Articles, Blog

How to Ace the Interview: Crash Course Business – Soft Skills #6

October 11, 2019

If you’ve got a job interview coming up
and you’re feeling a little nervous, don’t worry. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably
seen enough celebrity interviews to know what works and what doesn’t. Okay, fine, the business world isn’t exactly
star-studded and full of GIFable moments. But interviews are still a key part of the
hiring process. You built hype with your resume and cover
letter; that promotional package got an employer interested! Now, you just have to land that job offer. And we’re here to help you show employers
your star power, with professionalism and some top-notch answers to common questions. I’m Evelyn from the Internets. And this is Crash Course Business: Soft Skills. [Intro Music Plays] We’ve already talked about how the job search
is sort of like marketing a movie. You’re just marketing yourself! So the interview is your press junket. It’s a chance for you to dive deeper into
your work experience, show you’re good under pressure, and demonstrate your competence,
intent, and integrity face-to-face, instead of on paper. Just like a movie star going on different
talk shows, you’ll have different kinds of interviews. You could have a one-on-one interview, like
on Oprah. Or panel style, like The View. You could be answering questions like you’re
on CNN with Anderson Cooper, or performing tasks like you’re on Ellen. To get a feel for what’s in store, it’s
important to do your research. You wouldn’t want to be prepared for E!
when you’re actually on Dateline. It’s generally fine to ask who’s going
to be interviewing you, if you aren’t told. But be polite about it! It can be helpful to look up your interviewers
or skim their social media. You know they’re checking yours. Just don’t accidentally ask someone how
their vacation in Aspen was. Plus, figure out what skills you want to highlight
by perusing the company’s website or searching for news articles, to understand their values
and current projects. We don’t have time to go deep into industry-specific
questions or styles, because a consulting interview is totally different than an art
portfolio review. For the most part, some employers will use
problem-solving interviews, where you may need to perform tasks, take an assessment,
or give a presentation. And almost /all/ of them use behavioral interviews,
which are personality questions that help them better understand your skills and working
style. Like a red carpet event where everyone is
asked, “Who are you wearing?” there are some behavioral questions you should always be prepared to answer. Hiring managers sift through hundreds of qualified
applicants, so to find out if you’re really interested in their company, they’ll ask:
“Why are you interested in this position or organization?” To tackle this one, lean on your research. Talk about parts of the company that you genuinely
appreciate, like their commitment to equality and diversity. or how they encourage creative exploration. To determine your ability to work with others,
you’ll be asked about how you handled a specific type of situation in the past. Usually, it’s something like, “Can you
discuss when you handled a conflict with a coworker or a difficult customer?” These questions can also be about a specific
quality you need to succeed in your industry. So, if you were a freelance YouTuber asked
about a difficult client, you could talk about how you helped them hone their scattered vision
to create a 4-minute video with a clear, compelling story. We all like to talk about our successes, and
your resume is full of them. But you’ll also be asked something like,
“Can you talk about a time you failed?” or “What’s your greatest weakness?” And don’t try and spin your weakness into
a strength. “I’m just too dedicated to my job”
may be a great excuse to avoid going on a date, but in an interview, it’s a cop out. Instead, show some self awareness and talk
about something that has impacted you and what you’re doing to work on it. So, if you have trouble public speaking, you
could talk about how you ran a talk show with your best friend every morning in college,
which built a lot of confidence. It can be hard to know what to talk about
when behavioral questions are flying at you from all different directions. But there are some general tips that can help! For one, be reasonable — don’t feel a need
to get too personal. This is a professional interview, and they
don’t need to know the drama of your private life. To avoid getting tripped up, act like a celebrity
who’s trying not to spoil the movie they just filmed [*cough* Tom Holland] by having
a set of about 10 pre-planned answers. To make sure you hit all the key points with
ease, use the STAR format, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Briefly outline the situation you found
yourself in and the task at hand, then emphasize the action steps you took and the result
of your actions. You should also wrap up with what each experience
taught you. That shows how you want to grow as a professional. Preparing answers with STAR in mind will help
you stay clear and succinct, even if you’re nervous. Or tired. Just like an all-day press junket, interviews
can have multiple rounds. To see what I mean, let’s go to the Thought
Bubble. A top-secret government program that prevents
intergalactic threats has seen your amazing service record at the NYPD, so they invite
you to an interview. You have two assessments, a one-on-one interview
with the HR representative, and a panel interview in front of some executives. After completing an aptitude test, you’re
given one hour to come up with and present a five-point-plan to prevent consumer identity
theft…by ALIENS. You’re tired from a long morning, but you’re
only given a short break between the problem-solving interviews and the behavioral interviews. Plus, staring at a panel of six black suits
would make anyone nervous. But, luckily, you’ve got some stories prepared
in STAR format. Remember: Situation, Task, Action, Result. So if you’re asked about when you solved
a problem under pressure, you could say: When I came upon a robbery, the suspect took
