Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles It's one of my most popular series ever here on Youtube. Today it's a compilation interviewing for a job in America. If English isn't your native language, you're going to learn some English and some important phrases to know for interviewing and everybody is going to learn that you can prepare for and ace your next job interview, let's do this. You're hired! Two words everybody loves to hear. But before we hear these words comes (dun dun duuuuhn!) the interview. Today's video is part one in a series that's all about preparing for a job interview. This is part one of a five part series on preparing for an interview. Interviewing for a new job can be a huge source of stress and anxiety. And if you're interviewing for a job in a non-native language, the stress can be even higher. In this video you'll see me interview for a job. Throughout the interview, we'll discuss some of the most common interview questions and how to answer them. You'll also learn some basic information to get you started on creating your own answers to these questions. Let's begin. TK: Hello Ms. Smith, I'm Tom Kelley. Thanks so much for coming in. RS: It's my pleasure, thanks so much for meeting with me. TK: Of course. Did you have any trouble finding the office? Small Talk. Most interviews will start out with a handshake and some small talk – this may include questions about how you're doing, your travel to the interview, the weather, how your weekend went, and more. All you need to do is be polite and friendly. Keep your answers short. You can also feel free to turn the question back to the interviewer. For instance, if the interviewer asks you how your weekend was, you might respond, “It was great, we celebrated my Mom's birthday. How was your weekend?” Small talk is used to build a more comfortable environment before the interview begins. It may seem silly, but you can practice small talk on your own by asking yourself simple, easy-to-answer, non-personal questions. You could also practice with a friend. Here is an example of small talk: >> How are you doing? >> I'm great, thank you, and you? >> How are you doing? >> I'm doing really well. It's such a nice day out there. >> It is! It was perfect weather all weekend. >> It was. >> Did you do anything interesting over the weekend? >> Yes, I went to the park with my family for a picnic. >> That sounds nice. >> It was. And you? >> I worked this weekend, but I got a lot done, so that was good. >> It does feel good to get work done! You can see we haven't said much of importance, but the conversation is friendly and open, and can make two people feel more comfortable in each other's presence. TK: Hello Ms. Smith, I'm Tom Kelley. Thanks so much for coming in. RS: It's my pleasure, thanks so much for meeting with me. TK: Of course. Did you have any trouble finding the office? RS: Nope. The directions on the website were great. TK: Good. Would you like some coffee or water before we begin? RS: I'm okay, thank you. TK: Alright. So, to get started, why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself. RS: Sure. Common Question: Tell me a little bit about yourself. It's very common for interviewers to simply ask you to tell them about yourself. That can feel overwhelming! But don't worry; what they really want you to focus on is your education and work history. You can also let them know what areas you have a lot of experience in, or what your interests are when answering this question. Here are a few different ways to begin your answer. I studied at Harvard University and graduated 2012 with a degree in business. I've been working at Smith Incorporated for 10 years as a manager. I have 12 years of experience in graphic design. Because of my time at Verizon, I have a lot of experience in providing customer service. If you're preparing for an interview, practice talking about yourself and your work history. Record yourself with a video camera if possible. Make sure it's not too long, maybe around a minute. Go back and listen or watch, and write down phrases that worked well to use again. If there was anything you stumbled over or left out, write down some possible phrases you could have used. The next day, do the same exercise. It's important that you don't just write a paragraph and memorize it, but simply practice free-talking with some key phrases. The more you practice before the interview, the more comfortable you'll feel answering the questions during the interview. TK: So, to get started, why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself. RS: Sure. I studied at the University of Florida and graduated in 2010 with a Masters Degree in Toy Design. After graduation, I was hired at Happy Kid's Creative. I've been there for the past five years and am currently the Director of Toy Production. During that time sales have grown steadily. It's been a great experience, but I've run out of room to grow with HKC and I'm looking for new opportunities. I have a lot of experience leading teams in the creative process and finding new markets for the products that we create. TK: That's great. Can you tell me how you heard about this position? Can you tell me how you heard about this position? This is a common question that you'll hear in interviews. It's a chance to share a little bit about the research that you've done in order to learn about the position you are applying for. It's also a chance to share if someone from inside the company let you know about the position. Here are some example responses: I heard about the position from one of your current employees, Bob Greene. I heard about the position from my friend Liz Miller, who works in Accounting. I saw this position