How can you recover if you horribly blow an interview?

After months of looking, you finally landed an interview! Maybe you found a way to break into working in healthcare, or you are interviewing for your first management job, and you want it so badly you work yourself into a state that might not be ideal for an interview. Everyone reacts to nerves differently, and for some, being nervous can lead to some major “foot in mouth” moments. Sometimes the worst case scenario happens in an interview, and you say something embarrassing. Whether it was an inappropriate joke, some misinformation, some out of place gossip you wish you could take back, or your mind just went blank at the worst possible moment, here are some strategies to help you recover and save face.

Recovering from a Major Interview Blunder

Stop, take a deep breath, admit what you just said was incorrect or inappropriate and apologize. Be as professional as you can, and be honest – if your nerves got the better of you, admit it. Own up to it, make it clear you don’t normally behave or speak that way, and move on.

Make it into a joke at your own expense. Turn the awkward moment into a humorous one and make sure to laugh (as naturally as possible). If your interviewer laughs too, the ice might be broken. Again, apologize if it was out of line, state that it was unacceptable, and the mood should hopefully lighten up after the slip.

If you freeze after being asked a question related to the job – maybe you blank on a technical term, or find yourself unable to answer something that you normally can speak of without difficulty, use the opportunity for a follow up email later. Admit exactly what happened, be confident, direct, and honest, and clarify your thoughts on the issue. If you said something completely incorrect, admit that you know it was not the right answer, apologize and retract, and admit that your nerves got the better of you.

Admitting a weakness may seem counter-intuitive in an interview scenario, but an important thing to remember is that people are looking for humans who will be their colleagues, and perfectly rehearsed answers may not help you at times, as there is always a chance that the interviewer will view a perfect answer as a cliche and disregard it. Being honest can help you. If your weakness has been inadvertently revealed, admitting it, letting them know you are working on it, and possibly even asking the interviewer if they have known others who have overcame similar issues could work to your advantage. No one is perfect, and showing that you are accountable for your own actions could ultimately work in your favor.

Even if the job opportunity has been lost by a misstep, a graceful recovery might allow you to network and be kept in mind for future opportunities. If you do mess up an interview, the most important thing is to gauge the interviewer’s reaction and respond in a fitting way. Reading the interviewer is one of the most important parts of an interview, so be sure to watch their face and body language to ensure you pick the best recovery tactic for the interview you have found yourself in.

Have you ever botched an interview? Did you manage to recover? Let us know in the comments!

Categories:Kijiji Jobs

Hey New Roomie, Now That We Live Together, Want to Adopt Or Something?

So you and your best bud have decided to become roommates and rent an apartment. How exciting! What could be better than getting a pet to celebrate the new apartment and cement your friendship? While it may look like a good idea on the surface, it’s going to take some great planning and mutual understanding to make it successful and keep both you and your new pet happy. Let’s have a look at some of the FAQs we get asked about with this kind of thing.

Adopting a pet with roommates

Who really owns the pet? Have you ever heard the expression, “the piece of paper always wins?” It basically means that a written signature on paper is going to win over any verbal agreements you may claim to have. So whose name is on the adoption paperwork? Whose name is on the dog license with your local Municipality? Whose name appears on the veterinarian records? Sounds like a lot to think about right? This can become really confusing if different names are on different registrations listed above. The solution? Talk about it with your new roomy before you get the pet. Decide who will be the one person listed on all the paperwork with the understanding that if anything goes wrong, this is the person who will end up with the pet and all the responsibilities that go with it.

What if there is an emergency? We all hope that we won’t have to experience an emergency, but the reality is that it could happen! Having a pet with a roommate is a great situation for you to think about pet insurance. It can be a real lifesaver if you don’t have money saved up for vet emergencies! At least with pet insurance all you have to worry about is what you should do to treat emergency problems. That’s going to be enough to handle at the moment without having to make financial decisions too.

Okay, so let’s talk about something less dramatic – what to feed your furry friend and who adopts it? Set out a game plan in advance – maybe swap out every month and talk over what you both think is a good diet to feed your pet (you can also chat with your veterinarian about this). Also on a day-to-day basis, who disciplines the pet if they chew on something or have a leaky bladder episode? This is where keeping those lines of communication open are going to be really important. Talk it over early what you’re going to do if you encounter the common problems. Chewing is big one – what would you do differently if the pet chewed up some shared furniture versus chewing up one roommates favourite sweater? It may seem trivial until it happens and everyone is really upset. Some good advice? Talk over some basic ground rules before you need them.

Lastly, what happens if something goes wrong and you and your best bud aren’t really best buds anymore, or it’s the end of the school year – who gets the final responsibility of the pet? If it’s the end of the school year, then hopefully you’ll be coming back in the fall with the same roommate for the next year. But if people are graduating or you split up for good, then what happens? Several Ontario SPCA Communities have to deal with abandoned pets or surrendered pets that they just adopted out eight months earlier. Again, pet ownership is something to talk over while you’re still talking and communicating well. Make a plan just in case things don’t go as well as they are right now… just in case.