off. I quickly and calmly assessed the situation,
calculated potential routes in my head, weighed my best options, and gave chase. I caught the suspect and recieved a medal
of valor. Or if you needed to talk about working in
a team or resolving a conflict, you could say: Initially, my teammate Frank and I bickered. But we had a discussion and adapted our communication
styles to be more forward and direct. Together, we successfully launched an initiative
to recover stolen jewels. From this experience, I learned to openly
communicate with colleagues to best understand their needs. In no time, you’ll have shown your skills,
impressed your interviewers, and be on your way to saving the Earth! Thanks, Thought Bubble! Even if you’re not interviewing for a
secret government program, questions can get a little strange. So, if you’re asked what zodiac sign you most
identify with, pause to gather your thoughts. You can take a sec on straightforward questions
too — as long as you’re not doing it for every single one. Be sure to tie your answer back into qualities
the interviewer is looking for. Like, my Mars is in Taurus, so I’m intentional
in my actions, which leads me to succeed by being detail-oriented and driven. It’s true. Or if you’re thrown a weird problem-solving
question, like “How many penguins are there in the United States?” don’t stress about getting the right answer. Instead, show them how your brain works and
explain your thought process. So you could estimate that there are like
10 penguins in every aquarium. And if there are 3 aquariums per state, then
there are roughly 1500 penguins in the U.S. Remember, there’s always a difference
between strange questions and inappropriate — or even illegal — questions No one can ask you about anything covered
under protected status like disability, sexual orientation, or gender. There’s more on this in our Crash Course
Government series. And questions like “do other people find
you desirable?” could be considered harassment. We all admire celebrity shutdowns of really
inappropriate or insulting interviewers. Channel your inner Rihanna, shut it down. But if you’re asked something inappropriate,
don’t feel forced to answer it directly. So if you’re asked, “Are you religious?”
— a question which is illegal, by the way — you could say something like, “I value the right to
freedom of expression.” Or if you’re asked, “Where are you from?” it isn’t necessarily illegal, but it could
be evidence of discrimination against nationality. So you could answer it with where you’re
currently living. It’s also important for you to avoid asking
your interviewer inappropriate questions, like “Do you have any more information on
that impending lawsuit?” That’s the kind of thing that’s best to
research on your own, or ask about after you’ve got a job offer. It’s better to politely and directly ask
about salary, time off, or other potential problems once you’ve already wowed the crowd. Instead, use your interview time to ask questions
that demonstrate your priorities, your understanding of the position, and your familiarity with
the organization. Show you’ve done your homework and that
you value professional development by asking things like, “I know that the Pawnee Parks
and Rec department is dedicated to community service. Can you tell me more about your young leadership
programs?” Or give the interviewer a chance to talk about
their work experience with, “What’s your favorite thing about working for this
company?” Remember what we said about emotional influence? Relevant and thoughtful questions will show
that you’re professional and take pride in your work. You can also emphasize your professionalism
by dressing nicely and conservatively, showing up on time, and using the names of your interviewers. Now, there’s a difference between professional
and formal. You don’t need to show up looking like you’re
headed to the Met Ball. But if you look good, you’ll feel good. And the best way to knock an interview out
of the park is to feel confident and relaxed. Just like the Hitchhiker’s Guide says:
Don’t Panic. Instead of frantically reviewing your notes
right before, which was fine in college, but not so much now, prepare ahead of time. That way, you can wait in that lobby while
sipping on some of their fancy cucumber water and chilling to your favorite music [– Solange,
anyone?] And your work’s not done when the interview
is over. Use those written communication skills to
send your interviewers a thank you note that includes something memorable you talked about. Then, sit back and be confident in the fact
that you did your best. If you don’t hear back right away, it’s
okay. Like the Oscars committee, it can take weeks
for organizations to reach a decision. If you absolutely need to know if you’re
getting the job — like if you have another offer on the table or need to move cities
— politely ask with a follow-up email if you’re still being considered for the position. And soon enough, you’ll have found a new
gig! So, if you remember nothing else from this
episode: Know your show. Do your research ahead of time so you’re
not surprised. Know yourself. Figure out what skills you can emphasize and
prepare interview answers ahead of time in STAR format. Know your enemy. Strange questions happen, but don’t feel
pressure to answer anything inappropriate. Know your style. Act professionally, dress for success, and
send thank you notes. Next time, we’re officially done with our
days at the movies. We’ll cover what happens after you get
a job offer: becoming a master negotiator. Crash Course Business is sponsored by Google
and it’s made with the help of all these nice people and Thought Cafe is our amazing
animation team. Crash Course is a Complexly production. If you wanna keep imagining the world complexly
with us, you can check out some of our other channels like PBS Eons, where hosts Hank Green,
Kallie Moore, and Blake de Pastino take you on a journey through the history of life on
Earth. Also, if you’d like to keep Crash Course
free for everybody, forever, you can support the series at Patreon; a crowdfunding platform
that allows you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued support.

