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Managing editor shares top tip for job interview – and it’s proved controversial

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ALSO READ: The colour you should always wear to job interviews and important work meetings

Job interviews can be an incredibly stressful process for both the interviewee and the interviewer.

But one woman, who claims to have hired hundreds of people over the course of her career, says there’s one simple thing people can do in order to improve their chances of getting a job.

And it’s a step you take after the interview has occurred.

According to Jessica Liebman, the executive managing editor of Insider Inc. potential candidates should always send a thank-you email after an interview.

Writing for Business Insider, Jessica explained: “Making someone an offer to join your company is always risky.

“As the executive managing editor for Insider Inc., I interview people all the time for open jobs. I have hired hundreds of them.

“When I first started hiring, I came up with a simple rule: We shouldn’t move a candidate to the next stage in the interview process unless they send a thank-you email.

“Seven years later, I stand by it.”

She goes on to clarify that people should only send an email and not post a handwritten note or letter to a prospective employer.

Her reason for implementing this thank-you rule is two-fold.

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Jessica believes that if someone takes the time to send a follow-up email after the interview, it shows they really want the job.

The second reason is that it suggests a person is “eager, organised and well mannered” meaning they’re likely to be a “good egg” and could therefore be an asset to the company.

The Business Insider article went viral when it was published, sparking furious backlash.

Many people are divided over whether or not you should have to send a thank-you email after an interview.

One person said: “I like thank-you notes but making them a requirement is a terrible practice.”

Another commented: “Interviews work both ways. In an interview I’m finding out whether I want to work for them as much as they’re finding out whether they want to hire me. A lot of people forget that.”

A third replied: “These employees will be creating value for your company, it’s you that should be thankful.”

“I send a handwritten note to everyone I interview after the hiring decision is made to thank them for taking the time to come interview,” added a fourth.





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Life lessons learnt in the heart of the Masai Mara

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By NG’ANG’A MBUGUA
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The lion and the zebra may both live cheek by jowl in the vast savannahs of the Maasai Mara, no two animals are so unlike when it comes to fatherhood. But both the carnivore and the herbivore have important lessons they can teach me on the subject.

On any given day, Father Lion is aloof to his cubs, keeping his distance high up in the rocky knolls as Mother Lioness plays with her young ones most day, rolling in the grass, cleaning each others coats and, when hunger pangs bite, going for the kill as one.

But the lioness and her cubs know that when they have zeroed in on a prey that is too big or too strong for them, they can always count on the lion – the pride of the pride so to speak – to deliver the killer blow. Unfortunately for the lioness and her little ones, once lunch has been served, they have to step back a respectable distance and wait until the king of the jungle has had his fill. That is why what Father Lion eats is called “the lion’s share”. But to his credit, and unlike many a man in the animal kingdom, he is present at most meal times.

Once in a while, the lioness and her cubs will bring down an eland, or a wildebeest, and gobble it down without the knowledge of the lion. That is what we witnessed when we visited the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, one of the 17 conservancies in the Maasai Mara.

“How come the lion is not here to share in the meal?” we asked, marvelling at the satiated lioness lying in the grass as her cubs tore away juicy pieces off the body of a wildebeest.

“He did not get the memo,” said our guide Philip Mushaba, who works for the Olare Mara Kempinski camp, a five-star establishment that offers its guests a touch of European luxury mixed with an authentic African experience of the wilds.

Indeed, the lion was away surveying his territory. As the dominant male in his pride, one of his key responsibilities is to secure his family and keep away the competition. The day he is not strong enough to fight them off is the day he loses his all and is cast away to die in ignominy. And because he has to fight many other males to secure his territory, this reduces his life expectancy to 12 years compared to 16 for the lioness.

Unlike the lioness, for whom bonding with the young ones is the biggest responsibility, the lion spends most of his time alone.

