How to Interview for a Job in American English, part 5/5

Youre hired! Two words everyone loves to hear. But before we hear those words comes

(dun dun duuuuhn!) the interview. Today’s video is part five in a five-part series that

is all about preparing for a job interview.

This is the last video in a five-part series on preparing for an interview. In the previous

videos, weve gone over how to prepare your answers for common interview questions. Today

well discuss things like body language, humor, and expression, and how to use them

to your advantage in an interview.

First, let’s look at the complete mock interview from the series. What do you notice about

how I present myself, and the interviewer? What do our postures and facial expressions

say to you?

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 water or coffee 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. 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. T: 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?

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 educate themselves in new techniques and skill sets. I think

that really helps to build employee satisfaction and loyalty.

TK: Youve obviously done your homework. 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. 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? 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 comfort 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! 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? 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 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 start 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 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 weve 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 youve been inside the box for awhile. Were 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 youre considering me for the position.

I’d love to be a part of the company achieving its goals.

TK: Very good. Okay. That’s great, thanks so much for coming in, Rachel. It’s great

to meet you. I’ll give you a call in the next three days.

RS: Sounds good, I look forward to it. Thanks again.

TK: My pleasure.

First let’s talk about the handshake. A long time ago, women used to shake hands more

like this. But now, men and women alike use the same handshake, putting your right hand

forward. Make it firm but not too tight or aggressive. A firm handshake makes a good

first impression.

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.

Let’s look at my posture.

It’s good to sit upright and look alert. You don’t want to slump back or slouch,

that’s a bit too casual for a job interview.

Don’t sit stiffly, but do sit upright with a good energy. Let’s look at facial expressions.

Notice that my face is very engaged. I look excited and happy. That’s the message you

want to send. It’s not unprofessional to be energized.

In some cultures, it might be professional to be more reserved, but in America, a friendly,

engaged demeanor is important. Watch my face as I listen to the interview questions.

Smiling and nodding are a way to show that youre engaged and listening.

When watching the interview, did you notice I made a joke?

TK: Now, what would you consider your greatest weakness?

RS: Chocolate. Using humor or making a joke in an interview

can show your personality. But limit it to maybe one or two moments. Otherwise, it will

distract from the other important things you want to say.

This wraps up our interview series. I hope it helps you prepare for job or school interviews

in the US. How does this compare to your culture? Are interviews more casual, or more formal?

Let me know in the comments below.

To close, here’s the full interview one more time.

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 water or coffee 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. 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. T: 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?

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 educate themselves in new techniques and skill sets. I think

that really helps to build employee satisfaction and loyalty.

TK: Youve obviously done your homework. 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. 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? 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 comfort 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! 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? 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 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 start 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 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 weve 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 youve been inside the box for awhile. Were 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 youre considering me for the position.

I’d love to be a part of the company achieving its goals.

TK: Very good. Okay. That’s great, thanks so much for coming in, Rachel. It’s great

to meet you. I’ll give you a call in the next three days.

RS: Sounds good, I look forward to it. Thanks again.

TK: My pleasure.

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That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

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