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  • Reply Expertbean April 17, 2019 at 9:54 pm


  • Reply Jakiya Ellison April 17, 2019 at 9:54 pm


  • Reply N Marsh April 17, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    First to comment and like

  • Reply Edward Liu April 17, 2019 at 9:54 pm


  • Reply Kierra S. Burks April 17, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Heyyyy, can we get we get subbabble character tshirt??

  • Reply Loser Lounge April 17, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Oh hi

  • Reply ThomasTurner69 April 17, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    The algorithm is basically YouTubers boss

  • Reply Zachary Laid Finding Freedom April 17, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    First thing you do is ask the interviewer,
    "Why should I work for you?"

  • Reply DannyDzNuts April 17, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Close enough to first!

  • Reply Ranger Ruby April 17, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    My sister is looking for jobs around our area and I felt so proud when I was able to recommend Crash Course Buisness- Soft Skills! She thought I was a total nerd, but I still helped her out! 🙂

  • Reply Skip6235 April 17, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Really? I just finished a super important job interview less than 4 hours ago! Why couldn’t this have been posted yesterday!?

  • Reply DannyDzNuts April 17, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    This will genuinely help me out. I've got an interview scheduled for Friday. Perfect timing!

  • Reply Jicky April 17, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    What if I have no work experience? would they neglect my resume?
    Any jobs.

  • Reply Zuulaloo April 17, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    God damn it, hopefully no brainlets get jobs they shouldn't have.

  • Reply Adam Morley April 17, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    You guys should have a music theory crash course! It would help out alot of people!

  • Reply INFO COLLECTIVES April 17, 2019 at 10:10 pm


  • Reply J Lupus April 17, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    If all else fails, go to school for business

  • Reply Evan Nekuda April 17, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Did it bother anyone else she said "jiffable" instead of "giffable" ? Lol

  • Reply Joe Ivan Aquino April 17, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    Please Crash Course Archeology and Crash Course Theology

  • Reply Gulgathydra April 17, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    Re: 2:38
    Unless you're a straight white male. In which case, you would be telling them not to hire you, and to fire themselves for considering it.

  • Reply The Gamer Dragon April 17, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    I want 12 an hour.

    •hires a filthy mexican instead

  • Reply 4443a4 G April 17, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    You pronounce gif incorrectly

  • Reply Frank Orefice April 17, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    You're a day late…

  • Reply spitzspot April 17, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    "internets" is played out

  • Reply LARKXHIN April 17, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    The little people animations are adorable.