So what are we trying to say here? In the end, we’re not saying that it can’t be done – it’s just that it takes great planning, being mature and keeping the lines of communication open between you and your roommate to make for a great rewarding pet experience. Try to remember to always put your pet’s needs and wants first over any problems you may have living with a roommate, big or small!

Categories:Guest Post, Kijiji Pets

Our Favorite Fall Vacation Rental Locations on Kijiji

Fall is a beautiful time to get away from the daily grind, and for some, it can be easier to get time off during the cool days of autumn than during the hot summer or winter. Though you may need some sweaters, there are many places to plan a beautiful and memorable getaway during the fall.

Cottage Vacation Rentals in Canada

Ontario. Get away to Lake Eerie & Pelee Island or Niagara region and enjoy a romantic wine tour, or travel to Muskoka and have a cozy time around the camp fire and canoeing before cottages are shut down for the season. Though you may not be able to work on your sun tan as during the summer months, the gorgeous fall foliage and cozy evening around the fire will more than make up for it.

British Columbia. Go for a walk along the ocean shoreline on Vancouver Island and enjoy the comparatively warm weather to the rest of the country, or fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and go hiking and fishing in the Kootenay Rockies.

The Maritimes. Eat fresh lobster by the seaside staying in a cottage on the Acadian Coast in New Brunswick, or hike in rugged Newfoundland and Labrador. Explore picturesque Lunenburg in Nova Scotia, or wiggle your toes in red sand and check out friendly Prince Edward Island.

Quebec. Get away from everything by renting a chalet in Mont Tremblant and going skiing, or party it up with friends in Montreal. Dreaming of a vacation in France? Quebec City has plenty of charm, no need to go overseas or update your passport.

Saskatchewan. Love to hunt or fish? Find a cabin in the land of the living skies to get away from the daily grind and reconnect with nature.

What is your favorite Canadian destination in the fall? Let us know in the comments!

Back to School Shopping (The Smart Way)

If you flip through flyers or watch commercials on TV during the few weeks leading up to September, you’d likely think that some major holiday was on its way. Print ads double in size, your weekly local newspaper is suddenly jammed full with 15 page flyers and massive packs of coupons, and there’s an onslaught of commercials all with a festive vibe to them- parents dancing around with joy as they celebrate their freedom, or kids running up and down aisles in a frenzy, grabbing school supplies in every colour while some upbeat tune plays in the back.

As parents or students (of any age) shopping for back to school supplies, it’s easy to get caught up and think that we need ditch everything from last year and start off the year with all new everything- but by October when the glitz of a new school year is gone, you’re going to look at that credit card bill and wonder if you really needed 7 pairs of new jeans (one for everyday of the week), or that state of the art scientific calculator that cost more than you’d like to admit to anyone.

Here are a 3 of the most common back to school purchases (for all different age groups) that actually make more sense purchasing gently used (or in some cases, not at all.)

Back to School Shopping with Kijiji

Technology

We get it. Times are changing and kids feel the need to get hooked up to the virtual world at a much earlier age than before, but that’s not a reason to go ahead and dish out a few hundred dollars for a new cellphone, or spend over a grand on a new laptop. At that age, they simply need something functional and sturdy, (emphasis on sturdy), so why not buy second-hand for that first big-ticket piece of technology? There are so many different types of electronics put up on Kijiji everyday, and usually they are still in amazing condition- the seller just wants to upgrade or maybe the device did not suit the seller’s particular needs. Take it from us- your 9 year old or your 15 year old isn’t going to ultimately care if that iPad you got them came from someone else as long as they can install Candy Crush on it ASAP. And if you’re a student at the university or college level looking to purchase a new gadget for your studies, look into buying second-hand as well. Everything about post-secondary education is expensive enough. Find ways to cut unnecessary costs and you’ll thank yourself later when those savings translate to much lower debt levels.

Clothes

It’s not that college or university students don’t need clothes, or parents shouldn’t buy any new clothes for their kids. It’s just that the myth we’re sold is that students have grown and changed so much over the year that they now need an entirely new wardrobe to suit their new identities. Everything must be replaced! A smarter way of buying back to school clothes is to do an inventory of what fits and doesn’t fit. Whatever clothing has been outgrown, donate or sell! Then, once you’ve figured out what exactly they is needed and how many, go out and only buy those pieces. You’re going to end up with much less clothing only being worn once or in some cases, not at all, because you forgot it was purchased and it ends up hiding in the corner of the closet with the price tags still on.

Books

This applies to reading and reference books for elementary to high school students as well as university and college textbooks. Novels and textbooks are often items you can and should purchase used. For the elementary and high school set, if the goal is just to provide them with a hefty stack of books to read at home to boost their reading comprehension, then consider scouring garage sales for collections of paperbacks. They go as low as fifty cents a book and chances are, they’ll be read once and then tossed away. For the university and college group, your textbooks are so expensive and you’ll go through so many of them that it just doesn’t make sense to buy a brand new one unless you can’t find a functional used copy. Most college and university campuses have their own used textbook stores or websites, but if you can buy direct from another student from a site like Kijiji, you will likely save yourself some cash (and help out another student). Be sure to ask the seller about the condition of the book and ask for close-up pictures of the covers and a few select pages. Also, don’t forget to ask the seller how much the book has been written in or highlighted. Depending on your preferences (and the highlighting skills of the prior owner), highlighted text books can make skimming much faster and more efficient, or, they could be a distraction and take away from the value of the book.

