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  • To help you ace your next job interview, were going to study four mock interviews to see what works well,

  • and what doesn’t work well in an answer.

  • Well see four people, a teacher, a doctor, a social worker, and a marketing expert interview for a job.

  • Well take some standard interview questions and study how they answered them

  • to figure out how you can form your own compelling answers.

  • Today well study three prompts.

  • First, tell me a little bit about yourself, then, tell me about a conflict you had at work and how you resolved it,

  • and finally, describe a meaningful experience youve had at work.

  • For my non-native English-speaking students,

  • I’m going to go over some tips to keep in mind while practicing your interview answers.

  • That lesson will be at the end of the video.

  • For the first prompt, “Tell me a little bit about yourself,” keep your answer brief. Let’s listen to an answer.

  • My name is dan. I'm the father of two little girls.

  • I'm a social worker.

  • I love playing guitar. I love music.

  • In my spare time, if I'm not playing guitar, I'm jogging, I'm out in the yard with my girls. I love camping.

  • That’s all you need. It’s about 13 seconds.

  • If you have children and you want to mention them, great.

  • But you certainly don’t have to.

  • He says a couple of things he loves: I love guitar, I love playing music.

  • He also uses the phrasein my spare timeto list a couple other activities:

  • jogging, playing in the yard with his daughters.

  • Come up with one or two sentences that begin with “I love”, “I enjoy”, orIn my spare time, I”.

  • You can elaborate a bit, for example, I love going to the ballet.

  • I studied dance for about 12 years when I was a kid.

  • Think of your answer and practice it in a mock interview.

  • Time your answer.

  • Aim for something between 10 and 20 seconds.

  • If you say something that your interviewer can relate to, he or she might pick that up for conversation.

  • Many job interviews these days will ask you about what you have done, not what you will do or would do.

  • Asking a question about conflict at work would be common interview question.

  • Conflict is inevitable; employers want to know how you handle it.

  • You might get asked about a time where you had to resolve a conflict with a coworker.

  • Think of a very specific time and tell the story of it: what the conflict was about and how you worked it out.

  • Let’s listen to an example answer.

  • In my last job, I remember when I was working on trying to change some ticket pricing for our events.

  • I had a colleague who was very comfortable with the old way of doing the pricing.

  • So we had a huge conversation about

  • the benefits of rethinking things and trying to improve the system and he had agreed.

  • But then later on, he sent me an email that he was really uncomfortable, and really didn't want to do it,

  • and really frustrated.

  • There was, there was a tone coming through to the email that it was something that

  • he just really didn't want to do and was very unhappy.

  • Adrienne told us her story, she set us up with the details, and now she’s explicitly using the phrase

  • to resolve the conflict, I...”

  • So to resolve that conflict, I made an appointment with him the very next morning,

  • and went down to meet with him in his office, and had a really clear and direct conversation.

  • I love the details she’s giving here.

  • She spoke with him the very next morning.

  • That says to me, she didn’t let this conflict sit there and get worse.

  • Right away, she went to him in person to have a conversation about it.

  • She took the time to do this face-to-face.

  • She talks about having a ‘clearanddirectconversation.

  • That’s great.

  • Disagreeing with someone can be hard and trying to talk about it, even harder.

  • Communicating clearly in these situations is important.

  • And had a really clear and direct conversation about what his concerns were, and what he was thinking,

  • and how we could move forward, and we came to a compromise that we could address his feelings.

  • But also, I brought him on board with the ideas that we had come to, and made him feel comfortable with

  • how we were going to resolve the situation.

  • The way she describes it, it sounds like she really listened to her coworker and cared about his thoughts

  • and feelings, why he disagreed with her.

  • That’s a really positive trait.

  • Sometimes when we disagree with someone, it’s hard to see their side.

  • But she listened to his concerns, addressed them, and ultimately they were able to come up with a compromise.

  • Here’s another person answering the question.

  • She talks about working on a project with a supervisor.

  • He told me one morning "I think we're going to have to possibly go in a different direction

  • and use something completely different".

  • Okay, I was angry. I felt upset. I wanted to react. I was sad. But I made myself go very slowly,

  • and I was calm, and then what I decided to do was ask him questions.

  • And one question I asked him was: can you help me to understand why?

  • Lisa talked about the reaction she had, but how she stopped herself and began to ask questions.

  • This is just like what Adrienne said she did.

  • Asking questions is a great way to resolve conflict.

  • When you better understand what the other side is thinking and feeling,

  • it can help you figure out exactly how to come to an agreement.

  • And as he spoke, I realized that he really didn't have enough information.

  • I wasn't quite sure how to point that out to him, but I did say: "You know, before we leave this

  • idea and just change, I would like a chance to present to you why I think we should keep what we have."

  • and it turned out that he was willing to look at it.

