.
Desperate to hide what she’s done, Megan decides to take over Leah’s life and pretends to be her. The juggling act of living two lives as two people is difficult enough but then lockdown hits and Megan learns that someone knows what she did. And that person plans on using the situation to their advantage.
This was a thrilling read that I couldn’t put down. From the very first line I was entranced and eventually ended up buying an ebook copy so I could read on the go. If you’re looking for a gripping read, I strongly recommend “Her Perfect Twin”


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