When the Interview Isn’t In Person

Online interview

Meeting face-to-face is still the most common way that job interviews are conducted. Still, there are times when companies will resort to doing phone interviews. Or sometimes an interview over Skype. This is mainly if one of the parties would have to travel to make the interview.

Most job seekers aren’t going to travel at their own expense for an interview whose outcome is uncertain. Although many companies will pay travel expenses for some candidates and in some circumstances, that is becoming less and less common. Especially now that phone and video conferencing is so widely available.

Next to read: Online Learning is the Future of Education

Tips for a Phone  Interview 

Even if you’re not applying outside your area, you may be interviewed by an executive who is traveling or by someone at some other company location that may be far away.

If you are asked to do an interview by phone, there are a few simple keys to making it successful.

– Try to paint pictures with your words, especially if the interview is by phone (without video). Be descriptive. Use lots of industry-appropriate terminologies to demonstrate your experience.

– Treat it like the real interview that it is. Don’t be tempted to take it less seriously just because the format is different. Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted or interrupted.

– If you are using a cell phone or laptop, make sure you have a strong signal and that your battery has a full charge. Plugin if you can. Don’t take chances. You have no idea how long the interview may last.

– Have notes and keep them in front of you but try to use them only for reference. Speak naturally and your sincerity and enthusiasm will be more apparent.

Phone interview
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Tips for a Video  Interview 

Nowadays many companies prefer online interviews rather than paying travel expenses for some candidates.  Especially now when video meetings have become so common. Here are tips for a successful video job interview:

– Dress as though you were meeting in a regular, face-to-face interview. Even if you’re not going to be on video, dressing up will make you feel more professional and more prepared. For the same reason, sit up straight and smile often.

– If you will be interviewing via Skype or some other video conference platform, find a place with good light. Move extra lamps into the area if necessary. Have slightly more light than you think is normal since cameras need more light than the human eye.

– Even with a good signal or a strong connection, speak slowly and clearly. Especially if using video as there may be some lag.

– Sit in front of a simple background. Aim for it to be as plain as possible. Some patterns may “jump” on camera. You won’t see it, but the interviewer will, and it may affect his perception of you.

– Test your camera and microphone beforehand. You don’t want technical glitches to make them question your competence.

Online meeting
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How to Deal With Stress?

If there are technical problems, weather them with humor and resilience. This will show the interviewer how you deal with stress and daily crises.

– Before answering a question, make sure you’ve heard and fully understood the entire question. Ask for clarifications if needed.

– Try to avoid talking at the same time as the person interviewing you. Most video conference platforms and even some regular voice telephone connections don’t handle this well.

In the end, thank the interviewer for meeting with you. Show him that you appreciate the time and effort spent. Don’t hesitate to make a phone call after one or two weeks of the interview.

Success starts in the morning

Morning success

More than the hard work you do all day, one very essential key to being successful lies in your everyday morning routine. What makes a successful person different from others is how he or she manages the start of the day.  Hence, your self-discipline is critical to developing a successful morning routine.

Follow a different routine

How you wake up determines how you go about the day. Most probably, the mood you have when you wake up is generally the same mood you’ll have for the whole day. So make it interesting and exciting. Instead of lazily going out of bed, go to the kitchen and drink water. 

Being dehydrated the whole night makes a person feel tired and sluggish. Drink a glass of water when you get up or be sure to have one next to your bedside. Water energizes the body. 

Morning stretching exercises are also helpful to get those muscles ready for the day. Following a different routine increases your “motivation level.” It’s determined to wake up every day facing new goals, new plans, and a brand-new determination. Lastly, practice going to bed affirming yourself to rise every morning feeling renewed and refreshed.

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Meditation is essential

Now get ready to practice silence in the morning. Getting up and being awake is one thing, but to start the day with silence, meditation or a prayer lessens the susceptibility to stress. A lot of successful people say that meditation is essential in their life. If these busy and successful people can do it, why shouldn’t you? Morning is the best part of the day to meditate and be silent.

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Sit in a quiet place and inhale for three seconds through your nose and exhale for three seconds through your mouth. Clear your mind, say a silent prayer. This won’t take too much time, You can do this in less than 3-5 minutes, and you’re good to go. Once you find the habit of doing it then you will realize that the time of silence, meditation, and prayer increases.

Morning routines
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Exercise or be active

Startup your body just like a car’s engine. You need to enable it to move effectively throughout the day. Being active such as having a morning run, walking your dog, or doing some morning chores is kind of therapeutic.

Most of us know this but always conclude not having the time because of busyness and work. Others put exercise at the end of the day but let’s face it, you’re too exhausted to go for a run that it never really happens. Plus, starting your mornings actively also helps the mind think and bodies healthy.

