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  • Interviewers know if youve prepared for a job interview or not

  • and if you haven’t prepared, you probably won’t get the job.

  • One of the most important things to do before a job interview is to practice answering interview questions.

  • Youll have better answers and youll be more relaxed,

  • opening the door to a greater connection with the person interviewing you.

  • Today were going to sit down with three experts who will talk you though common interview questions,

  • how to answer them, body language, and some Do’s an Donts of interviewing.

  • This is a long video because there’s a lot to cover.

  • Youll learn how to talk about transitions between jobs, what to say if youve been fired,

  • what to say when youre not sure how to answer a question,

  • the right way to follow up, the right body language, and much more.

  • Being prepared WILL get you the job.

  • At the end of the video, there will be a lesson for my non-native English speaking students on vocal tone.

  • You may be absolutely wonderful at what you do, and have a great cover letter and resume.

  • But interviewing is its own separate skill.

  • Cindy has hired hundreds of people for the non-profits she ran in New York City.

  • Now she works as a recruiter and she interviews people all day.

  • She says, before your interview, it is extremely important.

  • To practice your interviewing skills.

  • Do mock interviews because it makes you more comfortable,

  • and the more comfortable you are in an interview, the more likely you are to have a connection with somebody.

  • If you walk in nervous, and you're not yourself,

  • then the interview doesn't get to see who you are, which means that they may miss something.

  • You don’t want the interviewer to miss anything about how fabulous you are.

  • Everyone I spoke to stressed practicing.

  • Laura is a career advisor at a prestigious American college.

  • The most important thing is to prepare as much as possible.

  • Practising your interview ahead of time in front of a mirror with a friend.

  • Steve is a small business owner who does a lot of hiring.

  • I asked him what makes a good first impression at the beginning of an interview.

  • They are anticipating that they're going to be asked some questions.

  • Some standard questions across the board or during an interview process.

  • And if they have good answers for those, what I mean by good is that they're they've thought about these,

  • they know how to answer them, then to me, that feels like, okay this person's, this person's been aware,

  • and is prepared for... prepared for this interview.

  • Employers CAN tell when youve prepared: your answers are clearer, more interesting, more thorough.

  • And they appreciate that.

  • If you haven’t prepared for the interview, theyre probably going to question if youre really prepared for the job.

  • In the next three videos that follow this one, well study mock interviews

  • and discuss how you can put together you own best answers for common interview questions.

  • For the rest of this video, well continue to hear from Cindy, Laura and Steve.

  • Theyre giving you insider information: what does an employer want to see in an interview?

  • First, it’s common for employers to ask you to share a little bit about yourself outside of your work life.

  • Why do they do this, and what are they looking for?

  • Does it matter if you prepare an answer to this one?

  • Yes. Listen to what Steve says.

  • We usually ask what other things do you do outside of work?

  • We're looking for what kind of well-roundedness are you.

  • Of a person are you, and even what other activities are you involved with?

  • What might you be involved with within your community?

  • And more of that giving back to the community kind of a way.

  • But oftentimes, that'll lead to additional questions where, okay, we've got maybe a common interest,

  • and all of a sudden, you're going down a path of asking a whole bunch of different other questions.

  • Have you ever asked someone this question and they really

  • didn't have anything else that felt like their thing that they could talk about ?

  • Definitely.

  • Had situations where they were the reply was: well, I sit on my couch, and watch tv, you know.

  • It's something that's....It's some... That's another activity, all right, but it's,

  • for me, it's not, doesn't feel like it's a real one, exciting one, or one that, if I were in that interview position,

  • I would say that. That would be my response.

  • So yeah, we've had...We've had people that are just like: well, I...

  • I don't know and I just I just kind of work. I work all day.

  • And those people probably would have had an answer if they thought about it ahead of time.

  • Yeah, that's true.

  • So it's all about being prepared.

  • Right. Right. If you had thought about that beforehand I'm sure those applicants wouldn't have said:

  • I just kind of sit...I sit at my sit on my couch and watch tv.

  • There’s nothing wrong with loving TV, but think of a more exciting way to say it. “I’m a huge TV buff”, for example.

  • DO have an answer fortell me about yourself’, but DON’T get too personal.

  • Many interviews start with two general questions.

  • One being: tell me about yourself, a lot of people hate that question, but a lot of people use it.

  • And be prepared for that.

  • Tell a little bit about yourself. And what usually they're asking for is not to tell your resume,

  • they're asking for you to say a little bit about yourself, personally.

  • Like what, what would be, I mean, personally, there are so many things.

