ANSWERING INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Today, I want to teach you how to give great answers to interview questions. This will also help any employers if you are actually interviewing and give you some ideas for the other side. Whether you are going for a job, about to hire, looking for a new job, whatever situation you are in here is a whole new setup. A seven step plan to really get you in the zone, in the mood and set up so you can give the best possible answers.
MY UNIVERSITY INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE
Firstly, a little story. When I was 17, I went for my interview at university. I was interviewed at various universities. I went for Cambridge. I went for Leeds. I went for Birmingham in England of course, and the Birmingham University interview was the most memorable. At the time, I had a children’s party entertainment business and one thing I used to do was make balloon animals. It was the way I earned money on the weekends and hired people. I did not have to work too hard and was paid quite well. It was fun as a teenager. I got my kicks. So I had it on my CV. On my resume. I said I did balloonology.
Fast forward to the university interview, I was applying to take a double major, English Literature and Drama Theater Arts. This was in the Drama department and the tutor interviewing, a guy called Dr. Bryan Crowe said, “Oh, I see here on your resume, on your CV it says that you do balloonology. Can I ask what that is?”
My reply was “ I can show you if you like” and he said “okay”. So, I pulled a balloon out of my pocket. I used to carry them around the whole time. I blew the balloon up and made a balloon dog, which I gave to him. He said, “We’ll have you. You’re in.” That is how I got into university!
I am not joking. That was actually how I got into university.
I was rejected by Cambridge. I got down to the waiting list and I cried when I failed to get into Cambridge University, but they actually turned out to be tears of joy because I met many of my best friends, who are still my closest friends today after 20 years, when I went to Birmingham. So that was a good university and that was a rather good interview!
The bad interview I did was when I got down to 12 places to get into Harvard University. Now I have been rejected from some of the best outfits on the planet earth. The Harvard interview did not go so well. I was up for this JFK Scholarship and I got down to the last shortlist and invited for interview. I turned up and I wanted to please. I wanted to be liked at this interview. So I tried to give the right answers and I rehearsed. I got a friend, who was a top civil servant to give me a rundown and prepare me. But what no one told me was just be yourself.
So I had done a lot of preamble. I want to tell you theses even steps on how to get ready for your interview, whatever the interviews you’re about to do. Now we are going to get down to business or indeed if you’re about to give interviews, these are some pointers to think of.
Number one is prepare. Do the questions. Try to think through what are the possible questions that you might be asked. Get someone to test you on that preparation. That’s the first part, the preparation bit. Really think through what they are likely to ask you. Do the research. Ask people who have already been there. Do whatever information you can do. Just get prepared. You’re watching this video right now. This is great preparation.
But then the other part of the preparation is you’ve got to let go of it completely when you get to the interview. You’ve got to just trust whatever is in, is in. This is something we learned in drama school. You rehearse when you’re preparing for a part as an actor. Do all the preparation then when you go onstage, you better bloody well let go of that preparation because of the audience sees you working, if they see anything, oh I’ve got to stand like this, I’ve got to speak like this, then it is dead in the water. Same too with the interview. If you turn up, they ask you a question, and you’re trying to think I know the answer to this, what’s the answer … forget it. So prepare then let go of the preparation.
Number two is get in state. By getting in state, I mean getting your physical state, get present, get grounded, breathing, get focused. If you want to check out another video I’ve got, which is Guided Meditation for Business, go over to the guided meditation. Just type that into the Search box and “Marcus Recommends” and they’ll take you there. Or use some other process. Go to a yoga class. Go for a run. Just get pumped up, whatever you need to do. Get pumped up.
Number three with interviews is listen closely. Really listen to what they’re asking. Listen to their body language. You don’t have to buy a body language book although you can always read Desmond Morris’ Manwatching; it is very interesting. But you know if someone’s interested or not. You know if they’re bored or not. They could be playing a poker place. They might be looking down. They certainly used to do this at a lot at castings and auditions but it was just not a lot of fun. But look at the people, particularly if you’re interviewing in front of a panel. Really look at them and listen as closely as you can.
Point number four, engage. Engage with them. Have a little bit of banter. Have a chat with them. My mate Sam who’s a film producer now, he was great at this back when he used to be on the audition side and even now at meetings. Just engage with the people. They’re still human beings. The person who’s doing the interviewing is still a human being. You can forget it. You might just think oh no, they’re my potential income source, they’re going to help my pay the rent.
Well, when you can engage with them on a human level even if it is non-verbal, even if you just give them a smile, give them a sympathetic smile if they’re looking tired. Just have sympathy. Have some connection, something human, almost energetically reaching out to them, if that makes any sense. If not, I’m sure I’ll end up talking more about that later on in another video.
Point number five which I certainly haven’t seen in any interview books is play. Just be prepared to play. Back to the balloon story. You know what? That balloon story got me into university. That created a whole aspect to my life and that’s created tremendous things in the long term. I’m not saying that was the only thing but you get the idea.
Be prepared to play. If someone makes a vaguely funny comment and you’re a funny person then respond back nicely and respectfully. Just be prepared, a sense of improvisation. See what’s going on. If something goes wrong then you might want to just interact with it. But get in a state of play like kids and it’ll also help with the previous point, which was engaging.
Number six—this is really, really important—be real. As an interviewee, I certainly think about this when I find I’m interviewing a potential staff member. I take other people on my team for my business practice. I want to see what people are really like. They want to know you. There is only one of you. Now you might be a good fit for this company, you might not be a good fit for the company but just be who you are. Obviously, the smarter or the slightly more premium [phonetic 00:07:57] version or the slightly more respectful version of yourself because it is an interview situation. But don’t try and cover yourself up and hide away, and again try to be someone else or be what’s expected.
I can say 100% without exception, every time I’ve tried to be what is expected, it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. Like in the past if I’ve been up for a teaching job, I’m trying to give all the right answers, it doesn’t end up happening. When I’m myself, yeah, it can turn into it. Great offers have happened. Sometimes they haven’t happened. But if you’re not yourself, then it really just reduces the possibilities. So just be real. Be yourself. If you’re an interviewer, consider this as an opportunity to allow people the space to be real, just allow them to connect with you. We’ll talk about interview techniques in another video from the perspective to the employer, specifically.
Finally point number seven – just try to remember that the whole thing is empty and meaningless anyway. If you get hired, it is great. If you don’t get hired, it doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean that you’re not great. It doesn’t mean that you’re not a good person. It doesn’t mean that you’re not talented. It doesn’t mean you’re not capable. It doesn’t mean anything. They’ve just hired someone else or they haven’t hired you or for whatever reason it wasn’t a good fit. Yes, it might mean that you haven’t got that money coming in straightaway but don’t give up at that point. Keep on going. Rinse and repeat. There will be something out there.
The bigger picture, I honestly believe, is this – God has put us on a planet where there are enough resources for everyone. Certainly if you’re living in the West, you’re going to have very easy resources to a lot of different things and there will be a job out there if you’re prepared to do it. It might mean putting a little bit of pride aside at the beginning but there is work there. There is money there. There are resources. We live in a tremendously wealthy world. it is just a case of finding the right match so going through these seven steps, prepare, get in state, listen, engage, play, be real and remember it doesn’t mean anything.
The abundance is there. If you want to find out more ways to tap into abundance then head on over to MarcusJFreed.com. I’ve got a free video training there. it is going to teach you ways of getting abundance now to go from scarcity to absolute success.
Thank you for watching. Please feel free to share this with your friends. I’m Marcus J. Freed. Be happy, be safe, stay happy and celebrate life. See you again.