on LinkedIn. I read about the position on your website. Since this is a simple question with a simple answer, think about your answer and practice it out loud before your interview. Record yourself and listen. Are you easy to understand? Are there any words that are challenging for you? Practice these words separately, slowly, thinking about the mouth position. As it becomes more comfortable, speed it up. You're going to want to practice tough words 10, 20, 30 times in a row. Build your muscle memory, so in the interview it will naturally be easier to pronounce. TK: That's great. Can you tell me how you heard about this position? RS: Of course. A friend of mine saw the position listed on LinkedIn and forwarded it to me, so I spent some time on your website learning about the position and the company. I also read an article in Business Weekly about your work that really got me interested. TK: What attracted you to our company? Common Question: What attracted you to our company? This question gives you the opportunity to share what you know about the company, and why you would like to work there. Some ways to begin your response include the following. Notice that most responses show that you have a strong feeling about what you learned. This will give the interviewer more information about who you are and what you might bring to the position. I was really impressed with your commitment to renewable energy. I was very excited to learn that you support your research department so strongly. I read that you encourage employees to spend time with each other outside the workplace, and that is something I really appreciate. Again, think about the answer to this question before your interview, and practice your responses using recordings and repetition. Even if this question is not asked, the time spent practicing the response will be helpful when you answer other questions during the interview. TK: What attracted you to our company? RS: To be honest, what really caught my eye was your focus on growth. I was really impressed with your ambitious goals and the clear plan you have for achieving those goals. I also like the support you provide for your employees. I love your continuing education initiatives, where you pay for employees to learn new techniques and skill sets. I think that really helps to build employee satisfaction and loyalty. TK: You've obviously done your homework. What would you say is your greatest strength? Common Question: What would you say is your greatest strength? This question gives you the chance to talk about what you do really well as an employee, and as a person. You can share what your greatest strength is, then explain how that helps you in your current job or life. For example: My greatest strength is _________. I find that this is very important when I _______. My greatest strength is flexibility. I find that this is very important when I'm working with lots of different people and opinions. To practice answering this question, write down: My greatest strength is (blank). Then, fill in your strength. Write down how this strength is demonstrated in your life and work. You may come up with several different strengths you want to highlight. That's great, practice them all. But in the interview, you'll only want to use one or two answers. Practice answering the questions out loud, based on what you wrote down. But don't just memorize written text. Practice speaking freely on these ideas. TK: What would you say is your greatest strength? RS: I would say, my greatest strength is a combination of enthusiasm and persistence. My work ethic won't let me settle for less than my best. I'm able to persevere through challenges and setbacks without falling into frustration or anger. I've noticed that this tends to keep those around me in good spirits as well, which is a plus. TK: That's very good. TK: Can you tell me about a time where you suffered a setback and had to maintain your enthusiasm? Common Question: Can you tell me about a time when you suffered a setback and had to maintain your enthusiasm? The interviewer may ask questions like this to get a better sense of how you behave and perform in certain stressful situations. The question may be about your actual past experiences, or a hypothetical situation, to see how you would respond. Here are examples of other questions that are similar to this one: Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client or coworker. Tell me about a time when you had to respond to a crisis. Tell me about a time when you had to give difficult feedback. How would you handle a situation where you and your supervisor disagreed about an issue or course of action? You can see, there's a lot of variety in the kind of way question is asked, so it's impossible to know exactly what you might need to say. In the days leading up to your interview, practice responding to several different versions of this question every day. This will help build important vocabulary you might need in the interview, and will also help you feel ready to answer questions like these. TK: Can you tell me about a time where you suffered a setback and had to maintain your enthusiasm? RS: Sure. One definitely comes to mind. Last year a project for a new toy was in its final stages after two years of work. As we were looking at the branding and working up a final marketing plan, a competitor launched a version of the exact same toy that we were launching. As the leader of the project, I knew that my reaction would set the tone for the group. I acknowledged that it was a setback, but challenged the group to think of this as a blessing in disguise. I asked them to go out and buy the competitor's product and make a list of anything