Connie Chen

BEFORE
CURRENTLY
Reporting Analyst
@ ITSP
Connie Chen

Think and Act Like A Host in Interviews

Interview is all about communication. Good stories impress people, and imperfect stories are forgotten quickly. During an interview, although you are an interviewee, you can still be a host by listening with curiosity, speaking with honesty, and acting with integrity.  Today we have three tips for you to think and act like a host in an interview.

You are not going to take any job

When I started job searching, the entire process was full of self doubt. I was doubting if I am going to take any better paid job in a random company and if I am really going to give up a familiar environment and the team I worked well with for the past few years. Most importantly, will I find another place allowing me to grow, challenge, try, fail, and success?

Authenticity in job market is important. A job is more than a title and a salary. Mental health matters, professional growth matters, work and life balance matters, your team matters. On the other hand, I am sure that companies want people who want them. That’s why you should keep your authenticity. Even though authenticity brings vulnerability, the boss may not agree with you, the recruiter may not invite you to an interview, your “dream job” may be offered to others, but authenticity attracts people who appreciate you. Being able to communicate with less anxiety and misunderstanding is the biggest advantage when you work with a team fits you, and vice verse. Don’t sacrifice too much for a title and a paycheck.

Gather information and have decent scripted answers

An interview answer is not just about numbers. Business problems, challenges, stakeholders, and other things that are part of your stories ultimately give you power in an interview.

You need to learn how to gather information from LinkedIn Learning and Youtuber and mirror tutors’ tone, pace, and postures to tell your stories.

LinkedIn Learning tutors tell stories from a higher level with critical and insightful details. Below are two examples about how to use LinkedIn learning’ transcripts and cases to enrich your answers.

Example A – sales go down when closing time approaches

You can say

In general, our statistic shows that sales go down before closing time; however, one day we found a store’s average transaction rate was high in last half hour. After reviewing camera videos, we realized that customers who came back to store at last half hour had a strong willingness of purchase; however, most store staff were busy with cleaning and packing; therefore, no one took care of customers.  To improve average transaction rates of last half hour, we decided to extend half hour of opening time and make night shifts’ close time half hour later.

Example B – I created a report showing how much cash received by each store and each day.

You can say

Cash is the King. During economic recession, it is important for small business owners to control spend and know their cash flow well, because firstly cash is very versatile; secondly, bank and other lenders are interested in one thing: being repaid with interest. Those payments will be made from future cash flows. When a business approaches a bank for a large loan, the bank starts the evaluation process by asking for the company’s standard financial statements: a balance sheet, an income statement, and a statement of cash flows.

On Youtuber, many top human resource leaders and career coaches open their channels. These Youtubers are probably clearer about recruiting process than your interviewers. One of my favourite Youtuber Madeline Mann has a famous word: you don’t need a new resume, you need a better story.

For the common interview question tell me about yourself, she firstly gives an example of what not to do:

I am a mother of two precious boys and a cyclist, but I was born in Nevada to a family of four. My mom is a math teacher, and my dad was an aerospace engineer, so they got me interested in STEM at a young age. One summer while I was sitting on the docs of Lake Tahoe, I met an old Navy captain who had ….

Then she showed people the right way. Most Madeline Mann’s videos include examples and free answer templates in her video description.

Many Youtubers teach similar things like her. All you need to do is to find a good one that not only teaches you stuff but also entertains you.

Why is entertainment so important? Because you want to learn things effortlessly.

Practice with a mindset of gratitude

Consistent practice brings out best outcome, but over practicing is overwhelming and stressful. The worst thing about over practice is that it results in a “scarcity” mindset about job opportunities. Before the interview, I would suggest you taking a break, switching attention from interviews to what you already have.

I learned it from one of my interviews. To prepare this interview, I already practiced a presentation for four days; before I went to bed, I heard a voice telling me to take a break. Next morning, I woke up as usual, by intuition I opened a gratitude meditation video, after meditation, I felt better, and instead of continuing practicing, I decided to write a friend’ story who was a single mom and a housewife and then started her career at 40. She always inspired me to listen to inner voice.

Mindset is a very invisible thing. I am 100% sure that my energy got refilled from gratitude practice. During that interview, I wasn’t thinking about job offer, I was focusing on what I already have: my experience, my challenges, and my solutions. And at the end of my interview, the director extended a verbal offer. 

At that time, I didn’t realize that many books already talked about gratitude, for example, “The Art of People” by Dave Kerpen and “Happiness Guru” by Srikumar Rao.

“I soon found that if I was in a bad mood, the act of feeling grateful made me feel better. I found that if I was already in a good mood, the act of gratitude made me feel great. And I found that if I was in a great mood, the act of experiencing gratitude made me feel ecstatic” – Dave Kerpen

Gratitude stops you from wanting and feeling gripping. Sometimes it changes the vibe of communication because you are less insecure and self-defensive. In an interview, you can stand in hiring managers’ shoes. When you hear their troubles and difficulties, your heart goes with them, and this is just the nature of human beings’ brain. 

Youtuber links

3 Steps to Answer Tell Me About Yourself – Example included!

Morning Meditation of Gratitude to Transform a Challenging Time and Increase Joy | Mindful Movement

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