Today on LetThemTalk we’re going to
look at how to answer some common interview questions. Now this video is
one of a series I’ve made on interview technique. How to write a cover letter?
and all the skills you need to get a job check out the playlist up here somewhere
and in previous videos we’ve already answered the questions; can you tell me
about yourself? and do you have any questions for us? so
we won’t be looking at these questions today. And if English is not your first
language remember focus first on the content and getting your message across –
that’s the most important thing, much much, more important than making a small
grammar mistake. So be authentic and don’t memorize your answers and I’ll try
to give you some tips on how you can turn the fact that you are English
learner to your advantage to find out more stay tuned. Let’s get started. Let’s choose the first
question which is this one: What do you know about the company? what do you know
about the company don’t say “your company well you tell me I’m here to find out
aren’t I” no god no this question is a biggie, this job is your career you’ll be
working there every weekday maybe weekends too for years. Now if you
couldn’t even be bothered to find out who they are then it shows a lack of
respect, a lack of interest and frankly you’ve lost the interview right there.
You’ve got no excuse for this one you’ve got the internet to do some
research online find two or three items that you found relevant and perhaps
flatter them a little and ask a question. Start by saying what they do
how long they’ve been around. So for example, you’re going for a job at hotel
reception for a famous hotel chain “I know that you’re one of the leading
hotel brands in the world you run hotels in 58 countries according to your
website (but only 57 according to Wikipedia I wonder which one is correct
maybe you can clarify that one for me) I know that you’ve got over 4,000
employees, I know most importantly that you have a great training program for
new starters and a proven career path for those who are ambitious enough and
that’s why I’m here today.” Next question let’s choose this one: Why
did you leave your last job? why did you leave your last job good question.
“Well my manager was an idiot, I hated my coworkers and they didn’t pay me enough”. Don’t say that no. Negativity NO BADMOUTHING. Negativity will never get you
the job even if it’s true okay there are lots of reasons you want to leave.
You could say “I’ve had several good years at the Purple Elephant and it will
be sad to leave because I’ve built some good relationships there but the job you’re
offering is quite exciting and these types of positions don’t come up so often
so I thought I should step out my comfort zone and grasp the opportunity. I
believe it’s a role where I could make a difference. If I stayed at the purple
elephant, yes, I could carry on as before but it would be less interesting.” ok a bit of a bull** answer but it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t
badmouth your previous employers. Also there are many legitimate reasons for
leaving your current job. For example, the commute could be too long or you might
be made redundant and that’s ok just be positive about the job you are
leaving behind. What’s next: What are your strengths? So try
and be honest here. Yes have a look at the job specification and find out what
they need. However what you shouldn’t do is give a personal trait unless it’s
particularly relevant to the job so don’t say for example “I work hard”
this is expected it’s suspected to be normal
don’t say “I’m very honest” again this is a given it’s expected or don’t say “I’m a
team player” everyone’s a team player so say a real
strengths and give an example so if you’re going for that job in hotel
reception you could say “I’m good at learning languages at the moment I’m
learning Russian I won’t call myself fluent but in my
last position I was able to give directions to an elderly Russian lady
who didn’t speak any English and she was really appreciative and gave me a gift
of some tea at the end of a stay.” Also you can give an example which is
always nice. If English is not your first language but you’ve learnt it to an
advanced level you could talk about that too. Let me give you an exactly another
example. If you’re applying for job as a web designer you could say “I’m very good
at the ergonomic side of web design often developers focus on the
functionality and the look of the site these are, of course, important but making
a site easy to use and easy to navigate is at
least of equal importance. Recently I read a book called ‘Human Factors in Web
Design’ and it taught me a lot and, I must say, I’ve gained a lot of expertise on
this subject over the last few years so I would say that I’m good at making
websites that are not only good to look at but also a joy to use as well”. And if
you don’t have many technical skills or experience you can still give a good
answer. For example you could say that you are good at anticipating people’s
needs or something like that of course it should be a true strength and you
should always give an example. Turn it into a story. We all love stories.
Next question. Well logically we should do this one: What are
your weaknesses? Personally I hate this question I hate this question I don’t
know why recruiters ask it it’s a really dumb question but answered they they do.
So don’t give some negative that is are positive don’t say “I’m a
perfectionist” Don’t say “I work too hard” Please god no
these clichés will make you sound like an idiot. Don’t talk about failings that
are unrelated to your work so don’t say “I’m a terrible ukulele player”, “I’m not
very good at Jenga” ok don’t say something that could lose you the job.
“Sometimes I lose my temper and I get violent”
“I’m always late.” no, no, no, don’t say anything like that. Tell them a true
weakness but not one that will impact negatively on the job and show them what
you’re doing about it okay I personally (believe it or not) I have many
weaknesses hard to believe, let me give you a true
weakness of mine: I’m not good at timekeeping. This is in spite of the
fact that earlier in my career I went on several time management courses. I used
to laugh about it and say ‘you cannot manage time, time manages you’ but I