  • Oh I have two kids, or I love opera.

  • Like, is there any one thing that you think stay away from that? Or...How would you answer that?

  • I mean, yeah, I would stay away from anything that's like

  • super personal, that would be weird to say to somebody that you don't know very well.

  • But I think personal is good and so I think the things you just said are really interesting.

  • Like, I live in...I live in richmond, I have two little girls, and we moved down, I used to work in a non-profit,

  • I've just now switched careers, like, whatever.

  • I mean, just something about yourself that gives them a little bit of context of who you are.

  • So like something that you would feel comfortable saying to somebody that you're sitting next to on the bus

  • or something?

  • Yeah. Yeah. Or that you've just met at a dinner party, or you know, something like that.

  • Short.

  • They're not asking you for a long answer.

  • The other thing that a lot of interviews will start with is that you do a walk-through of your resume.

  • Now were moving onto a major topic you need to prepare for an interview: walking through your resume.

  • Both Steve and Cindy said this is something they ask interviewees to do.

  • Bring several copies of the same resume you submitted for the job.

  • Keep one for your own reference and hand the rest out to the people interviewing you.

  • What does an employer want to hear in a walk-through of your resume?

  • So I would say: I would love you to walk me through your resume.

  • Talk, start at the beginning.

  • Talk through the roles that you've held, key responsibilities at those roles,

  • would love for you to highlight your key successes in each role,

  • one of the things I really want to understand is your transition, so as you move from role to role,

  • would love to understand what prompted you to leave one place and go to the other.

  • And then, you know, if your career was long, I would love for you to spend more time on your more recent stuff,

  • but start at the beginning because I want to get a sense of your full career arc.

  • I want to get a sense of how it all connects, how you got from, you know, at the beginning to where you are now.

  • And then depending on the role, sometimes I will also say,

  • you know, when you start getting to the place of your career where you are managing teams,

  • or supervising staff, let me know how many people, the construct of your team,

  • and if you're managing budgets, what size of a budget? So I can capture that information.

  • I'm happy to like, you know, stop you as you go along if you forget anything but that's what I'm looking for.

  • And do that in about 15 or 20 minutes.

  • And that's awesome because that is something that anyone can practice ahead of time,

  • and can really, you know, time themselves, make sure they're not rambling on too much with any one thing.

  • And something that people will often do, I mean, there's errors on both sides,

  • some people go so quickly and don't actually note the information that I asked,

  • that I have to go back and ask questions all the way through. That's sort of annoying.

  • And then the rambly is also really annoying.

  • So some people will start and they'll...

  • They'll pause after their first job and say like: am I giving you the right level of detail?

  • I love that because I don't want to interrupt people.

  • It's not, you know, it doesn't always feel good to do that especially when people are nervous,

  • and they're interviewing.

  • So it's always good to check in and say like: is that the detail that you want?

  • And somebody asks me, I may very well say: actually, you know, feel free to go a little more quickly,

  • or you didn't know XYZ.

  • Talking through your resume in this kind of detail

  • is something youre going to be able to do a lot more clearly if youve thought about it

  • and practiced it ahead of time.

  • One part of your resume that matters a lot to employers is timing.

  • Be prepared to talk about gaps in your work history, short tenures at jobs, and transitioning between jobs.

  • One of the things in particular that I'm looking for is is gaps in your work history.

  • If you're giving me dates of when you worked, and you have a one-year gap, I want to know why.

  • What's going on? What happened? Or didn't happen? Or why did, why is there a year off or six-month period off

  • on your work history? That's probably one of the bigger things that I'm looking at.

  • Transitions between jobs.

  • This is a really important piece.

  • A lot of workers they just care a lot about it

  • because they want to understand if you were asked to leave, you were fired,

  • if your very short job tenures on your resume, that's a red flag for a lot of organizations,

  • and actually could be a reason why you didn't get an interview.

  • But be prepared to talk about your transitions.

  • If you do get fired, figure out how do you want to talk about that.

  • And if you didn't, then talk about what was it that made you leave one organization and go to another.

  • And while you're doing that,

  • you want to make sure that you're never speaking badly about one of your jobs or organizations.

  • It's another flag that happens in a job interview.

  • And you know it's okay to talk about a rough transition, or a rough year,

  • but you want to do it very carefully,

  • in a way that you would feel comfortable that if somebody from that organization were there,

  • would, you know, generally understand and feel comfortable here.

  • If you are bad-mouthing an organization, or a previous boss, or anybody really, in a job interview,

  • that's gonna make people think it's possible that you would do the same about them, about the, you know, job.

