Video Scripts

Video Scripts

Instructional video scripts for job interviews

Hello and welcome! Today we’ll be discussing another potential slip up during interviews. “Why should we hire you?” This question remains one of the most misunderstood. Many people take it to mean something along the lines of “What can we do for you?” Unfortunately, the question is actually the opposite. A much better understanding of it would be: “What can you do for me?” Most employers are trying to get a feel for the specific value you would bring to the company, and unless you want to be caught stutter-stammering through an improvised and mostly incoherent answer, there are a few preliminary steps you’ll want to take.

Firstly, before the interview, you’re going to need to research the employer’s needs. In other words, what value does the position you are applying for represent to them? If you can answer this question, then you can take an inventory of your individual skillset and highlight your most positive attributes which suit their needs.

Now to determine what these needs are, you’ll need to do your homework. This will include some extensive internet research on their website, over their press releases, even on to looking up any recent news articles mentioning the company. Every bit of extra information you can utilize during your interview will make you look good. Remember, acting as if you are already in the loop can go a long way in building your profile.

For example, if you’re applying for a business analysis position to a company known for its efficiency, you could respond with something like: “I’m a hard working fast learner with a lot of experience in expediting slow processes that have held up large projects.“ Or if the company has had a specific problem, you could cite that as a specific strength. Imagine the company you’re applying for is migrating data from its mainframe to a new website; a good sample statement might go something like this:

“When I was doing data analysis for JP Morgan, there was a problem with data migration from the mainframe to their website.  Due to my knowledge on mainframe data formats I was able to deliver the data format and migration requirements for the website in very short order (a week earlier than the given timeline), and provided the new functional requirements to the developers who in turn changed the website into the effective platform you can view today.”

Notice how this statement addressed the desire for efficiency, while at the same time mentioning a specific problem and solution. It’s important for you to follow up a general statement with a particular example. Anyone can be an efficient or hard worker, but a lateral thinker can apply a certain set of circumstances to different situations and point out the similarities. Employers will look on this kind of initiative with interest

Remember also when listing desirable attributes that they don’t need to be exclusive to the job for which you’re applying. You can always say that you are a hard worker, team player, fast learner, or that you have an eye for detail. These qualities, while cliché, are still highly sought after. They are appropriate to practically any position, so there’s no harm in mentioning them.

A cautionary note about length, there is no answer that should take you longer than three minutes. Even that can sound longwinded if you don’t have a clear idea of what you’re saying. The rule of thumb is to be succinct. Why take a paragraph to explain what you could say in a single sentence? Be verbose, but don’t ramble.

If you’re still stretching for a statement to wrap up your mini-speech, try bringing a bit of ethics into the equation. Many companies abide by an ethos or certain way of doing things in order to present a morally upright image. If you look on the homepage of such a company and notice that they highly regard honesty, integrity, or loyalty then mention one of these traits that you possess and use a relevant example from your history to illustrate what it means to you.

For example, “One of the reasons I applied for a position with this company in particular is the mission statement. It says you prize a work ethic that includes humanitarian efforts. In my personal time last year, I did logistical work for a habitat for humanity project constructing a community center for underprivileged youth.  I’ll never forget the satisfaction I had being a part of that project, and I would love to continue doing volunteer work on behalf of your company.”

Finally, you want to concisely repackage your response, by explaining exactly why you’ll make a good addition to the staff. Something like: “In essence, I think that my real world experience, specialized education, and the distinctive skillset I bring to the table would make me a perfect fit fort this position. I thank you for the time and attention you’ve invested so far, and I hope to give you a return on it as soon as possible.”

If you follow these basic tenants of job interview etiquette then your chances of employment and advancement will increase exponentially.

So make a note before your interview to:

  • Do your research- find out what the company’s needs are.
  • List your professional strengths
  • Make a connection between your unique capabilities and the company’s needs.

 

And during the interview don’t forget to:

  • Make broad statements concerning you qualifications and then specify with examples from your work history.
  • Draw a favorable picture of your potential contribution by listing traits both unique to the position and useful to employers in general.
  • Mention the importance of ethics in your life and in your future with the company.
  • Don’t be too longwinded. At most the answer to this question should take you about three minutes, any longer than that and you risk losing the interviewer’s attention.