  • He admitted he hadn't read some of it,

  • and he ended up coming back to me and saying: "You're right, I think we should keep what we have."

  • She asked to present her side.

  • In the end, her supervisor understood and agreed with her.

  • Think of a work conflict you can talk about.

  • Did you ask questions, did you really listen to the other party?

  • Make sure you highlight this as you talk through the resolution.

  • Both Adrienne and Lisa told stories about a specific conflict.

  • Interviewers want you to do this.

  • They don’t want to hear how you handle conflict in general. Listen to Jeff’s answer here.

  • First of all, I would say that working within teams, invariably there's going to be conflict that that arises.

  • One of the ways that I've found very helpful to deal with conflict within teams,

  • especially in the leadership position, is to sit down with both parties, provide them a forum to talk to each other,

  • have them listen to each other, and then try to find common ground and ways to move on.

  • Essentially in a team, what you're trying to do is allow team members

  • to function at the level that they should be functioning,

  • and the other team members have to allow those team members to do that. If not, then conflict will arise.

  • But if you kind of help people understand what their role is within the team, and what they should be doing,

  • that goes very far to helping reduce conflict.

  • He talks about why he thinks conflict arises and how to handle it.

  • It’s an articulate answer and it makes sense, but he doesn’t tell a story about a conflict.

  • Now he’s going to basically say the same thing, but using a specific example.

  • So one particular conflict that I helped to

  • mediate among our team was among a provider and a RN care manager, or registered nurse care manager.

  • Both felt responsibility for taking care of a patient.

  • Both had an understanding about what they thought needed to happen in order to move forward,

  • and both thought that the other person was standing in the way of their ability to do that.

  • So I think one of the biggest issues with working within teams is sometimes,

  • even though you're working together day to day, you're not actually talking to each other.

  • So when they were able to actually talk to each other and explain

  • how they wanted to move forward with the care of the patient, then conflict was able to be resolved.

  • That’s something I can more easily remember, there were two parties involved in caring for a patient,

  • they both had their own ideas about how to do that.

  • When Jeff brought them together to talk it through, a resolution was found and the conflict was resolved.

  • Employers want the details in your answers.

  • As you work on your own answer, to a question involving conflict at work and how you resolved it,

  • don’t leave out the details.

  • What was the disagreement about?

  • When it was resolved, what was the resolution?

  • You might get the chance in an interview to talk about a meaningful professional experience that youve had.

  • This gives you the chance to show that youre invested in the work you do, that it’s not just a job,

  • but something you spend time doing because you care about it.

  • Depending on the position, this could be really important to your employer.

  • Employers want to know that youre invested.

  • Let’s listen to how Lisa responds to the prompt, tell me about a meaningful professional experience youve had.

  • One time I went with a family, I'm a teacher, and they did not speak English.

  • They had been to the doctor and I just felt like the doctor was not seeing an important issue with the student.

  • I volunteered to go along and interestingly, we were at a hearing specialist,

  • and the student took some tests and the results, I was not pleased with.

  • When the doctor presented the results, I said: "Have you even listened to him speak?

  • Could you please listen to how he speaks?"

  • as soon as the doctor listened to the student speaking, he realized the tone of the students voice

  • did sound like someone that had hearing problems,

  • and it changed the whole trajectory of the whole thing.

  • What ended up happening was that student got placed in a school for that was specifically for

  • people that had hard, that were hard of hearing, and it changed that child's life.

  • So I was so happy that I was able to give that gift of time to that student and that family.

  • Lisa’s story is about a time outside of work, but work related.

  • This is not a requirement of her job, but something she did for the student because she saw the need.

  • That shows a huge commitment to the children she teaches.

  • Let’s hear Jeff’s answer.

  • So I would say what the one of the most meaningful professional experiences

  • that I've ever had is establishing a care model

  • within our health system for folks with complex health and social needs.

  • These are patients that have a lot of chronic disease, they have a lot of psychosocial burdens,

  • and typically they were just not being cared well in our system, and they were caught in a revolving door

  • of inpatient admissions and being discharged, and then coming right back in,

  • sometimes before they even got to see their family doctor again.

  • So building on some work of others around the country,

  • I was able to establish a new health care delivery model that took into account the fact

  • that psychosocial barriers actually play a big role in the reasons why these folks are admitted frequently.

  • And if we dealt with those barriers, then often, we could prevent them from being hospitalized as frequently.

  • I like Jeff’s answer because in it he talks about an incredible change that he brought about,

  • a huge undertaking, he established a new care model within his health system.

  • And he’s found an opportunity to talk about that not in a bragging way:

  • “I’m great because I established a new care model”,

  • but rather, “it was meaningful for me to be able to establish a new care model.”

  • Even if youre not directly asked a question about a meaningful experience,

  • see if you can connect a sense of meaning or satisfaction to your achievements