  • Reply Jess Hight April 17, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    I definitely could have used this about 5 hours ago lol

  • Reply Callum McTavish April 17, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    It's STARR now. Situation, Task, Action, Result, Reflections

  • Reply Ternvall ☠ April 17, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    This video is one day to late.

  • Reply tinderbox April 18, 2019 at 12:16 am

    You know, I couldve used this 6 hours ago before my interview. Oh well

  • Reply DanFan :D April 18, 2019 at 1:07 am

    "…you're just marketing yourself."

    Man, what a scam.

  • Reply nantukoprime April 18, 2019 at 1:09 am

    Be your best self. That also means considering your own morals and ethics. If you feel uncomfortable with the answers you are hearing from the interviewer or the questions they are asking, maybe that means the company does not fit you. Interviews go both ways. You are both seeing if you fit the company, and if the company fits you. You need to decide how much you need to fit, and how much you need the money.

    Stress interviews (the odd questions or the weird situations) are less popular now, thank god. Primarily focused on high stress jobs, such as stock broker or ER nurse. One might be thrown out to see how you handle odd problems, but most shouldn't need to prepare for entering a room and not having to comment on the plum suit and orange tie of the permanently distracted interviewer. If you get the sweat lodge, ie the interview in the summer where the 'AC broke down', just ask politely for some water and get through it.

  • Reply Flaming Basketball Club April 18, 2019 at 1:30 am


  • Reply Indian Study with Me April 18, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Crash course is the best ❤

  • Reply Savage Activity April 18, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Video content is very straight forward I like it.

  • Reply Marty Yu April 18, 2019 at 1:53 am

    This was perfectly timed. I have a big job interview tomorrow morning. Thanks!

  • Reply Vanessa Mendoza April 18, 2019 at 2:22 am

    I have a job interview tomorrow, so this game at the perfect time!

  • Reply Flaristhicc April 18, 2019 at 2:28 am

    Imagine going to an interview

  • Reply Hardik Shrestha April 18, 2019 at 2:56 am

    I legitimately enjoyed this video. Thank you.

  • Reply no 1971 April 18, 2019 at 3:19 am


  • Reply Kheang April 18, 2019 at 3:41 am

    I am about to do an interview in 2 hours and this video come up in my subscription. Thank you so much

  • Reply Michelle Grant April 18, 2019 at 4:25 am

    Please do a video on sexual harrassment, how to avoid. I see it so much.

  • Reply Tuskenmauer April 18, 2019 at 4:50 am


  • Reply walkswithdragons April 18, 2019 at 5:07 am

    This is literally so perfect I have an interview next week! Thanks crash course

  • Reply wakka chaka April 18, 2019 at 5:52 am

    Got an interview for an engineering company next week that I interviewed with last year, thanks for the tips and hopefully it goes better this time!

  • Reply Alvaro Ramos April 18, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Those behavioral questions are painful!

  • Reply arcadus April 18, 2019 at 7:17 am

    do people actually send thank you notes? do people receiving them actually want them? if i were hiring people i wouldn't want a bunch of token thank you emails after they already thanked me in person

  • Reply Henry Poyntz April 18, 2019 at 8:25 am

    Did. Did you just say "Jiffable"…?

  • Reply Aman Tiwari April 18, 2019 at 11:07 am

    This series eased my serious anxieties. Thank you crash course.

  • Reply Jason Ready April 18, 2019 at 11:21 am

    JIF? OHHHH she ment GIF guys!

  • Reply E Smith April 18, 2019 at 11:51 am

    "Jiffable.."?? It's GIF, as in.. graphics interchange format.

  • Reply E Smith April 18, 2019 at 11:54 am

    Why are you comparing real life interviews with celebrity interviews and red carpet events? They're COMPLETELY different. We should stop leaning on celebrities in general. They are random lucky people. Again, no correlation to celebrities and ANYTHING in the real world, and tying them together is lame and irresponsible.

  • Reply VINCE MeekMAHAN April 18, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    If you’re a guy with long hair, should you cut it or can you make it work during the interview?