realized at some point that this was inefficient and this inefficiency
wasn’t good and someone recommended something called the Pomodoro method and
you can look it up okay you look it up on Google and although I’m not cured it’s
helped a lot. Basically you divide your day into 20-minute slots and each slot
is called a pomodoro and you take a small break between each Pomodoro and a long
break after three Pomodoros or is it pomodori? I don’t know anyway you get the
picture and actually it’s been quite effective so I’m not perfect but I’ve
definitely improved. By the way if you’re not a native English speaker you could
say that to: “My English is not quite as good as I would like it to be but I’m
studying hard to improve it and there’s a great YouTube channel called LetThemTalkTV which really helps.” That’ll definitely get you the job. Nest question: Where do you
see yourself in five years’ time ? where do you see yourself in five years time some
things not to say. “Well I plan to be a consultant earning lots of money
somewhere else”. “Actually I’m just using this job as a stepping-stone to reach
the place where I want to get to.” yes of course don’t say that. Personally I
hate this question because it almost always obliges you to lie. Secondly, who
knows where you’re going to be in five years’ time I don’t even know what I’m
going to have for lunch. One thing we know for certain about the future is
that it’s uncertain. It’s a dumb question but I would answer it something
something like this: “I hope you don’t mind if I don’t answer that question
directly, I would rather just focus on the present. This job is a great
opportunity and what I want to do is to make it my own to the best of my
ability. I hope to learn and grow in this position and as for the future, who
knows? Maybe a senior role, a managerial role or, I might want to specialize in an
XYZ field or maybe something totally different. Jobs change, people change,
technology changes, ‘Social media consultant’ that job didn’t even exist
five years ago. so we shall see, what we shall see.” So that might not be a perfect
answer but at least it has a ring of truth to it. Ok let’s see what have we here:
“What are your salary expectations? Difficult one. Don’t answer
this question directly. If you ask for too much you could be eliminated. If you
ask for too little you’ll either get a low offer or you’ll be eliminated they might think that you’re valuing yourself well below expectations
and that’s not good. So what do you say? Two strategies: “I’m not thinking about
sell right now I’m thinking about the career but I’m sure your offer will be
in line with the industry average and that’s fine.” Later on, once you receive an
offer, then that’s the starting point of your negotiation and you can nudge it
up a little but it should be them that gives the first number. secondly, “at this
moment I’ve been thinking more about the job and the interview than the salary.
Could you give me the salary range for this position? “Once you get that you can
either say that it’s acceptable or, once again, you can try and nudge it up higher.
if this is the time for negotiation. For example, they say forty-five thousand
something dollars, pounds whatever you could say “That’s a good offer but given
my experience in this field would you consider going up to fifty thousand and
the this additional five thousand could be conditional on my meeting certain
sales targets within the first year.” ok the last part about meeting targets
might not work for them but it’s another way of framing your commitments to the
job which will help you pass the interview. Let’s look at the next question
the final question in fact: Why should we hire you? Good question so the subtext here is what makes you
different? why are you better than the other candidates? so what is your unique
selling point your USP? Don’t start rattling off all your
experience and qualifications they already have your CV. Just pick up on one
or two points that make you stand out and back it up with something about your
motivation or key personality traits that will work for them. This is
particularly true if you don’t have much work experience. Learn your answer but
don’t script it. The way you express yourself is really important here so let
it come from a heart. So for example let’s say you’re a recent graduate
without much experience “There are three good reasons why you should hire me.
Firstly you can see that I have a good academic record I excelled at university
in my chosen field and secondly I have one years’ experience in this field yes
one year doesn’t see much but during that time I significantly improved my
technical skills I learned a lot of key software and worked with some important
clients in the sector such as […name the clients] thirdly let me, if I may, draw
your attention to my personal qualities I’m hardworking and creative and I can
bring something unique to your team and looking at the job description you can
see that I’m perfectly suited and I relish the challenge to make my mark. My
past experience is limited but my future potential is unlimited.


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    Monica S.

    The future of mankind lies not in the hands of new technological inventions and scientific breakthroughs. It lies in the hands of AMBITIOUS TEACHERS LIKE YOU… because that's where it all starts from. THANK YOU FOR IMPARTING KNOWLEDGE THE BEST YOU CAN !!!!!!!!!!

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    Gabriela Fernandez

    Useful answers! I´m a teacher at the momento but in the future I´d like to work for a company abroad! Who knows! I´ll save this video! Thank you very much!!

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    Amit Kumar

    Sir, even your replies in the comment section are worth reading and nothing short of proper learning material.

    Sir, I just want you to say one thing: you are hired!

    as my go to English Consultant and Motivator : )

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    tomorrow is my first interview i had no idea what to do , but after i watched your videos i am so confident now , thanks a lot sir , i hope you go to heaven .

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