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How to nail your next job interview – do’s and don’ts

At the beginning of a New Year, everyone’s full of resolutions — to eat better, exercise more, spend more time with family and friends….

Has your New Year’s New Job resolution not gone to plan?
 
There is plenty of advice out there for job seekers.
Here is our round-up of “classic” interview advice that you can use to nail your next job interview!
 
DON’T:
  • Dress too casually
  • Rely on public transport running like clockwork
  • Arrive stressed
  • Address your interviewer by his or her first name until invited to do so
  • Act too informally or try to be funny – it’s not a stand-up routine!
  • Be ‘creative’ with the truth i.e. lie!
  • Take out any frustrations about the job search process on your interviewer
  • Speak negatively about your current or former company, boss, or co-workers
  • Make excuses
  • Seem desperate to take any job
  • Answer your phone, check messages, or text during an interview
  • Say you don’t have any questions

Quite frankly, most of these should be obvious, however, under the pressure of interview situations it can become easy to ramble on with little conscious consideration to what you are saying. We’ve all done it!

Infographic interview tips

interview tips

 

With the Don’ts in mind, here’s what you should….

DO:

  • Research the company and the position you’re applying for
  • Dress appropriately for the job you want
  • Arrive 10 minutes early
  • Be polite to everyone you meet; you never know whose opinion will count
  • Offer a firm handshake and make eye contact when meeting someone
  • Take time to think about how to answer an unexpected question (swot up on common questions)
  • Ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry.
  • Write a thank you note and send it within 24 hours of the interview.
  • SMILE!!! 
keep smiling

Never lose your smile

Armed with these winning job interview tips you’re sure to make a much greater impact and stand a good chance of grabbing that dream job. Good luck!

 

How to bring Hygge to your Office: embrace the Danish concept at work

Hyge office desk

Hyge at work

Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-gah’) is a Danish concept that’s taken the UK by storm thanks to Marie Tourell Søderberg in her book; “ Hygge, The Danish Art of Happiness.”
 
Hygge is the sensation of familiarity, of being seen and recognised, and feeling at home. Hygge is for everyone, whoever you are and wherever you are.
 
We are incorporating those hygge-feelings of warmth, happiness, and shelter into our homes but how to do the same at work where we spend, on average, over 40 hours?
 
How can we inject some hygge into our own workplace?
We share our top 6 tips below…
1.The fundamentals of hygge is an appreciation for nature, adding a small plant will help you relax and will create extra CO2 for the office.
2. Personalise our offices as much as possible – make your desk your own, add a framed photo of something that makes you happy, add a desk lamp with an orange bulb to soften the light around your desk or a candle, bring a favourite mug from home
3. Make the most of your lunchtime by actually leaving your desk and going for a walk. You don’t have to stay chained to your desk all day long.
4. Get to know your colleagues. Building relationships is all part of hygge.
5. Get into the routine of having habits. Why not suggest that on the last Friday of every month, somebody brings in cookies so you can all enjoy a nice coffee brake together? 
6. Make an office playlist- Listening to music keeps things from feeling too soulless or quiet.
Things to increase hyge

hyge objects

Where to buy all these great hyge desk buddies?

Vodka Mug

Desk plant

Desk Candle

Letter Board

Photo frame

Note Book

Desk storage caddy

Christmas Showstopper

We all love Great British Bake Off. We are inspired by endless trays of cinnamon rolls, sweet buns, macaroons and tarts….

But when it comes to Christmas we want to WOW our guest with an Ultimate Showstopper, that makes our Mother in Law want to eat her own tongue for doubting your baking skills.

 Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

 Here are the top 3 recipes that are easy to make and will make a statement on your Christmas Table:

1. Classic Victoria sandwich

victoria_sponge

You can’t go wrong with this perfect party cake – full of spongy goodness. Make your own jam for extra home made effect and flavour your cream with some festive booze to keep your guests happy ;-)

Recipes:

http://www.sainsburysmagazine.co.uk/recipes/baking/classics/item/classic-victoria-sponge

 http://www.azlitamasammanis.com/2014/11/victoria-sandwich-cake.html#more

2. Maltesers Chocolate Cake

chocolate-maltiser

This cake recipe is perfect for special occasions. It’s also easy and quick. Moist cake mix and cream cheese frosting makes it taste extra special and the crunchy Malteser finish adds flavour, texture and that added wow factor too. Yum!

The nation’s favourite melt- in- your-mouth chocolate malt honeycomb balls – the perfect topping to your Chocolate Cake Showstopper.

http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/317254/Maltesers-chocolate-cake

3. Pavlova

Berry-Christmas-Pavlova-1-550x499

This Berry Christmas Pavlova looks and tastes amazing. It will be the highlight of your table! You can decorate it lots of different ways.

 http://www.mysquarefryingpan.com/berry-christmas-pavlova/

 

Ps. If you’re a really bad chef and have absolutely no baking skills whatsoever, here is a bit of inspiration for how to create the Perfect ‘cheese cake’

 

cheese cake

 

cheeseboard 2 cheeseboard

It’s Festive Cocktail Time!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which mean gifts , sweets, parties… and of course, the odd tipple!