Read Next: Successful People Are Quitters

In Conclusion

Don’t say you can never manage to do one of the few things listed above, everything is still dependent on how you manage your morning rituals. Some days may differ from each other. You don’t have to make it very standardized.

You may reduce the time spent for other things such as jogging for 20 minutes, 5 minutes of silence and writing your thoughts, or 3 minutes of stretching, walking your dog for 5 minutes and 5 minutes of silence. Just remember to wake up with a purpose, stop being mediocre and be successful in the morning.

Successful People Are Quitters

Successful people

Loss of a job, bankruptcy in your small business, being second best in your work or school, rejections from people in the same industry, and so on. People around you will tell you not to quit, just one more try, but successful people are those who actually “quit” sooner than anybody else could realize. How can a quitter be successful?

A quitter discerns appropriately

A quitter is able to discern appropriately: what will work and what will not work. Usually, there will be more mistakes than success stories in any person’s life, and a “quitter” can easily identify which part she needs to let go of.

Discernment also goes with decisiveness, which allows quitters to make quick and appropriate decisions that can greatly affect them and the surrounding people.

Successful people quit
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Successful people quit early

We are not talking about the kind of quit where you just feel like it. More than the emotions, successful people quit a job, a hobby, or even something that they have been doing for the rest of their lives to pursue a different path.

These people realize that it’s never too late to start something or be a part of something. Most of the time they get it right, which in return makes quitters realize that quitting early was the best decision they ever made.

Read next: Traveling Around the World Makes you Richer 

They change their plans

A successful person quits on doing the same things over and over again. Let’s just say for instance you are running a small business that is not getting you anywhere. This doesn’t mean that quitters would just leave it there to let it go down. While a lot would probably think there is nothing wrong with the business, these quitters know better.

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Before anything drastic happens, they quit doing the same strategies, the same routine, and run the business a different and more efficient way. What they quit on are possibilities of the business going bankrupt. That’s what makes them successful in the long run.

Image from Pixabay.

Achieve their dreams

Quitters still achieve their dreams, and sometimes they do it faster than anyone else. When they fail in one dream, they quit and continue making more definite and greater dreams. They quit on the dreams that don’t take them anywhere, instead, they stick to the dreams that allow them to reach their full potential.

While everyone in the race tries to run in the same direction, quitters are those who are part of the race but run in the other direction because they know that their dreams are different and way better than that the dreams of other people.


Online Learning is the Future of Education

online education

We live in a new era of online education. The concept of traditional education has changed radically within the last decade. Today, you don’t have to be physically present in a classroom to learn new skills.  You have access to a quality education whenever and wherever you want.

Free Online Courses

This is a great opportunity for students to start their international studies online, and not just attend a local educational institution. These are online webinars and courses with the best teachers around the world. The free online courses have been available for several years including Coursera, Future Learn, Open Learn from Open University, Class Central, and free online courses from Harvard University, MIT, Berkeley University, and more, and the world’s top universities.

Online education
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Advantages of Online Education

  • You can study at your own pace.
  • You can choose the best school anywhere you want to study
  • You can choose your tutors from the best universities around the world.
  • It doesn’t matter where you live as you can attend any school online.
  • You can earn any degree from undergraduate to professional levels from your home.
  • It doesn’t matter what is your age and can continue life-long learning
  • Distance education costs less than a full-time degree.

Here are a few online education sources at universities in the USA:

    1. Top online education at colleges and universities.
    2. Best Online Master’s in education
    3. Online Business Schools with BBA, MBA, and MS.

There are many universities that offer scholarships to international students. Schools in Europe, Canada, Australia, and other places offer free admission for international students.

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Distance Learning

Distance education has originated from the university’s correspondence courses in the 20th century when students had to attend school during midterms and exams.

Nowadays Internet resources are expanding and almost every university offers distance learning. Many universities open their resources to online learning with BS, BA, MS, and doctorate degrees. The source of information for distance learning is here.

Several European countries offer distance learning at the top universities including Wageningen University and Research (WUR), the Netherlands, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, University of Oxford, the UK, and others.

In addition, many schools offer free education in Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Associate’s degrees programs such as University of the People.

Online education
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English Language Distance Learning

It is a generally accepted fact that English is the world’s most popular and requested language today. It is the official language of 79 countries and territories. More than 400 million people speak English as their first language around the world. One out of five people can speak or understand English.

Today, English is used as a lingua franca for communication between people who do not speak other foreign languages.

Moreover, English is a dominant language in fields such as aviation, computing, diplomacy, science, tourism, and many more. Knowing English increases your chances to get a job at a multinational company or finding a job abroad.

Read next: Travel Around the World to Be Happier

Online English Courses

There are many English online courses that you can study for your convenience from home.

