CAREERS & JOB SKILLS
By Kay Benedek
My hand is firmly in the air on this one.
Yes. I have bombed an interview. Badly.
I was fresh out of Ad school, and it was
one of my first interviews for a full-time job. I was so focused on
developing a knockout portfolio that I totally forgot to prepare for the
interview itself. It was a classic rookie move. So when the interviewer
asked what must be the oldest interview question in the book — tell me
about yourself — I was a stunned and unimpressive deer in the
headlights. I attempted to awkwardly improvise my way through an answer,
but my lack of preparation was clearly evident. Safe to say, I did not
feel very confident post interview as I drove my unemployed butt home.
An unsuccessful interview can leave us
feeling frustrated, discouraged and sometimes even a little embarrassed.
It's not because you weren't qualified. It's not because you weren't
capable. It was because you didn't quite bring your A-game. If you've
recently been through this experience, and your confidence is a little
shaken, go easy on yourself. Here's why:
Everyone goes through it
Seriously, raise your hand if you've ever
bombed an interview. Now, turn to the person beside you and give them a
solid high five, because they've probably been through it too.
Throughout our careers, we interview with dozens of potential employers,
and the truth of the matter is, you can't win ‘em all. A bad interview
is something almost all of us will experience, regardless of our
capabilities, and acknowledging this fact can help us work through
misplaced feelings of inadequacy. A bad interview does not make you a
bad candidate — it just makes you an interviewee. Sometimes, it's just
not our day.
It's an opportunity for growth
Sometimes in life, we can learn more from
our failures than we can from our successes, and this is definitely one
of those times. Chances are if you learned a lesson through your bad
interview experience, it was probably a lesson that needed to be
learned. Moments like this can force us to face hidden oversights and
discover areas for improvement. If you know where your interview went
wrong, adjust and prepare for your next one. If you don't, consider
sending your interviewer a follow-up email requesting feedback. More
often than not, they will be willing to give you a quick tip or two.
With every new lesson comes a new opportunity to improve, and that is
something that is always valuable.
Failure is a necessary part of success
The most important thing to remember is
that it's all a process. No one learns to ride a bike in a day, and the
more times we fall down the less we fear it and the better we become at
getting back up. If we accept that setbacks are inevitable and valuable
experiences, it makes it easier for us to go into each interview with
confidence. The worst-case scenario for a bad interview is that you
leave with an amusing anecdote and a lesson well learned. While it may
not be the best feeling in the world, know that it is a necessary part
of success and one that should be embraced, not feared.
So fear not the bad interviews!
As raw as it may feel in the moment, do
not let a bombed interview shake your confidence or derail your job
search. Keeping a positive attitude means that you'll be more likely to
see the lessons and opportunities in whatever outcomes you may face. At
the end of the day, know that each negative experience paves the way for
a better one. So breathe, relax, and embrace your interview, regardless
of the outcome. Because no matter what happens, you're not going home
By Kay Benedek
Let's face it. Job hunting can be exhausting. We
craft cover letters, send emails and go through rounds of interviews as
we pursue the next big step in our careers. At times, it can leave us
feeling more than a little unsure of ourselves and our goals. If you're
going through this process right now, you may be in need of a little
motivation. So, take a short break and procrastinate with me in the best
way possible: with inspiring and uplifting Ted Talks! Whether you're
exploring a new industry, searching for your dream job, or just looking
for the next step in your career, these 5 - 20-minute talks will inspire
your job search and help you reach your goals — whatever they are! Check
out these top 10 Ted Talks (on Youtube) for your career.
- Ruth Chang: How to Make Hard Choices
To quit, or not to quit. To take this job, or
maybe that job. How about a career change? Then again, maybe not. If
you're half as indecisive as I am, Ruth Chang will be your new best
- Carol Fishman Cohen: How to Get Back to Work
After a Career Break
For those of you returning to work after a
break, this one will help you get back into the work force and succeed
in your new journey.
- Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your
We all get a little stressed sometimes,
especially while we're job searching. In this fascinating Ted Talk,
Kelly McGonigal teaches us how to view our higher stress levels as an
asset and use it to our benefit.
- Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You
Have you got an interview coming up? Get ready
to take notes!
- Julian Treasure: How to Speak So That People
Want to Listen
Captivate your interviewer right off the bat.
Julian Treasure introduces his inventive H.A.I.L. technique to help you
genuinely connect and engage with almost anyone.
FINDING YOUR DREAM JOB
- Larry Smith: Why You Will Fail to Have a
I realize this one doesn't sound all that
inspiring, but trust me, this Ted Talk has a provocative way of
challenging you to pursue your passion. Larry Smith has no patience for
- Scott Dinsmore: How to Find Work You Love
Be careful! This Ted Talk might just change the
entire direction of your career.
- Angela Lee Duckworth: The Key to Success?
If you are in fact feeling the stressful sting
of the job hunt, this one's for you. Just hang on tight and we'll get
- Alain de Botton: A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy
In this Ted Talk, Alain wants you to think
differently about success and maybe, just maybe, go a little easier on
- Sarah Lewis: Embrace the Near Win
Nailed the interview but still didn't get the
job? That's ok! Sarah Lewis shows us how every near win is almost as
valuable as a win itself.
Steve Jobs: How to Live Before You Die
Though not officially a Ted Talk, Steve Jobs'
inspiring Stanford University commencement speech is highly revered
among Ted experts as being one of the most powerful and enlightening
speeches for shaping not only your career, but your entire life's