Category Archives: sometimes adventure

Learnings From Interviewing Over 500 People

Reflecting on the past 7 years of management, learnings that’ve come up from this role are pretty topical right now. On a Friday, I’ll grab a virtual cup of coffee with someone and next thing I know, I’m being asked ‘hey June, what have you learned as a manager of global teams?’. Naturally, this has brought up a number of questions and of course, a sit with what I actually did learn and what that looks like for me as I move forward in my career and life.

Back in my Lush days, we’d interview hoards of enthusiastic candidates at least four times per year. They’d queue at our shop door for hours in the morning (sometimes from 7am) to take part in a group interview with myself and the wonderful leadership team. It was always rather exciting to be part of them and the different interactions were so much fun as we navigated through the hour and a half of role plays, demos and other out of the box ideas that would work for us to identify the best people to join our team. Fast forward to 2018 and I was fortunate to start a management role at Marketstar (known then as Product2Market). There, I have continued to have a plethora of new learnings while interviewing candidates for my teams, other teams, promotions and of course, exit interviews to chat through questions of the why and how of individuals.

Interviews are an interesting dynamic. They can be made up a mixture of questions, ideas and connection depending on the role, people, company and whether it is in person or over virtual call. A panel can be involved, one on one or a group interaction as I mentioned about Lush earlier on.

Putting your best foot forward is important for interviews but there are so many other factors and learnings that can come from them as an interviewer or interviewee. This has certainly been my experience. Allow me to shed some light.

As an interviewer, we can easily get carried away with what the candidate is saying and asking a decent follow up question. We want them to know that we are challenging them, to ensure they’ve done their prep and are keen to be in this company and job. Meanwhile, as interviewers, it’s important to remember that they are also assessing us. The timeliness, questions, interactions and overall attitude that we bring to the table is a representation of the company and management that they are applying for. Remembering this is imperative to kicking off a strong dynamic from the get-go.

It’s obvious if someone is being genuine or not, this applies to interviews like everything else. Being clear, honest, open and giving thoughtful answers goes a long way in terms of bringing your best self to the table in an interview process. Prepare for possible situational questions ( of course) but be mindful that curve balls will be thrown. This is a real human interaction – don’t follow a script.

Just because it doesn’t have the outcome you wanted, doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. I’ve given many rejections over the years, some were with feedback – others weren’t. There are so many reasons why a role is not for you, noting this is of vital importance in the process. There could be internal candidates, the timelines don’t match or it’s simply not the role for you. Follow your faith.

Learn about you from every experience – add it to your belt and press on. Bringing the best mindset is what will support you no matter what – on your lovely path.

Keep shining x

Dear My 2019 Self : Here’s How You Move Out Of A Pandemic

As we navigate through a Summer of change, it’s clear that we are on the up and things are feeling more bright. Naturally, many of us are experiencing a plethora of emotions and even more naturally, we understand that well, things won’t be the same as before – and to be honest, that’s a pretty healthy thing.

Scrolling through social media posts, I can’t help but identify the fact that number one, many others have experienced similar emotions to me. And number two, the majority of us don’t have it figured out yet.

Thank heavens that I’ve had a pretty positive quarantine life. I’ve either had a friend, yoga mat or pile of books nearby. Meanwhile, my job kept me busy for, at times over 60 hours per week. I’ve had the most wonderful team who have been there to be super helpful, kind and uplifting. At the same time, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind and there are days I can’t believe I need to make plans at the weekend to go for drinks or a date or just not lie on my bed reading another book. Where did the time go?

Moving out of the Pandemic, there are emotions that naturally arise and as always, being aware of them is key at every juncture. Breaking them down has certainly been helpful for me, hopefully it’s the same for you.

Social Anxiety – Ehhmmmmm how do I talk to people? Should I be wearing a mask? Are others feeling the same? How about smiling…? I feel a bit mad smiling at random strangers but well, it lifts my own mood exponentially. The list goes on and will likely continue to. It’s totally normal to feel social anxiety as we start going on nights out, dates and in random interactions with other people. Our social circles didn’t go beyond 5-6 people for long periods of time so how about we ease ourselves in gently and understand that this is totally normal.