  • Do prepare to talk through your resume, do prepare to talk about gaps in work or transitions between jobs,

  • but don’t ever talk badly about an organization or an employer you worked with in the past.

  • How can you gracefully talk about being fired?

  • Let's say I was fired from a job.

  • From your experience, what is a way that I can talk about that, that you feel okay about it?

  • I guess it depends on why I was fired, right?

  • It really does.

  • It does depend on the situation.

  • I mean ultimately, what hopefully you can talk about is a situation where there was just not a good fit

  • with an organization.

  • And to be able to explain why something wasn't a good fit,

  • and how that transition was done in a way that was really respectful on your side, if you were able to.

  • So, in other words, you know, we realized that that it wasn't the right fit,

  • at which point, I worked another two weeks, you know, to make sure that I helped with the transition.

  • And somebody's gonna dig into that.

  • What was it that wasn't a good fit for you?

  • Well, it wasn't a good fit because I...

  • You know, I just had my first baby,

  • this was a culture that required, you know, a lot of overtime.

  • I wasn't able to give it. Ultimately, my boss and I were able to sit down and have a conversation

  • about that, and we decided to, you know, part ways, sooner rather than later.

  • Okay. That's helpful.

  • If they don't ask you the direct question: did you get fired? Or they didn't ask you about your transitions, right?

  • Like, I wouldn't say you should offer it, if it's not being asked for.

  • If somebody says why did you leave that organization, then you need to be honest.

  • Talking about being fired without bad mouthing the organization or lying could be hard,

  • but if you work on it beforehand, youll likely be able to come up with a way to discuss this

  • that youre comfortable with that's also truthful.

  • Both Cindy and Steve talked about the balance of talking about your accomplishments without sounding arrogant.

  • So if someone would come in with confidence and humility,

  • that would maybe endear me a little more to that person and say, boy,

  • I think this person could probably fit in our organization.

  • So I feel like I understand how someone can present themselves with confidence.

  • Can you think of anything of that a person says or does that makes you sense humility in them?

  • >> I mean, that's sort of a tricky, tricky one. >> It really is.

  • I think not over promoting yourself,

  • listening, truly listening to the people that are you're interviewing with,

  • not going on and on, talking on and on about yourself ,about your compliment, accomplishments,

  • about everything that you've done,

  • how wonderful you are, but still being able to talk about these these accomplishments, and...

  • Yeah. It's a fine line. It's a little tricky. You have to be able to speak well about what you've done,

  • but then also know at what point it's gotten to be too much.

  • Yeah. Yep. Absolutely.

  • Cindy agrees.

  • She has a great tip on how to do this.

  • I think one of the most, like, noted

  • characteristics about somebody on the turnout side is somebody who is just a know-it-all,

  • overly confident, speaks very highly of themselves.

  • and again, like, it's tricky because part of the job interview process is talking about what you've done,

  • but being able to do so in a way that exhibits humility, super-important.

  • I have interviewed people who have amazing resumes, who, you know, have done amazing work,

  • who are more than qualified for a role, and I've decided not to advance them in the process

  • because culturally, they are not going to be a fit in an organization where humility is valued...

  • which is a lot of organizations.

  • Not all. But a lot.

  • Wow. So how can someone talk about their achievements in a way that feels humble and not cocky?

  • One of the ways I think people can do that is in truth, when we think about our accomplishments,

  • rarely, I might even say, never.

  • Are they actually solely our accomplishments?

  • So one of the ways that you can talk about that is to highlight the team that you

  • accomplished something with, and certainly, it's also important to note your role on that, you know, so

  • example I use earlier was raising a million dollars.

  • It is very unlikely that any one person raised a million dollars by themselves.

  • They had support in different ways.

  • So being able to say, you know, my role on the team was actually to be the one out, you know, doing the meetings,

  • etcetera, I had a great staff that supported me in doing that, did the research, you know,

  • we worked so hard all together, and that allowed us to accomplish this amazing goal.

  • That's a great point. And then it also highlights perhaps that you work well in a group,

  • and that you're team oriented, which is often qualities that someone's looking for.

  • Both Steve and Cindy mentioned humility.

  • It is a characteristic that many employers will care about.

  • Do be prepared to talk about your accomplishments,

  • but know how to frame them in a way so that doesn’t sound arrogant.

  • I aside fromtell me about yourselfand the resume walk-through,

  • I asked Steve what other questions he asks in interviews.

  • A couple of the regular questions are: how do you fit in within an organization?

  • What type</