There are other sources that offer English online courses for free:

    1. British Council English courses
    2. Coursera English courses
    3. Perfectly Spoken courses
    4. FutureLearn English courses
    5. Alison courses 

Some people find it difficult to understand the idea of learning online instead of traditional classroom instruction. However, despite skepticism, online education is spreading rapidly.

Thus, online learning has many advantages over traditional education. You can learn various skills for a hobby or career online for free. If you have any thoughts, please share them in the comments below.

Traveling around the World Makes You Richer


Traveling will make you rich with life experience. And this is not only figurative. Given everything that was mentioned above, while traveling, you have invested a lot in your education at the University of Life, in learning new skills and habits, as well as in friendship and personal growth. Now you can apply all the knowledge to develop your career in any field that you want. After all, it is up to you – you can do it!

Happiness is a New Success

Many people start realizing that success does not always mean happiness. Nowadays they say that being happy means being successful. A well-traveled person is smart and self-confident; people can feel their positive attitude. Such a person is an interesting communicator and listener and can influence other people and their personal growth.

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What does Science Say about Happiness?

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, professor of psychology at Cornell University, has been studying the relationship between happiness and money for 20 years. Dr. Gilovich and his colleagues found that people feel more satisfied with the purchase of experimental rather than material things.

Interestingly, people anticipating to purchase experience have been more satisfied than those waiting to buy material things.

“Our research is also important to society because it suggests that overall well-being can be advanced by providing an infrastructure that affords experiences – such as parks, trails, beaches – as much as it does material consumption,” says Gilovich.

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Experiences vs Material Things

There are several possible explanations for why experiences make us happier and last longer or even a lifetime than buying material things. Many people say that experiences are more satisfying than material things.

The psychological explanation is that material things are separated from us, while experiences are part of our lives, and therefore our memories of them can last a long time. When people buy material things, they tend to compare them with something better, and after a while, they feel indifferent or dissatisfied.

From a biochemical point of view, our body produces hormones of happiness when we experience pleasure and every time we remember our memories of things based on experience. When you travel, your memories can last a lifetime and make you feel happy every time you remember them.

Travel around the world to be happier
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Happiness is Not About Money

When you travel to your desired destination you enjoy the place and your experiences will keep you happy no matter how good it was for someone else. This is particularly because your perception of your experiences belongs to you alone. Someone may have a better hotel and other services but it doesn’t mean that their experiences are better than yours. Other studies have shown that people from poor countries enjoy simple things even more than people from wealthy countries.

“Your experiences are inherently less comparative, they’re less subject to and less undermined by invidious social comparisons,” said Gilovich. When people buy material things they tend to compare them with something better and feel dissatisfied after a while.

Read next: Travel Around the World to Be Happier

Final Thoughts

When we travel we create new neural pathways in our brain. These are activities that make us feel good and are associated with taking risks, survival, and pleasure. Thus, traveling is a natural and real way to happiness and personal growth.

What is your opinion? Please share your thoughts below. Cheers!

Up Helly Aa – Shetland Fire Festival in Scotland

Up Helly Aa Fire Festival

The Shetland Fire Festival Up Helly Aa, Europe’s largest fire festival, is a series of 12 fire festivals that take place in many places on the Shetland Islands of Scotland.

The Fire Festival is dedicated to the memory of the Vikings who ruled the Shetland Islands in the 9th century over 1000 years ago for about 500 years. The Shetland Islands became part of Scotland in 1468. The event is held annually on the last Tuesday of January in the city of Lerwick, Scotland.

In the tradition of the Scandinavian Vikings, a spectacular procession takes place to celebrate the end of winter and the return of the sun.

The Parade Begins

Visitors from all over the world can visit this small town to celebrate this old festival. However, they must be residents of the Shetland Islands for 5 years to join the squad and procession.

Fire Festival
Up Helly Aa Fire Festival. Photo by Vicky Brock, Wunderstock

On the evening of Up Helly Aa Day, the parade begins with the blazing procession of the Jarl of the Viking Squad, a leading group of 1,000 men wearing Viking dress. The Guizer Jarl proudly stands at the helm of his replica longship, or ‘galley’.

It is kept secret what the head of the festival, “Jarler Gieser – Lord of Lerwick”, will wear, and which character from the Scandinavian sagas he will represent every year.

Fire festival
Up Helly Aa Fire Festival. Photo by Vicky Brock, Wunderstock

The Vikings wear sheepskins, and carry axes, shields, and torches, and are accompanied by traditional Up Helly Aa songs performed by a brass band.

The crowd is dressed in costumes from almost sublime to completely ridiculous. Women take part in the festival, organizing and preparing food, and creating a wonderful atmosphere for one of the most striking events of the year.

Fire Festival
Up Helly Aa Fire Festival. Photo by Vicky Brock, Wunderstock

The event is run exclusively by thousands of volunteers and organizers and includes a series of marches and visits with stops at hospitals and schools.