they wished the toy could do that it didn't. It turned out that the list was pretty long. We added these items to our toy, and launched a far superior product 6 months later. So, in many ways, the competitor's product became the key to our success. TK: That sounds like a great victory. Now. What would you consider your greatest weakness? Common Question: What do you consider to be your greatest weakness? This question can be a tough one. You want to be as honest as possible when answering this question. This is an opportunity to show a future employer that you know yourself, and are willing to work to improve yourself. Share a weakness, like public speaking, or attention to detail, fear of failure. And then talk about ways you've worked on improvement in that area. Here is a way to start a response: My greatest weakness is ___. It shows up in my work when __. The ways I've worked to improve in this area are __. Take a moment to think about something you've struggled with in your work life. Think of ways that you've worked to improve, any books that you've read, classes you've taken, and so on. These are the things you want to share with the interviewer when answering this question. Remember, the important thing is to show that you are aware of your weak spots – and that you are already working at improving in these areas. TK: Now, what do you consider your greatest weakness? RS: Chocolate. Just kidding! No, my biggest weakness is public speaking. It's something that I've spent a lot of time working on and in which I've improved a great deal. I'm very comfortable in smaller meetings with my teams. But when I present an idea or concept to a larger audience, I still experience some stage fright. At this point, I can handle these situations professionally, but I would like to be more comfortable in these moments so I can really enjoy the experience of presenting, rather than just survive it. TK: Fear of public speaking is a very common fear; I'm in the same boat on that one! TK: Where do you see yourself in five years? Common Question: Where do you see yourself in five years? This is a chance to share your goals for the future. You want to demonstrate that you understand what is realistically achievable over a certain period of time. You'll also be letting the interviewer know how ambitious you are with this answer. If you haven't thought about this question at all, it can be a great idea to think about this before your interview. Also, think about answers to two variations: where do you see yourself in one year, where do you see yourself in 10 years. You start this response by saying: In five years I would like to be ___. Practice answering this question out loud as you prepare for your interview. If you only practice your answers in your head, it will be much more stressful when you're in the room with the interviewer, speaking out loud for the first time. Record yourself. Critique your own speech. What was unclear? How you could you clarify, or say more concisely, your thoughts? TK: Where do you see yourself in five years? RS: As I mentioned before, I'm interested in growth. In five years I would like to be a part of a company growing its business on a regular and consistent basis. I'd like to be in a Vice President position with a focus on development. And while I know that would require much more public speaking, in five years I plan on being ready for it. TK: Okay, well, I have everything I need, but do you have any questions for me, about the company or the position? Common Question: Do you have any questions for me? So far, the interview has been about whether or not you would be a good fit for the company. With the question “Do you have any questions for me?”, it's your turn to find out if the company is a good fit for you. The questions you ask will also show how well you know their company and the requirements of the position. Before the interview, write down any questions you have about the position, the company, or the work environment. Then practice those questions out loud. Chances are, you won't need to ask all of them. Some might be answered during the earlier parts of the interview. TK: Okay, well, I have everything I need, but do you have any questions for me, about the company or the position? RS: Yes. Imagine you're looking back on this hiring decision in a year. The person you hired has exceeded your expectations. What did he or she do that impressed you the most? TK: That's a great question. I think in one year the person would have come in and spent some time learning from the team and people that have been here a while. Then, she or he will begin making changes in an informed way. In one year I want this person's team to be a well-oiled machine. I want them to be bouncing ideas off each other, coming up with new designs and making headway into new markets. RS: That's helpful. It's good to know what the expectations are. Can you tell me a little bit more about the team that I would be working with? TK: Sure. I believe all of them have been with the company for over five years and know the ropes. I would say there's a little bit of frustration currently because of our lack of growth. This will be the third time we've brought in a new team leader in four years. RS: Do you know what's causing that kind of rapid turn over? T: To be honest, the last three team leaders have been hired from within the company. And sometimes it's hard to think outside the box when you've been inside the box for awhile. We're hoping to bring in some new ideas and energy and get our development team back on track. RS: That makes sense. I really appreciate that you're considering me for the position. I'd love to be a part of the company achieving its goals.