In recent years, people have gotten very creative with what they serve at the Christmas parties and gatherings.

You should have at least one visually-stunning drink that will truly impress your guests. With that in mind, we created few easy cocktail recipes.

Refresh your guests with holiday beverages like these:

fizz-cocktailsmulled-wineeggnogold-fashioned

Top 10 Best Christmas Movies of All Time

There’s nothing like watching a festive film on the run up to Christmas. From funny comedies to magical classics, we countdown our top 10 favourites…

1.The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

2.Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged (1988)

3.National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Christmas-Vacation-1989

4.Gremlins (1984)

Gremlins

5.Die Hard (1988)

860932_DSSEA_DieHa1.indd

6.It’s a Wonderful Life (1942)

It's a Wonderful Life (1942)

7.Elf (2003)

Elf (2003)

8.Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone (1990)

9.The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The-Muppet-Christmas-Carol

10.Bad Santa(2003)

Bad Santa(2003)

Secret Santa at work, dos and don’ts!

If you work in an office environment, you will be familiar with the notion of Secret Santa. The pressure of buying a gift for somebody you know nothing about. The disappointment when you receive a bad gift you’ll never use. Or the surprise when you get something you actually like!

Take a  look at our list below of some of the best and worst gifts you can buy. We would like to think you’ll take inspiration from the good ones, but if you happen to pick your office enemy, we’ve also got your back…

 But let’s start with the basics – The history of Secret Santa.

 The tradition of giving anonymous gifts at Christmas has its roots in Scandinavia, where Secret Santa is known as “Julklapp”. This word is compound combination of “Jul”, which means ‘Christmas’ and “Klapp”, which means ‘to knock’. In Scandinavian countries, tradition says that you knock loudly on a door, open it and throw the gift into the room or leave it behind without being seen by anyone. The Scandinavian Julklapp has another unique custom associated with it. Rather than writing a name on the gift, a short and funny message is included instead. Based on what is written, the guests at the Secret Santa event can then figure out which gifts are meant for whom, usually accompanied by lots of laughter.

The Rules of Secret Santa

Do: Participate

Even if you’re feeling more like the Grinch than Santa this holiday season, not participating can make you stand out as someone who isn’t a real team player.

Don’t: Force participation.

Secret Santa should be voluntary.

Do: Set a price limit.

Keep in mind people have holiday budgets and might not have counted in office gifts. The average money spent on the gifts is £10.

Don’t: Get gifts that are personal.

Do: Thank your gift-giver

Even if you don’t like your Secret Santa gift, you should still show your appreciation for the gesture and thank your Santa.

Do your Research

Top 5 worst Secret Santa gifts

Box of Pens

4 pack of Red Bull

whoopee cushion

A scratch card

A pack of Lynx shower gel and deodorant

Top 5 best Secret Santa gifts

  1. Portable Mobile Power Bank http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poweradd-Portable-Technology-Lightning-Included/
  2. Sweets Selection Box http://www.thorntons.co.uk/product/Christmas-Classic-Collection-504g/
  3. Alcohol and Food Hampers Gift Hamper, Tea Hamper, Cider Hamper
  4. Portable coffee mug or water bottle http://www.specialmoment.co.uk/gym!-i-thought-you-said-gin-personalised-water-bottle.aspx
  5. Personalised calendar http://www.companychristmascards.co.uk/proofer.php?name=A3-Illustrated-Maps-of-the-UK-Calendar&catID=17

 Whatever happens in your office this year, just remember it is a bit of festive fun for everybody, so avoid getting overly offended should you receive a particular gift, so please – DO: REMEMBER TO PRETEND TO LIKE YOUR OWN GIFT, DO NOT: LEAVE IT ON THE TRAIN HOME.

2016 Advent Calendars are here!!!

Advent Calendars and Christmas countdowns are the best part of the festive season! 