“He does not like to be bothered by the cubs. He takes offence when they step on his claws,” Philip told us as we watched a pride of cubs welcoming their two mothers who were returning from a stroll. They hugged and purred and ran out to meet the two females in a happy re-union. The lionesses led them to the river to quench their thirst.

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Whereas the lion is the alpha and macho man of the wilds, the zebra is the sentimental and caring male. The moment his female companion or companions become pregnant, he makes it his duty to stand by her. He will be there, doing sentry duty, when the calf is born and stands by his family until the calf is old enough to fend for itself.

The zebra is no different from the humble warthog, the most forgetful creature in the African wilds. This weakness, embedded in the warthog’s DNA, can make it so easy for the parents to lose their young ones especially in the long grass. To get around their own forgetfulness, and that of their little ones, the father and mother always raise their tails. That way, their young ones can always follow them, especially when they are running away from predators.

According to Philip, the animals use their tails as a GPS, which helps their offspring find their way around the world. For humans, a moral compass is more important, for without it, their children will be lost and arrive in adulthood bewildered, lacking a moral orientation, and experience difficulties finding something they can stand for. And, as we say, those who cannot stand for anything will fall for anything.

The most sobering lesson for fathers will probably be taught by the male buffalo. When he becomes too old to compete with young studs in the herd, he will be banished from his family. He will be lucky to find others like him who have suffered a similar fate, and together, spend their sunset days staring into the distance with nothing to do to give their lives meaning.

This is a conversation that came up at a dinner table last week when one man, an architect, narrated how he struggled to take care of his mother when she was ailing. After she passed on, his children came to him and said: “Dad, we admire your patience and commitment to your mother but we do not have it in us. Please make arrangements for your old age.”

Which left me thinking. That people do not just do safaris in the wild for the heck of it. When we are shorn of all pretensions, we are at base, animals. We live in our world in which how far you can see (into the future, into your life and into your environment) is as important as what you know. If a man is a lion, his next meal will be guaranteed by his sight. And if he is a zebra, his very survival depends on it.

Last, but not least, fathers can learn from the wildebeest for whom the power of community is the biggest life insurance. When they spot danger, the herbivores will make noises that are enough to irritate the enemy, and guarantee their safety as a group. However, the moment one steps away from the norm and the herd, he is exposed to every imaginable danger. Nothing can save him when the enemy strikes and he has to stare death in the eye, surrounded by hyenas.





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A view of Lake Nakuru at dusk in Sopa Lodge

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By JAN FOX
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Last weekend my fiancée and I fancied a few days in the bush, so we decided to head to Lake Nakuru. On paper, it ticked all the boxes for a brief escape from the city: the drive was relatively short, there were plenty of places to stay, and it was the closest option – outside of Nairobi National Park – with a high density of wildlife.

What we didn’t take into account was the fact that the road to Nakuru is now an excavated and congested mess. With long stretches of thick fog in the mix, and an especially high number of kamikaze drivers weaving in and out of trundling lorries, it took us four hours to get to the main gate. The road is definitely due for an upgrade, but I hope the 25km stretch from the James Gichuru junction to Rironi can be completed within the anticipated three years.

Once we were through the gate, our nightmare journey was quickly forgotten. We often camp by the Makalia Waterfall, but on this occasion we treated ourselves to a night at the Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge. Skirting the fence line, the lodge sits high up on the western ridge of the park, not far from the Out of Africa Viewpoint. It’s about 17km from the main gate, through the dense forest at the top of the ridge.

The 200 acre property now forms part of the park, but before it was purchased by Sopa Lodges it was outside the boundary. A large clearing still separates the lodge from the mature forest, and it’s a space that seemed to be appreciated by the park’s many buffaloes. Sopa constructed a waterhole, too, which I’m sure attracts a lot of wildlife in the dry season.

Once we had settled in, I had a long chat with the Assistant Manager, James Mwema. I asked him what distinguished the lodge from the others in the park, and he said it was the fact it had been built at the highest point of the ridge. The views are incredible, of the whole lake and most of the acacia forests and grasslands of the southern circuit. It’s particularly breathtaking at dusk, when the scattered lights of Nakuru town shimmer on the still surface of the lake.

