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Guest Blogs

Knowitall.ch often invites local experts in their field to contribute to their own blogs on our site. This means not only you will benefit from the useful recommendations that we make on our News pages, but you can also profit from some of the great advice and tips that these experts have to make on their favorite subjects. Whilst each of these bloggers has been recommended to us at some point during the evolution of Know-it-all passport and  knowitall.ch, obviously we are not able to test out all the suggestions they make on their blogs, nor do we necessarily agree with all their opinions.  So if you do find one of their tips useful (or not!), do let us know!

To make these blogs more accessible to you, we have now decided to group them altogether in one section, entitled Guest Blogs, accessible from our main menu bar.  We will also post the most recent blogs on the home page of our site in the right hand column.

We are still building up this area of the site, and are looking for bloggers in a number of sections, including Your Home, Travel, and Leisure, so if you feel you have a useful contribution to make in either of these areas, and have the time to submit blog entries approximately every month, then please get in touch!

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Photo: Miguel Bueno, Human Rights Film Festival

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

In everyday conversation, we often lead up to the point we want to make but when we are taking questions after a presentation, in a job or media interview then we want to do exactly the opposite!

Why is this? Because we want to be clear and concise and show with confidence we know the answer. And in a live broadcast interview, if the journalist suspects you are avoiding the question, they will interrupt and ask why you are not answering the question. So your reputation depends on getting to the point quickly.

Recently I watched some pre-recorded interviews done by CNN Money in Switzerland. As the Geneva Conventions turn 70, the programme asked whether this is a cause for celebration or concern? The reporter did 3 interviews with experts on whether the Conventions on respecting the rules of war are still relevant.

They illustrate 3 different ways of answering a question. Which one do you think is most effective?

boys playing football copy

Photo: www.luisfaustino.com

By Steve Long, InterSoccer

Can you put your hand on your heart and say that your child does a whole hour of sport or physical activity, every single day of the week?

If he or she attends school in Switzerland, whether public or private, it is likely that he or she takes part in gym, swimming, walking and other activities on most weekdays during term time. However, on weekends and in the school holidays, the responsibility falls to us parents to make sure that our children are active enough. Suddenly we have to factor entertaining our children into our daily lives, alongside other responsibilities such as work, shopping, cooking and housework. Is it always possible to provide them with the time and circumstances to do this amount of exercise?

Last week the government in my home country of England announced plans to give all children greater opportunities to be active in school, after school, and during weekends and holidays. Research has shown that less than one in five children in England do the recommended daily amount of 60 minutes of physical activity a day, and one third do less than 30 minutes a day.

There are, as yet, no such national figures for children under the age of 10 in Switzerland. But the 2007 Swiss Health Survey revealed that 35% of the population over the age of 15 are insufficiently active, and 16% are entirely inactive. If trends in Switzerland are following those in other European countries, those figures have probably risen in the past 12 years.

videointerview

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

As the adage goes, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. But never has it been so true in these days of highly competitive job interviews where employers’ pre-screen candidates with a video interview.

According to the Institute of student employers, some 49% of interviewees are asked to do either a live face-to-face interview via video or one that is pre-recorded. In the latter, each candidate is given the same set of questions and timeframe to respond.

All video interviews whether for a job, a corporate video or for the TV can be nerve-wracking but the one-way video interview is particularly challenging, as you don't get any verbal or visual feedback.

Recently, a young woman came to me asking for advice on how to make a good first impression in a one-way video interview for a job she was applying for at an international organisation here in Geneva.

Here are some of the tips I gave her:

2. Kids and zero waste Apr19 by Unsplash

By Anna Lascols, Organizing Geneva 

Have you heard about headlines such as “Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children”. The Guardian and many other newspapers are trying to inform us on the massive impact our children have on the environment. In fact, a research published in ‘Environmental Research Letters’ states that having one fewer child would save a parent 58.6 tons of COequivalent per year. Which is 24x bigger than living without a car and 279x bigger than recycling. Wow!

It’s shocking and important to be aware of the consequences of overpopulation on our planet. Yet, if you read this article chances are high you already have children; they are part of the lifestyle you have chosen. If you are like me, then you love your kids, you would do everything for them, you want to ensure the best possible future for your them. Sounds familiar?

Cool, but the bad news is that the future is not that predictable anymore. Global warming, animal extinction, pollution, plastic in the oceans…all of this is real, and it’s not getting better. We do not want to live with a constant bad conscience due to our kids’ carbon emissions, that’s for sure. But I am convinced that we can change a tiny bit our habits, adopt some measures, try out some ideas to reduce emissions as a family, reduce our waste and live more in harmony with nature. Every little change counts, will motivate other people to follow the same path, will positively impact our own health and the health of our planet.

You think that this is impossible, that you can’t influence the way your children live, that it’s too much of a constraint and will cost you a lot of money? If that is the case, how about you start looking at zero waste from a different angle? How about turning the idea around and framing it as a fantastic educational and learning experience for your family? You can open your minds to new horizons, let conventions go and find out what your real values are. You can make it a fun family project and challenge (or even competition). You can lead by example and teach your kids values and habits that will become natural and stick with them for life. Preparing them for a better future.

get your stories ready2

By Claire Doole, Claire Doole Communications

In presentation training, we focus on storytelling as a way of building emotional connection with the audience. Stories win hearts and minds, inspire and motivate and engage and entertain.

In a job interview, stories can be extremely effective. They will help you stand out in the interviewer's mind and highlight your key competencies.

Often, you will make a series of assertions such as I can help you increase sales, attract more funding or influence legislation. However, you will need to provide evidence for the interviewer to take you seriously. This is where stories, which are based on real-life examples, can help you come across as genuine and credible.

In my job interview coaching, we examine some typical questions, like the ones below, and apply storytelling techniques.

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • Why do you think you are the right person for this job?
  • Tell us about a time you have succeeded/ failed.
  • How do you deal with conflicts at work?
  • Tell us what you don't like about your current working day?
  • What sort of things do you and your boss disagree about?
  • What is your greatest strength and how will it help you in this job?
  • What do you see as the most challenging part of this position?