  • Reply Ethan Republic April 18, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Yes, i can finally get a job in McDonald's.

  • Reply Ethan Republic April 18, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Did someone say Pawnee?

  • Reply W0lfbane Shika April 18, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Wow these are very well thought out points I'll use them next time I'm interviewed.

  • Reply CannonFodder April 18, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    >saying jiffable

  • Reply Vanessa Mendoza April 18, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    I used the tips in this video and I got the job!

  • Reply Graem April 19, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    This is such a helpful series please roll out the next vid about job offer negotiation soon!

  • Reply Jessica's Art Restraint April 19, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Have gotten 3 INTERVIEWS within the span of a month and a half (VERY RARE when it comes to the area I live in!), and I have TWO trial shifts coming up in the next week or two. GET IN!!!! ???

  • Reply fairycatLJT April 19, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Bless… I have an interview on Monday morning! It's a little different because it's for an employment agency, but still.

  • Reply ybemad April 19, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    can you please include a link to the playlist on your videos? It would be great to refer to the running list as you build up the list, and a great way to bring new people to the previous videos. Loving the series!

  • Reply Mike Campbell April 19, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    If an interviewer ask what Ziodiac sign I am, Im leaving. lol Hot balls of gas in space dont control my personality.

  • Reply mlkyway12 April 20, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Helpful tho . I will use the STAR format , I didn't know that before . Thanks . I hope you can make for Fresh graduates . I am a fresh grad , no work experience and I feel incompetent and I have low self esteem on applying a job and goin in an interview esp. If I'm the youngest and no work experience .

  • Reply jellofuel April 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Does anyone else appreciate the MIB reference? lol

  • Reply Natasha April 22, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    Thanks for the video! I also wanted to add one thing. When you show up for the interview, and are waiting for the interviewer to come out do NOT be on your phone/ scrolling through social media- i would go even as far as not listening to music. Instead, i would recommend being present and alert. i.e., talk to the receptionist if there is one (like how is their day going, etc).

  • Reply Brian Hutzell April 25, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Throughout the job search, it helps to use the phrase, “My
    dad, who is CEO and Chairman of the Board…” as often as possible. 😉

  • Reply jus god's self-insert oc April 27, 2019 at 12:56 am

    Like sure if you're breaking into a field or are beginning a career this is good, but it's not that helpful for when you just need an ordinary job and pretentious interviewers skip you over or ask q's that are not their business or plain stupid. In years of working i typically only get one interview for every fifty applications, so I don't have the time to pull out all the stops on a resume or cl either. (So sure im passionate about trying to be a dishwasher at chilis paid barely above minimum wage, i think my motivation to not die cold and hungry on the streets really helps)

  • Reply Some Dragon to Slay April 27, 2019 at 10:44 pm

    Once, the interviewer asked me to do a highly unexpected task. I panicked and it was quite obvious (I turned to the wall, started sweating and mumbled tranquilizing words to myself). However, I recovered and did the task perfectly, even though it was clear that I was terrified. They hired me. God bless my highly functional panicking.

  • Reply CultistO May 12, 2019 at 8:07 am

    I can't even understand the sample answers you're giving, let alone how to imitate translate them to my own experiences and needs…

  • Reply Hannah Bowe May 21, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    This was a great video! After I got my job last year, my manager told me that they were very impressed that I sent a follow-up email after my interview. I thanked the interviewers for their time, noted some things we discussed that I was interested in, and addressed one of their concerns about my experience that came up in the interview. It was a short email, but it showed that I was professional and interested in the position! I highly recommend following-up after an interview.

  • Reply Lymari Santiago May 23, 2019 at 12:13 am

    I guess it shouldn’t take 2 months for Autozone and BK decide to give you a date to start working part time. ???

  • Reply Chad B July 1, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Frank! Whassup dawg!?

  • Reply Katharina Josephine Müller July 5, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Is this thing about the thank you letter an American Thing? I never heard about anybody who sent an thank you letter after an interview… And I never done it, too.

    And on a personal note. Did you sent an thank you email after an online interview for a Health care position?

  • Reply latinchulo13 August 29, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    I loved this [email protected] great information

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