Influential Interview Techniques
How can this be applied to job interviews? And it just so happens that one of our studio audience members is in the job interview part of her life. She's kinda exploring what the next stage is going to look like, and even more in a universally kismet way, we have somebody who is in a field who has a business in which she might actually, who knows, get a job. So I wanted to bring them up and do kind of a mock interview style. How this is going to work, is they are going to sit down and have a job interview, and we are going to, the CreativeLive elves are going to record it, and then we're going to play it back and we'll do kind of a start stop like we did in session one, and I'll provide some tips and coaching, and then they're going to do the interview again and see how that changes and how that improves. Without any further adieu, can we please bring up Shruthi and Clifton. (audience enthusiastically clapping and hollering) So are we talking about your business or are we creating kind...
of a fictictional version of something.
Do I have to give a job offer at the end of this?
No you don't have to give a job offer!
Then we can talk about my real business. That'd be great.
Okay, alright. And are you familiar with what he does and everything? You've had some time to pow-wow about it?
Yeah we did if he wants to just explain it for everybody.
Sure, just give us a quick breakdown of it.
Sure it's a global publication that covers and curates global collaboration across the political, entrepreneurial, and philanthropic fields to highlight a better future so the name of it is, Faces of the Future, and it exists primarily in print, but in everything these days also exists online and through social media.
Great, and can you share a little bit about where you are and what you're wanting out of this?
Or your background, all that good stuff.
Sure, sure. I have gone through two different jobs at this point in my life. Very different backgrounds; very different ends of the spectrum. Coming from a very structured, corporate environment, and then I moved into a very unpredictable, adventurous start-up experience in India. Now I'm back recalibrating in the U.S. and trying to reorient myself somewhere on that spectrum, probably more towards the middle and straying away from the extremes.
[Female Presenter] Cool.
So part of that exploration has been, defining what I value, what I'm looking for and finding companies and people that are aligned with that.
[Female Presenter] Perfect, alright you have a solid understanding at what's going on here?
[Male Interviewer] Mm hmm.
Great I'm going to step around to the side so I can take some notes, and Clifton, take it away.
Awesome. Well it's a pleasure to meet you finally. I'm sure we've talked many times over email and it's glad to put a person in front of the face and resume.
Nice to meet you too. Thanks so much for taking the time.
Of course. So please, tell me about yourself.
Yeah, thanks so much for agreeing to meet with me. I'm really excited to be here to tell you about myself. I started working five years ago. I graduated from university in 2009 with a degree in international relations, and my path up to now has been a little bit winding, but everything happens for a reason so I've learned a lot along the way. I started in a very, structured corporate environment working in corporate retail and doing product development for a big company out at Macy's, and I thought that was the perfect experience for me at the time coming out of college, it was a safe, structured environment that allowed me to learn processes and methods, allowed me to be mentored, but at the end of the day and after a few years I admitted to myself that job and the content that I was dealing with on a daily basis wasn't aligned with my passions and my values, so I made a decision to go more towards what I felt like I loved. That was an adventurous decision for me, I'm not necessarily a risk-taker, but I found it within myself to move to India and pursue something that I really identified with. I found an amazing company that was working on water access in a business setting, so they're earning profit, doing good by doing well, and so it kind of melded my giving back sensibilities with my business sensibility. It was an amazing experience, not only being in a different country and being thrown into scenarios that I had never found myself in previously, but also working in a three-person company and having to take on a lot of responsibility, learning the value of self-teaching, asking for help from others, a lot of humbling things that I wouldn't have learned in another environment. After two years I started thinking about what my move back to the U.S. would be like, which is why you find me here. I'm really interested in looking for organizations that are working in the development space that are working to bring good to others who might not have opportunities in their lives currently. I love that your company is aligning this with a media strategy, with a content strategy. I personally have an interest in writing and communications and I would love to be able to tell stories about the organizations that are out there doing well, and bring it into the light in this country in a way that hasn't been done before.
Interesting, so you spend a few years doing the corporate route and then a few years doing the entrepreneurial route. What ultimately led you to come back to the United States and to leave India?
I think that while learning in such a fast-paced, dynamic environment was a huge learning experience for me, I think I ultimately craved structure and mentorship and a little more predictability in my life, and I figured that coming back to the U.S. and seeking out organizations that have a really strong grounding and footing here would be the right move for me. I've developed a huge network in India, and within the developments space itself, so coming here to leverage that in a way where I can still find myself in a place where I felt at home, I felt like I could do things with funding that wasn't allowed before.
Interesting, so you are familiar with our publication right?
We are a fairly new business. Things are a little bit nebulous in terms of structure and whatnot. Why do you want to work for this company?
That's a very good question. The first point is that it's very much based and founded in something that I deeply identify with, which is your mission to highlight organizations that are doing such great work in sustainable ways and groundbreaking ways, in ways that may not be recognized in the mainstream. I have a background in these organizations. I've met and done a lot of business with them in India, and the community in of itself is actually quite small, so I feel like I have a strong network that I can bring to your company, and use it to help you grow faster at this early stage while you're trying to get a grasp of where this is going and what sort of content you want to put yourself out for. I do feel that while you are grounded in a way that my previous organization wasn't, you're still new enough that I can exercise a sense of creativity and ownership and these are values that I don't know like tap into a really great part of myself, and I feel like I work best when those things are brought out, so I look for organizations that allow me to be the best employee possible.