Grief – I don’t know about you guys but as I get back to ‘normal’, my life is totally different to what it was before the Pandemic. Beforehand, I had some different people in my life work-wise, romantically and in my living quarters. Some friendships changed immensely during the pandemic and some disappeared totally. I’ve reconnected with childhood friends because I had the time to do so and thankfully, I’ve been able to work on myself so much that there are days I’m super tired of self-development. With all the goodness that’s in place, there is some parts of the older pre-pandemic life that it’s okay to miss. Accept that and be okay with it before moving through these new chapters.

Mid-Life Crisis – I know this isn’t an emotion but well, it seems pretty relevant right now. Noticing this being quite common around me over the last couple of months, I reached out to a friend to understand a bit better what was going on. People seemed to be reflecting on and making massive life-changing decisions as they manoeuvred through these times. I spoke to a psychiatrist friend who reminded me that ‘June, people aren’t used to containment and being with their thoughts so much. It’s sparked a lot of new thinking and it’s like a bunch of people are going through a mid-life crisis together.’ SO, if this is the case for you, don’t feel bad. There’s a lot happening together when it comes to this juncture of over-thinking.

It’s okay to not have it figured out – Just because we’re experiencing going back to this new normal, doesn’t mean all the answers need to be ready and waiting for you. Indeed, it’s great to take actions and move towards your next moves, that doesn’t mean you have to be okay with all of it or to find it super easy.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments in the fields below 🙂

Inspiration Over Social: Kerry Entrepreneurs Making Impact

Being back in the Kingdom the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to get back to my roots, hang out at the beach & do socially distanced walks. This part of Ireland is so full of beauty, calm and wonderful humans.

Thankfully, I’ve been witness to some serious innovation. There are numerous small businesses making moves before & during the Pandemic. They’ve enabled themselves so much to be their best selves, to build their online presence and share their stories openly and honestly.

‘Changes call for innovation & innovation leads to progress’ – Li Keqiang

Over 2020 & 2021, amongst the madness, there have been outlets for us to online shop, support Irish businesses and for those Irish businesses to show what they’re about in the online world. Back stories have been shared where possible and thankfully, there appears to be an increase in terms of the amount of people supporting Irish businesses. We are after all, in this together.

Narrowing it down wasn’t an easy feat. Below are four female entrepreneurs I was keen to highlight as we move through 2021.

Whether you are looking for Inspiration, new clothes or a relevant meme, Sarah Blake’s business East 73rd allows for all of the above. Sarah started her business after moving back from London and has gone from strength to strength opening stores in Ballybunion & CastleIsland. During lockdown, she’s upped her social media presence which offers views of all her clothes, sales & Sarah herself as she guides through the videos. Worth visiting, her site has cosy clothes, Summer & Spring brightness and accessories.

Randomly chatting about fitness before Christmas, Rebecca O’Rourke was brought to my attention. A motivational, high energy & inspiring entrepreneur, Rebecca’s vibe is contagious. She does regular insta lives, mind and body strengthening via coaching & an online community focused on instilling confidence. Some personal favourites from her site are her back story and her book recommendations.

I’ve been fortunate enough to know Máire since my primary school days. Vivacious & energetic, she’s been involved in the food industry since her University days and has worked in the UK & Ireland before launching her Business ‘Organigo.ie‘ in North Kerry. Organic ready to eat veg for the retail and food service market, the foods can be added to stir-fries, pastas and stews to name a few uses. Recently, Máire and her business have been on nationwide and no doubt, she’ll continue to go from strength to strength.

Mary Thea Brosnan has always been super inspiring and launching Kerry Kefir has been incredible to observe over the social media world. The CastleIsland entrepreneur created the product which is made from the traditional method of 100% Kerry milk and Kefir grains. Aiding in digestion, Kefir has taken off in Ireland over the past few years and has several benefits. Continuing to thrive, Mary has won awards and her online presence is characterised by her unique style & bubbly personality. Visit Mary & Kerry Kefir here.

Be sure to visit these sites and share anyone who you reckon I may have missed from the mix.