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The architects did well to ensure that every part of the lodge made the most of the view. The upper level Lekwane Restaurant and Oldonyo Bar each have wide open terraces, and the edge of the hour glass infinity pool appears to merge with the lake in the distance.

The lodge’s 62 rooms are laid out in rows on two levels: an upper level in line with the restaurant, and a lower level looking out towards the waterhole. All of them have huge curved glass windows, and an outside seating area. Inside, there are attractive stone walls, and a large bathroom. The curtains are a bit garish and old fashioned, but the rooms are otherwise spacious and simply furnished.

After a successful evening game drive along the lake shore, we joined the rest of the guests in the Lekwane Restaurant for dinner. It’s still the low season but there was a healthy mix of guests staying at the lodge that night – Kenyans, Americans and Australians. There was lots of variety on the à la carte menu, including a few vegan options for my fiancée. More guests arrived the following day, so for lunch they laid out a generous buffet spread.

For bookings and more information about the lodge, head to www.sopalodges.com, or email [email protected] Double rooms are Sh19,800 up until the end of June, before they jump up to Sh24,000 for the high season. So it’s certainly worth considering for your next weekend retreat – just be prepared to sit in traffic for a while on the way there.

Jan Fox is a Director at iDC.





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Does fantasising about other women amount to cheating?

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[Photo: Courtesy]

Does fantasising about other women amount to cheating? That was the big question (or should I call it an argument?) we had with a gang of girls the other day.

I had foolishly arrived at a boys’ drink-up early and found our pal Stella perched on the high stool bar like a female cheetah seated on a mound of soil in the savannah surveying the grasslands.

I parked my tummy in front of her, and soon we got chatting as a Man United FC game was going on. Not that it really mattered.

We are both Arsenal FC fans, but often that is as much as we can agree on in this life.

Stella believes women had an indelible right to be treated by men like little princesses and not just when it comes to paying the bill, but at the work places too.

Utterly selfish

She expects men to open doors not just for the vehicles but for the cloakroom too.

That she can be utterly selfish can be an understatement at times.

So we continued to chat, I mentioned that I had met a man she briefly dated a couple of years back.

“I can never be bothered by that bastard,” she said.

The man was always talking to his ex, even in the middle of a romantic dinner that I was personally paying.

Disrespectful at times

She rarely volunteers to go Dutch, so that bit of buying my pal Richie dinner got me surprised.

“But then what really happened between you two then?” I asked.

She picked her narrow-neck water bottle and caressed the neck like she would caress – you know what – and then said, “That bugger was disrespectful at times.”

“Tony, can you imagine that loser could actually fantasise about other women in my presence?” she hissed.

“Who does that in this day and age? That should have stopped in Form Two!” she snarled.

She knows that Richie and I are good buddies, and I began feeling like am being used as the postman to post messages to Richie.

“Hey, women fantasise too,” I protested. “But not like men do.”

“Look Tony, we are not surprised that your mind might creatively wander, especially when you are rocking a solo mission. We just don’t want to know about it,” she barked.

At that very moment, Frao walk in with Stacy, another of the girls who easily fit in the boys crowd.

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I am glad that Frao has come just at the right time, when I was just about to lose an argument to the ‘alpha female’.

Even before I could finish painting the scenario for them, Stacy was already shooting from the hip.

“You cannot board a matatu for Dandora or Kangemi and expect that it will take you to Ongata Rongai. You just have to pick the matatu that you feel meets your need,” she scoffed.

No consensuses

She proceeded: “If you can’t be intimate with her without thinking of someone else, then you’re not being present or fair to her.

“That is living a lie and therefore if she fakes the big O, you should not also complain!”

The argument went on and on, and by the time we were done, we had reached no consensuses.





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