Read next: Music is universal in all cultures of the world

Viking Galley Fire

The culminating event – the parade takes place when a torch-lit procession sets in the fire a replica of a Viking longship galley. The crowd sings “ The Norseman’s Home ” – a stirring requiem, after which the participants and spectators cannot hold back their tears, and then continue to dance all night in the local halls.

Fire Festival
Up Helly Aa Fire Festival. Photo by Vicky Brock, Wunderstock

All guides and participants visit a dozen halls for private parties with the exception of a few lounges where tickets are sold to the general public.

Then Lerwick poet J.J. Haldane Burgess, published the novel The Viking Path, in 1894. This was the beginning of the formation of Up Helly Aa in the event known today.

If you did not know about this amazing festival and travel to the Shetland Islands later this year, you can still see many small fire festivals during the months of February to March on the islands.

Travel around the world to be happier


How long were you happy when you bought what you long wanted? Well, maybe a month or even a few years? When the thing became old, you wanted a new one, right? People constantly want something newer, do not value old things, and try to get rid of them.

Many bloggers write about traveling and how it influenced their lives. But everyone has their own experience. So, let’s talk about the important and really life-changing things that we get when we travel to other places. A recent study has shown that people who frequently travel, especially during COVID, are 7% happier.


When you travel you are driven by your natural curiosity and the novelty of a destination. You want to learn about new cultures and see new places, meet new people. If you are curious and smart enough, you will learn a few basic phrases from great local people and keep up a simple conversation. When you learn new things you get more life experience, therefore, become richer.

Dr. Stefan Klein, author of “The Science of Happiness” said that he was most happy: “Wherever I feel connected to the history of humankind or of our planet.

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The more you travel to new places, the more you learn about the life and experience of other people. Traveling will expand your consciousness and make you more open-minded. Life experience while traveling is much more intense than in your familiar place. You cannot learn this from someone else’s experience, but only from your own life experience. Life will be your teacher.

Travel around the world to be richer and happier
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Friends for Life

When you travel, you meet people like you who travel and experience new things in their life. You can experience quite exciting things and hardships while traveling that create lasting friendships and memories. If you make friends with people from different countries, you will discover new cultures and languages. This will make you realize that people have a lot in common regardless of their cultural differences and languages.

Read next: Traveling Around the World Makes You Richer

New You

Travel means getting out of your comfort zone. You also challenge yourself and learn a lot about new things and yourself. Getting to know new places can often be accompanied by discomfort and challenges. Thus, your fears will fade away and you may develop new skills and habits. You will become more persistent and confident. You will become a new person because you will know your values after being away from home for a long time.

Travel around the world to be richer and happier
Photo by The World Hopper from Pexels


You will have more knowledge and become less self-centered, and a more compassionate person. You may want to volunteer to help other people or want to go on a spiritual journey somewhere to learn wisdom. It can be a trip to a country with rich traditions for the study of yoga and meditation, or some ancient teaching. These can be unforgettable places like India or others.

Do you have your own story that you experienced while traveling? It will be great if you share this in the comments below. You can also submit your story for publication on our blog. Cheers!

Music is universal in all cultures of the world


Music has long been called the universal language of humankind. New research supports the finding that music all around the globe shares universal features, despite many differences.

The concept of cultural universality allows defining culture in terms of what is intrinsic to it in human culture. While some of the features are specific for each culture, others are distributed across the cultures.

The study of ethnic music can therefore be reviewed from their socio-cultural traditions as well as from the universal perspective.

Image by Masbet Christianto from Pixabay

Human Music is Universal

Samuel Mehr and colleagues address this challenge by merging modern data science with musical recordings and ethnographic records from world cultures to map out the universals and variations in human song (vocal music).

Mehr et al. built a discography of audio recordings accompanied with detailed descriptions of around 5000 detailed descriptions of songs and their performances in 60 human societies from 315 cultures.

Read next: Up Helly Aa – Shetland Fire Festival in Scotland

They created another database to analyze recordings taken of four types of music from 30 different regions, which included dance songs, healing songs, love songs, and lullabies.

The results of the study underscore the universality of music, suggesting humans might have an innate “grammar” for music.

Music is one of the Aspects of Human Cognition

Cognitive biologists Tecumseh Fitch and Tudor Popescu of the University of Vienna suggest that human musicality unites all cultures across the planet.

They comment on the implications: “Human musicality fundamentally rests on a small number of fixed pillars: hard-coded predispositions, afforded to us by the ancient physiological infrastructure of our shared biology. These ‘musical pillars’ are then ‘seasoned’ with the specifics of every individual culture, giving rise to the beautiful kaleidoscopic assortment that we find in world music,” Tudor Popescu explains.

The new research suggests that human musicality is one of these shared aspects of human cognition. The results also show there is more variation in musical context within cultures than between them.