In a job interview, the person considering you for the job is looking not just for skill verification, but for connection with you. What kind of connection? In this video, we’ll sit down with three experts to discuss how to build a connection with an interviewer. We’ll go over some DO’s and DON’Ts of interviewing. You CAN prepare for this – it isn’t
something you have to leave up to chance. The right kind of research can make a great positive impression. At the end, there will also be a quick English lesson on the pronunciation of this word for my non-native English speaking students. When you like someone, when you connect, you want to be around him or her. So in an interview, you want the person interviewing you to like you, to connect with you. I kind of thought this was up to chance. Is your personality a good fit? But Cindy, who has interviewed and hired over a hundred people in her career, set me straight. Here, I asked her how far into an interview she might know if she would hire someone, and how she would know that. It is often pretty quick, within the first ten or fifteen minutes, not always, but often. And it is usually a connection, if I am hiring that person to work with me. Meaning that I feel like this is somebody that we could work well together. So it kind of sounds like you’re saying: this is not something that someone can prepare for, connecting with the person who’s interviewing them, is that sort of up to chance, would you say? No, actually I would say there are there are things you can do to prepare. I think one of them is 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 interviewer doesn’t get to see who you are, which means that they may miss something. And some people interview very comfortably, and help put you at ease, and some people don’t. So you kind of need to just be prepared for that, and get yourself as comfortable as you can be so that you can show who you are. I think the other thing is knowing, I think we’ll talk about this, but knowing the job. Knowing the organization. And knowing why you want it makes you compelling. And that helps build a connection. So like if you walk into an interview, and you can talk about why you want this job, and why it’s, you know, meaningful to you, that’s gonna help build a connection with somebody and you can prepare for that. She mentioned two things: nerves, managing your nerves, and being comfortable, and knowing about the position you’re applying for, having a compelling story about why you’re a good fit for the position. These both lead to connection, and these are both concrete things you can prepare for. In fact, Cindy says connection is so important, it once led her to hire someone even when he wasn’t qualified for the original job. And there have been times where I’ve had that feeling, and in fact, I can think of an example of a guy that I talked to on the phone, it’s a
phone interview, and I just, I felt like he had a really compelling reason for why he wanted to do this work. He was a career switcher, he was moving from the corporate world into non-profit, he had a really great story about that. He was very compelling, he was super energized, he was clearly very smart, he wasn’t qualified for the job I was talking to him about, but I liked him and so I said: why don’t you come in? I was hiring for a lot of positions at the time, let’s talk more, and figure out if there’s a fit for you because I liked him. So that sort of connection and compelling piece is really important. It is certainly not all there is, he had solid experience in the business world, and I knew there had to be a way for that to be transferable. And he’s somebody I’d end up hiring.>>Okay, so you hired him for another job?
>>And promoted probably three times. Promoted three times? Wow! She had a connection with him, she liked him, so she found the right job for him at her organization, and in fact, promoted him 3 times over her working relationship with him. Connecting with the person you’re interviewing with is key to successfully landing a job. Connecting with the interviewer. What exactly does that mean? He had a compelling story about why he wanted that. So, someone should not just know, I want that job, but they should have a really clear and concise, maybe not concise, but a very clear, compelling way to describe why they want that, to make that sort of like their story about, and that would… So you’re saying that kind of articulation can lead to the connection? Definitely. Because obviously the person who’s interviewing feels that because they’re working in that, in that capacity already. Yeah. And of course that’s not, I mean, there may be a connection otherwise, but I do think that stuff matters because ultimately, I’m not looking for you to be my friend. This is very different from us having just a connection. I’m looking to say: can we work well together? Could we work on the same team? I think, so it is, it is different and there are things you can do to increase the chances of sort of feeling that in a job interview. We can talk about connecting with a prospective employer two ways: First, know the organization well. This will be specific to each job interview you have. Second, prepare yourself to be at ease, present yourself well through body language and impressive answers to interview questions. This work of preparing yourself will apply to every job interview you go on. Taking the time to prepare these two ways will put you miles ahead of a candidate who interviews for a job without investing the time in good research and preparation. They will both set you up for connecting with the organization and the interviewer. The rest of this video will focus on interview do’s and don’ts relating to researching and talking about the organization in a job interview. The next video in this course will go over job interview do’s and don’ts relating to body language and the kinds of answers to give to specific questions. For each job you interview for, DO understand what kind of interview you’ll be in. DON’T assume it will be with a single person. Laura, who is a career advisor at a prestigious college here in the US, tells her students this: Well, first of all, I talk to them about doing their research. They really need to look into who they’re gonna be meeting with, how long the interview is going to be, and study the organization, look at the website, really explore in-depth what the organization is about. I asked her why she tells students to ask about length. Why does that matter? It matters because you want to be prepared. You want to know what you’re in for. So if it’s an hour-long interview, and you’re gonna be meeting with one person, you only do your research on that one person. You have a sense of how much stamina you need to have during an interview. But if it’s going to be a full-day, nine-to-five interview, you’re gonna be meeting with 10 to 12 people, you want to know that going in, you want to know, you want to bring the right snacks if you need them, you want to know when you’re gonna have a break, things like that, so that you can just be mentally prepared. How often would you say your students are going into a job interview where it is an all-day kind of thing, is that common? It’s common in certain industries, so they’re, especially in business and finance, and consulting, there are ‘super days’ is what they call them, and so they are there all day long. My husband David told me he once went in for a job interview, and he was expecting to be with one person, but it was with a whole panel, a half-dozen people, and that really threw him off and made him nervous. So ask the person who sets you up for the interview what the interview will be like. Knowing what to expect can help calm your nerves, which will prepare you to connect with your potential employer. DO research the organization where you’re interviewing DON’T think you already know everything you need to know. A common opening for a job interview is: Tell me what you know about our organization. Steve, a local small business owner here close to Philly, said that he leads with this question. I think one of the absolute first questions that I ask an interviewee, or person that’s coming in for an interview is: What do they know about our organization? if they tell me some things, you know, we know what you do, what products you carry, what services you provide, and I know they’ve been prepared, they’re
coming through with, they’ve at least researched our organization, and know, even if it’s just a quick Google search, they’re going to know a little bit about our organization and what we do. Have you ever had someone who didn’t really know what to say when you ask them the initial question, what do you know about our company, or
that kind of thing? Yeah I’ve had many people that have, that, it’s surprising, it’s as simple as googling your your organization and they didn’t even take the time to do that. I was surprised some people wouldn’t have even done that basic amount of research. Don’t be one of those people. What kind of impression did that leave on Steve? It’s a…it’s a strike against you. A strike against you. You don’t want your very first interview question to reflect poorly on you. Do the research. Go to the organization’s website. You’ll even want to research the person who is interviewing you: DO: Research you interviewer DON’T: Talk about it too much or go too in-depth on it in the interview. Listen to what Cindy says about preparing for an interview: One other thing I would add about the preparing to connect, because it does sound sort of creepy, is you can go overboard on that. So I’ve had people look me up on LinkedIn, learn as much as they can about me, number one, you should. You should know as much as you can about the person that you are going to meet with. And number two, you should act like you don’t know all of those things. I think there are some exceptions like you may say: Oh, I noticed the you worked at X organization, and I worked there too, or, I volunteered there, like if there’s a connection like that, that you found on LinkedIn, that is easy to find, that’s okay. If it was not easy to find, you shouldn’t mention it.