Follow these simple guidelines and you’re sure to be a success. So relax, reach out, and realize your hidden potential!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hello and welcome! Today we’re going to talk about yet another potential occupational pitfall in the form of one of the more difficult interview questions: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

This is a loaded question with no solid answer. There are many things to consider. First you have to think about what the employer actually wants to know. They certainly don’t care about your early retirement plans. They want to know if A) you understand the potential for advancement in the position you’re applying for. B) The level of your ambition. C) What your expectations are.

Not only should you think of what they are asking, but you need to consider your interviewer’s point of view. If you answer this question with too lofty a goal then you risk undermining the confidence of your employer. No one wants to be outclassed by an upstart new hire. Then again, if your answer comes across as too humble, you may be pigeonholed as a lazy applicant without the necessary salt to excel in a competitive workplace. It’s somewhat of a catch-22.

So what’s the best answer? Well, this question like most others requires a fair amount of pre-planning and research into the company’s needs. You must discover what an employer is looking for and answer in such a way as to highlight your ability to give them that value.

Let’s say that the company you want to work for is known for employee loyalty, and state of the art solutions. Start off by explaining your motivations for wanting to join the company:

“To begin with, I would say that I see myself still working with xyz incorporated in 5 years. One of the main reasons I decided to apply here is the reputation this company has for employee retention. It shows a strong relationship between the management and the employees. Not only that, but I understand this company uses the latest technologies to stay on the cutting edge of the business analysis field. With the current exponential growth curve in technology, I can tell you this is an extremely appealing notion. Wherever I end up in 5 years, I definitely want to be in on the newest developments.”

Next, you’ll need to outline the necessities of your recent experiences, that way you can relate what you’re currently doing to what you’re ambitious to do in the future. Once you’ve listed a sufficiently impressive set of accolades you can continue by elaborating on the improvements you’ve made to further your career advancement and continue moving upward.

After explaining your goals, experiences, and the actions you’ve taken to move forward, you can compare the goals that you have to the specific duties available within the company. When doing this it’s a chance to flaunt your knowledge of the company’s inner workings. This is always a plus. Do your homework thoroughly, and you should have no lack of source material to draw from.

Don’t be afraid to add a joke or funny comment into your practiced speech. Employers aren’t (for the most part) looking for emotionless automatons, so a little bit of personality is perfectly acceptable in most scenarios.

Finally, as to the actual meat of your answer, you need to be honest. Let’s face it: we don’t have a clue where we’ll be in 5 years. Most career advancement comes in an unforeseen manner. An opportunity knocks and those with initiative have the good sense to answer it. Keeping this in mind, it’s alright to admit a certain level of uncertainty in the answer to this question.

“While I may not know exactly where I’ll be in 5 years, I know that I want to be held responsible for more than I am now, with compensation that matches my contributions.”

Temper this unknowing attitude with a list of specific responsibilities, goals, or accountabilities without naming specific job titles. That way you can draw a broad outline of your idealized future position without stepping on any toes.

Make sure that your answer is credible as well. You don’t want to say you’ll be president of the company if you’re applying for an internship. Try to make a realistic guess of where you could be based on an honest appraisal of your abilities and past accomplishments.

Here’s a quick list of things not to do while answering this question:

Don’t:

  • Use negative body language- nail biting, nervous hand movement, rapid foot tapping, etc.
  • Be vague. – cite specific examples for every broad statement you make.
  • Use clichés. – Avoid the obvious ones: doing your job, cashing bigger checks, etc.
  • Ramble on about unasked questions.- keep on point, wander off the path and you may never find your way back.
  • Say you see yourself in the interviewers position.- I mentioned this one already, but I think it bears repeating. You don’t want to alienate your interviewer by making him feel threatened or marginalized.