It sounds like you have a very unique experience. Tell me about a hiccup or an obstacle in the road in which things didn't quite go exactly as you expected, or something didn't happen that should of.
Tell me about that process and how you overcame it, or how ultimately that you learned from that setback.
Sure. A lot of things about moving to another country and moving to such a small company was a huge challenge and learning experience for me. One specific example was that, at a small company you kind of take on all roles, nothing is off limits, you're required to be in every project at all times, and the one that kind of stumped me to be honest was business development, which means that I was in a country with a whole different cultural etiquette when it comes to doing business, trying to convince them about the intentions and work of an American company working within their country. The whole process of sales and finding leads is something I've never been involved with before, so I have to admit that for a few months I floundered. I didn't have anybody above or below me to tell me how to do things, when to do it, how to structure it, so I kinda spent a lot of time struggling with this huge nebulous project that I felt like I wasn't made to take care of. But through that failure and through that process I learned so much about teaching myself and relying on knowledge that I know I can tap into, relying on resources that are out there, whether it's the internet, whether it's experts that I speak with on a daily basis, and asking for people to help, and never being too arrogant to admit that I don't know.
And always being humble enough to ask for help when--
I couldn't figure it out myself.
And our final question before I have to go. You talk about tapping into resources. What kind of resources do you uniquely possess to help us achieve our mission and vision even faster?
Yeah, I refer to it a little bit in my previous answers, but I do feel like I have a really unique connection within the development and social enterprise network both globally and within the U.S. I've interacted with a lot of them either through phone calls, through potential deals, through our websites, we all know of each other's work, and we're generally very supportive of the things that we're doing because we have a common mission. I hope I can leverage those relationships and help tell their stories to make this company grow faster.
Awesome, well thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Thank you so much for your time.
Whohoo, give them a round of applause! (crowd hollering and clapping) Breathe, breath.
[Female Presenter] It's okay. Okay, just kinda to tap into the audience, I'm curious, what are some any sort of general notes that you picked up on right away, and in the chat room as well I still want to hear from you guys, hello. Okay hi, yes Chris.
Two things I guess, one is you did very well at answering the questions and well spoken, have great experience, I didn't see as much relating to him and his problems and the solving of those. I think bridging that gap would go a long way.
I was very I-centered, me-centered.
[Female Presenter] Yeah.
But that's okay. You're very eloquent, you've got all of that.
[Female Presenter] Yeah.
You had one phrase in particular, which I know how you meant it but I'm not sure if it came across the way you said, "I referred to that in my previous answers."
[Female Presenter] Okay.
But in the wrong way that can come across as, didn't you just hear me say that?
Weren't you listening?
[Female Presenter] Yeah.
So just be careful about that, cause you meant it well, you meant it, I started answering there but let me go into more detail, but I'm not sure it comes across that way.
Cool. Any other kind of overall impressions, observations? Okay.
We had some people saying she did look a little nervous, we had some people talking about body language, shoulders rolled in, hands between knees, they say that's me too I do that same thing; let's see what else we have here, Ruth says, "Is she talking too much? Should be asking the "interviewer more questions to get a read on him?"
Right, great you guys, yes.
That was actually one of the things I was thinking of is maybe when he asked you how your skills would help with his company's mission, you could have taken the opportunity to say well can you give me an example of a problem you have, or recently had so I can try and--
Or if I knew previously I could say Oh I've heard you guys are working on this project.
[Female Presenter] Yeah, right, absolutely.
So you can give him a more detailed answer if you ask him to give you a more specific question related to that. So I think--
[Male Audience Member] Or when you hear what kind of a language he uses as far as sense, feel, etcetera.
Yeah, and I think the overall note thus far shines a light on what most people don't understand about job interviews, is they think I am being interviewed. You are also interviewing them, as we've learned throughout this entire course. Of course you can interview them about their company, their mission and all of that good stuff, but you also are interviewing them for those influential vibes. To pick up on the company's value and missions may be written up in the website, but we want to hear how Clifton articulates those values and missions of the company, and what he personally finds most exciting. Is is the connections and the relationships, or is it the publication, or what facets most intrigue him? And then she can perhaps attach into that. I have a question for you Clifton, and be perfectly 100 percent honest.
Did you feel in rapport with her?
There was a moment towards the end where I was like, now you finally hit it. This is what I'm looking for.
But you might have seen a few times where I actually cut you off to try to get you to where I wanted to go cause you were not exactly addressing what I was looking for
[Female Presenter] Right.
I was actually trying to help you at certain points, you were kinda going down the wrong path, I'm not as focused on your two years of finding yourself. I care about now and what you can do, and how you can leverage what you've done in the past with the future.
Right, I know we don't have it in the feed here, but Clifton actually sent a few body language cues before he did the interrupting. There's a few moments where I saw him kinda go back and even start looking down at his paper, he disengaged fairly early before he choose to try the tactic of interrupting cause she didn't quite pick up on those. Perfect and brilliant, cause this is what everybody goes through in their job interviews, so fantastic.