Categories:Back to School, Students

The rights and responsibilities of a landlord in Ontario

Being a landlord can be an attractive investment, but it can also be a lot of work. With the role comes a lot of responsibilities and potential risks, which can vary from province to province across Canada. It’s important to do your research and know your rights before delving into the venture. In Ontario, landlords should be knowledgeable with the Residential Tenancies Act, which outlines lease agreements, landlords and tenants responsibilities, and other rights, rules and responsibilities relating to rental properties. Some of the responsibilities include providing a rental unit that complies with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards as well as keeping the home in good repair and providing access to vital services like hot and cold water, electricity, heat and fuel (e.g. natural gas). Taking ownership and pride in your investment will only help you reap the rewards and attract the right tenants. You must also provide your tenant with an information package outlining the basic rights and responsibilities.

Before becoming a landlord, you should also check to make sure your unit is legal. Some municipalities don’t issue permits for secondary suites like, for instance, basement apartments. If you build one anyhow and it is discovered, you could be forced to pay fines and take down the rental property. If you want to rent out a space that doesn’t meet the legal requirements, you will not have the same protections that a legally rented suite will have. If you want to rent out a space that does not meet safety code restrictions, do your renovations before renting to save yourself the potential liability nightmare.

Rights-Resp-Landlord

Finding the right tenant

It’s no secret every landlord wants someone who will pay the rent on time and respect the rental property and a good way to achieve this is to create a screening process that will allow you to weed out the bad apples that may have a history of not paying the bills. A rental application is often used to ensure the same information is collected from all prospective tenants. It allows landlords to make direct comparisons between applications and also verify the information that was given to them.

Landlords have the right to use income information, credit checks, credit references, rental history, employment history, personal references and other similar business practices to help them make their decision on which tenant would be best suited for the rental property. They cannot however, select or refuse tenants based on race, place of origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, family status (e.g. children) or disability. Familiarizing yourself with the Ontario Human Rights Code to learn about your own rights and that of a prospective tenant when it comes to choosing the right person to rent to will go a long way in helping you become a successful landlord.

Sealing the deal

Although landlords and tenants don’t necessarily need to have a written tenancy agreement or lease (a verbal agreement could be made), it’s in the best interest of both the landlord and tenant if there is one because it will act as a record should there be any kind of dispute later on that needs to be settled. You can also collect a rent deposit that is no more than one month’s rent. It must be requested on or before the day the tenant moves in and is solely used for last month’s rent before the lease ends.

Landlords also have the right to collect rent in full on the day it is due and increase the rent once during a 12-month period. If you need to complete maintenance or repairs or show the unit to a potential tenant you must let your tenant know 24 hours before you enter and send a note as to why you want to enter. It must also be between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. If there is an emergency however, you can enter the unit without necessarily needing permission (but it’s always a good idea to let the tenant know as soon as possible for good relations).

Other rights

One of the most difficult parts about being a landlord is exercising your right to evict a tenant. It’s never easy, but it’s sometimes necessary, especially if you have a tenant who isn’t paying their bills or has damaged your property. In most situations you have to issue a termination notice before taking other measures to get the tenant out of your rental suite. If you want to rent your unit to another person (or even a relative) or have decided to use the unit yourself, you need to give the tenant a notice of termination outlining the reason why. If you have a problem tenant however, the process can take a little longer. The termination notice you issue must state the number of days the tenant has to correct the perceived problem. You must then wait the set number of days to see if the issue has been resolved. If it hasn’t you can file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board, which is responsible for settling landlord and tenant problems. A hearing will be held for the application where a member of the Board will make a decision based on the evidence presented by the landlord and tenant. Landlords and tenants also have the option of having a mediator from the Board step in to help them reach their own agreement.

If a tenant refused to move out even with an eviction order issued, you can contact the Court Enforcement Office to carry out the eviction.

Things to consider
As a tenant, it might seem like landlords have an easy job, but there is a lot more to being a good landlord than collecting cheques every month. Not every property owner makes money on their rental apartments. Even with a good location and properly vetted tenants, many landlords have gaps between tenants, which makes making money difficult. If you are thinking of buying an investment property, make sure you can afford to carry it even if you aren’t able to keep the unit full at all times. Remember, appliances, decks, and roofs need servicing and replacing every so often. If you aren’t able to make fixes on the fly, consider hiring a property manager or keeping a trusted handy man (or woman) on speed dial. Issues with maintenance and long lags between a complaint and a fix can easily drive away the tenants you took so long to vet.

Sources and more information:
Landlord and Tenant Board
Human Rights Code
Landlord’s Self-Help Centre

Categories:Kijiji Real Estate