Example:

“I have expectations of braving new challenges and progressing in my career when and where it’s appropriate. However, I’m fixated on the work I have to do in the present, and the pace that I advance will be set by whether or not I’ve earned it. If I achieve beyond the company’s anticipations for the duration of my stay in this role, I imagine there will be chances to develop within the organization.”

If you can follow these simple pointers then this question will fly by like an easy breeze and you’ll be one step closer to sealing the deal on the job of your choice.

What are your greatest weaknesses?

Hello and Welcome! It’s time for another how-to session on difficult job interview questions. So what’s the question du jour?

What are your greatest weaknesses? This query is tougher than a long haired Nam vet who’s been pushed too far by an authoritarian small town sheriff, wary of drifters. Don’t worry though. This video will guide you through the ordeal, and we’ll end up drawing first blood.

This is probably the most difficult question we’ll cover in this video series. It forces you to expose yourself as a flawed individual, when the entire purpose of preparation for any job interview is aimed at seeming flawless. Because of this, it will be extremely tricky to come out of the interview unscathed. However, all is not lost. You can take this question as an opportunity to show your future employers that you can be sincere, self-aware, humble, and that you are a problem solver to boot.

First and foremost, we need to establish what NOT to say. The last thing you want to do is use this question as an opportunity to expound upon your positive characteristics, not overtly anyway. Employers are looking for an honest appraisal of you from you. They need someone on staff that’s capable of objective introspection. Though obviously, there’s a line you don’t need to cross. So while it would be improper to list as your only weakness, “I’m a perfectionist, and sometimes I tend to over-perform for simple tasks,” It would be even more stump-headed to mention that you have trouble arriving to work on time, and that you don’t take your superiors very seriously.

The problem with those answers is a matter of honesty. One is total malarkey, and the other is a little too truthful. It’s a fine line of candor that you have to tread. You must appear thoughtfully truthful, without seeming incompetent. What you want is a candid response that explains a real weakness, and the steps you’ve taken to overcome said weakness. For example:

“I have always had a tendency to gloss over details, sometimes mistaking important intricacies for trivial matters. I started to become aware of this in college when I would be studying for an exam and seldom be retaining various minutia of any given subject. This led to some eye opening test sessions. To rectify my dilemma, I redoubled my efforts in reading. I started a study group with three other classmates to divide up our work, and at the end of the week we would teach each other the assigned reading. It was here that I first recognized the efficiency of task delegation. By outsourcing some of my own thinking and mental labor, I was able to focus more clearly on the tasks at hand, without sacrificing my grasp of the details.”

Do you see the simple brilliance of that response? You took an embarrassing defect in your work ethic, and turned it into a showcase of your problem solving ability. My, how smart you look now. “He’s a go getter with upper management written all over him!” If you were to listen closely at the door after you leave the room, that’s the kind of thing you likely would hear.

So make sure to do your homework with this question. You’ll see this as a kind of recurring theme in this series of tutorials. Extensive preparation is always the best way to ensure success. In this case, homework means introspection. Try to really hammer down what you’re doing right and where you’re dropping the ball. Find that flaw, and then find a solution. Never be afraid to pass off responsibility on things you find difficult to those who excel at your shortcomings. Outsourcing is a powerful tool used quite frequently in the corporate world. Not only that, but it’s a buzzword as well. It’s a simple piece of syntax that hums pleasantly in the ear of CEOs around the globe. Like “synergy” or “incentivize.” Sometimes silly words can hold almost talismanic power to surmount the prejudices of even the most hardnosed executive.

Beyond just sounding good and appealing to the Neolithic sensibilities of men with slicked back hair in expensive suits, claiming a working knowledge of outsourcing or some other lofty corporate concept can make you much more attractive in the eyes of your employer for a few reasons. Firstly, it shows that you know yourself and you know the people you work with. Second, it shows that you already possess leadership skills. Finally, it displays great initiative and an all important willingness to get the job done, even if that means letting go of your pride. An employee that can do all that is a hard find, and the fact that your employer ascertained all that information while asking about what you perform badly at speaks volumes about you personally.

So there you have it, another potent weapon in your job interview arsenal. Use it wisely, and stay tuned for even more tips on successful job interviews.