‘Cause that’s creepy. But you also shouldn’t continually come back to all the things that you learned about somebody, because that can be a real turnoff. So there’s this very delicate balance of how you prepare for an interview, you do want to know you’re talking to, you you want to know their background, it’s okay to note something that is a connection, but you don’t want to go overboard because it could come across as a very different experience, and really lose the connection. When you’re researching the organization, Cindy mentioned one thing to make sure you know: the mission. Know the mission, and know how to
relate it to the work you’ve done. Can you give an example of a mission and what, how you would tell, what you’d be looking for, whether or not someone would fit into that mission or culture? I mean, a lot of people who are watching this video might not be that familiar with what does the culture of a workplace mean? So mission and culture, two different things. And so, from a mission perspective, that would be what we talked about earlier, the compelling reason why you want to work somewhere? That is, to some degree, whether you’re going to fit from a mission perspective. So it can be challenging to change from one sector to another, because if you’re wanting to move particularly to mission driven work, you haven’t done mission driven work, there needs to be a compelling reason for why you’re doing that because you want people to be connected to the mission. So at that point, we’d be looking for where
have you volunteered? Where have you been spending your time outside of your job? Which is 100% percent fine and compelling, as long as it’s there, right? Can you give an example of a mission? Like, maybe… So, I mean so working in the education space, for example, and so you could work for an organization that’s supporting schools better in high poverty areas. There’s lots of organizations in that space. You could be working in the philanthropy
space where you’re, you know, working at foundations and giving money to organizations. There are missions that are more around basic needs, so supporting like a homeless shelter, or a food bank, or you know, missions like that, that are more basic needs. And yeah, and I think that probably, any non-profit, you could look up their mission on the website. What about businesses? Do a lot of businesses or companies do this too? Yeah. Most, I would say most businesses have some some mission as well, and it is important to know that ahead of time. DO know the mission of the organization or company you hope to work for and be prepared to talk about how your past work or volunteer activities support that mission. DON’T think you have a general idea of the mission. Look it up. Know it word for word. Cindy says, beyond reading the company’s website, And then do some basic searches so that you can figure out whether they’ve been in the news at all, for anything that maybe doesn’t show up on their site, good or bad. And I would do that before, right before you go in the interview so that you know there’s any current news, particularly if you’re going in for an interview with a large company, or a large nonprofit. To summarize, you CAN prepare to connect with the person who is interviewing you. Read the website of the organization, search for appearances in the news, and be sure you know the mission
statement if there is one. Know what kind of interview it will be and who you’ll be interviewing with. Look that person up on LinkedIn, but don’t dwell on what you know about that person in the interview. Another way to prepare to connect is to manage nerves. This includes preparing answers to common interview questions. It’s very important that you know how to talk someone through your resume, talk about transitions between jobs, and highlight your skills without sounding arrogant. In the next video, we’ll hear from Laura, Cindy, and Steve how you can make the best impression by the kinds of answers you give and how to practice interviewing ahead of time. We’ll talk about managing nerves, and how to use body language and vocal tone to your advantage. For my non-native students, we’re going to get to your English lesson in just a minute. If you haven’t already, be sure to click the subscribe button and the bell for notifications. I make new videos on the English language and American culture every Tuesday and have over 600 videos on my channel to date focusing on l istening comprehension and
accent reduction. While you’re waiting for next week’s video, a great next step would be to check out this “get started playlist.” And now, here’s a quick pronunciation lesson. Cindy and Laura both used this word in their interviews, but they pronounced them differently. What’s the difference? Can you hear it? Yes, not always, but they often are. It is often very quick. Laura did not pronounce the T, but Cindy did. Often, often. Which pronunciation is correct? They both are. Lots of words in American English have
more than one correct pronunciation, and dictionaries will list all of them. The first one listed is the most common. For this word, it’s more common to drop the T, but, as Cindy demonstrated, it’s certainly not unusual to pronounce the word with a light True T, tt, tt, often. Often, often. Yes, not always, but they often are. It is often very quick. Practice both pronunciations with me. Often, often. Often, often. You got it. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.