Here are our favourites this year:

Beauty :

FEELUNIQUE, £30

feelunique

http://www.feelunique.com

LUSH, £49.95

lush

http://uk.lush.com/products/christmas-gifts

                THE BODY SHOP, £60/£80/£99

the-body-shop

http://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/gifts/over-30-gifts/24-happy-days-ultimate-advent-calendar/p/p002014

SELFRIDGES, £95

selfridges

http://www.selfridges.com/GB/en/cat/home-tech/christmas-shop/advent-calendars/

JACK WILLS, £35

jack-wills

http://www.boots.com/en/Jack-Wills-Advent-Calendar_1865542/

Food & Drink:

                 12 GINS OF CHRISTMAS £69.00

12 gins

http://www.edenmill.com/shop/gin/12-gins-christmas/#

                  The Beer Hawk Craft Beer Advent Calendar £75

Craft beer

http://www.beerhawk.co.uk

                    Advent Calendar Of Tea £49

tea

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/posttea/product/pre-order-tea-advent-calendar-for-christmas

                      Lindt Advent Calendar £10

lindt

http://www.lindt.co.uk/shop/

                      Eat Your Greens Chocolate Sprouts Advent Calendar £26

chocolate-sprouts-advent-calendar

http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/thechocolatelibrary/product/eat-your-greens-chocolate-sprouts-advent-calendar

How to Plan an Office Christmas Party in 8 Steps

Company Christmas Cards will give you the best tips for planning the perfect office Christmas party in 8 easy steps:

social_media_08

best xmas get-away

‘Tis the season to be jolly, whether you celebrate Christmas or not! December and January are a great time to travel.

Whether you are planning a holiday trip to a place nearby or to a tropical beach, there are many great Christmas vacations to choose from. 

Our Top 7:

 

1.Florida

Walt Disney World Resort

Florida is a great destination to visit for Christmas and New Year’s because of warm sunny weather, a diverse choice of activities and endless beach views. Celebrate this holiday season in Orlando – just imagine your child’s face meeting Mickey & Minnie Mouse on Christmas Day!

 

2.South Africa

The Sabi Sands

 

Want to take a break from winter weather and short days in the UK? Consider a safari adventure to Namibia or Botswana.

Most days are sunny and over 30 degrees Celsius. It’s the perfect trip to see the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhino) in the wild.

 

3.Cook Islands

Aitutaki Cooks

15 volcanic islands and coral atolls in the heart of the South Pacific spread over an area the size of India.

Blue lagoons are the perfect space for snorkelers and swimmers or stand-up paddle boarding. The Polynesians offer a rare opportunity for people from the cities of the world to experience a different type of vacation.

 

4.Rome, Italy

Rome

Rome during the Christmas season is a great way to see the city, with less tourists but more buzz!

The Piazza Navona transforms into a big Christmas Market, where you will be able to shop, watch street performances and drink coffee. Midnight Mass at the Pantheon, followed by a trip to the Vatican on Christmas Day is a great way to take part in the rituals of the Roman Catholic faith.

 

5.Lapland

Lapland

Delight the kids with a trip to the home of Father Christmas. Whether you choose Sweden, Finland, or Norway, it’s going to be extremely cold and snowy. One of the greatest reason of visiting Lapland (whether you are five or seventy five) are the Northern Lights, which are best seen during the darkest time of the year – Christmas.

 

6.New York

New York

 

The current pound to dollar exchange rate makes it perfect to add New York as a festive shopping destination. Head over to Rockefeller Centre for a prime example of New York’s Christmas charm, and to Central Park for outdoor ice skating, surrounded by the most famous skyline in the world.

 

7.Cambodia

Cambodia

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure this Christmas season, there is not a better place to go. Before you leave, get ready to walk, cycle or swim your way across this unique country. The temple of Angkor Wat will blow your mind no matter what the weather is like. For the holiday that makes you relax and forget yourself, head to the coast: Sihanoukville is the Eden-like beauty of the Cambodian seaside.

 

 

Most common gifts in UK (him & her)

Let’s take a look at the list of best-selling Christmas gifts of 1950s and 1960s. It’s immediately apparent that things haven’t changed much since then. The gifts then were very practical, such everyday items as a pair of nylons or a ballpoint pen.

 

Most popular choices for Men in those eras were: white cotton shirt, pair of wool socks, striped pyjama, Scotch Whisky, satin tie, cocktail making kit, after shave, grooming soap and brush and set of tools.

boys gifts moodboard

The ladies received simulated pearls, Chanel perfume, leatherette handbag, slippers, Elvis Presley records, Bristol Cream Sherry, powder compacts, silk chemise, leather glows and handkerchief.

perfumes moodboard

50 years later and over half of those items are still on the Christmas most common gifts list! 

 

In ladies department we swap the powder compact to contouring pallet, pearls to charm bracelet, handkerchief to a wool scarf and Bristol Cream Sherry to a bottle of Gin. Ladies enjoyed also a book reader and spa vouchers.

Most-common-gifts-for-her

Classic gentlemen’s gifts are still standing strong except the tool set which has been replaced by a drone or smart watch!

Most-common-gifts-for-him

 

What gift are you most likely to give to your loved one?

Do you spend lots of time researching for a perfect and unusual gift? Or do you struggle choosing gifts – if so our list should help!

 

Read more »