5 Ted Talks To Watch Before An Interview

By Madison White on April 25, 2016

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

When preparing for an interview, you might scour the internet for tips and tricks, but miss the opportunity that lies in many Ted Talks. You may need some inspiration or just general information to gear yourself up for the big day and these videos should do just the trick. Your preparation shouldn’t just include picking out the perfect outfit and checking your breath.

Here are five Ted Talks to watch before an interview.

1. How do you define yourself?: Lizzie Velasquez

Besides just being all around amazing and positive, Lizzie Velasquez gives us reasons for confidence despite difficulties. When interviewing, many times you’ll be asked what are your strengths and weaknesses. You may feel hesitant to list your actual downfalls to your future employer, but oftentimes, there are good sides to any trait.

I’m not an extremely loud person, but I am thoughtful and great at listening. These things still make me a valuable team member and employee. Lizzie’s Ted Talk makes us think beyond our own limitations and realize that many of them aren’t limitations at all. This talk helps us notice that finding your strengths can be as simple as finding your weaknesses.

2. The psychology of self motivation: Scott Geller

Embarking on a new job search means taking on an entirely new set of responsibilities. Hopefully you’ve noticed by now that succeeding isn’t just doing what it takes to get by, but genuinely working to improve yourself. If you haven’t figured this out yet, or are just having a rough time with it, give Scott Geller’s Ted Talk a try.

He teaches us about the psychology of self motivation and how to nail it. If employers believe you to be self motivated and driven to be successful, you’ll become an instantly more attractive candidate. Your motivation will make your job more interesting and rewarding while also making your supervisor’s job much easier. It’s really a win-win situation.

3. Programming your mind for success: Carrie Green

In one of my favorite Ted Talks, Carrie Green asks for a volunteer. She prods, but it takes a while for someone to join her. You’ll see what she does next when you watch the video, but her point remains. Programming your mind for success means volunteering and willingness to do what it takes to be successful.

When interviewing, seem genuinely interested in the company. Ask them what you can do to make yourself a better worker or a better fit and then do it. Show that you’re willing to work and learn based on their feedback. While it may seem easier just to play it cool, no company wants to hire someone who seems as though they couldn’t care less. Carrie’s video will make you realize the true potential you can have just by putting yourself out there.

4. How to magically connect with anyone: Brian Miller

While a magician may not be the first person you turn to for interview advice, magician Brian Miller makes some excellent points about connecting with people. Magicians are constantly aware of how audiences are thinking, feeling and acting. He adjusts his acts accordingly. Similarly, a good employee, and a good interview candidate, will have a great sense of connecting with people whether it be coworkers, bosses, or the interviewer.

Connecting with people is more than just a show, it’s a way to be a valuable individual in any situation. By presenting yourself as someone who can get along with anyone, whether liking them or not, you’re presenting a functional and employable person which is exactly who your future company wants.

5. Want to sound like a leader? Start by saying your name right: Laura Sicola

When preparing for an interview, you’ll very obviously be focusing on what you’re going to say. However, after watching Laura Sicola’s Ted Talk on sounding like a leader (something you should be aspiring for) you’ll soon realize that there is far less emphasis on what you say as opposed to how you say it. While it is still extremely important to say the right things, learning how to say them may just be equally, if not more, important.

Most of the time, enhancing your speech is as simple as injecting confidence into your voice. I imagine every employer is looking for articulate and communicative people to hire and being one will greatly improve your chances of being that employee.

Job interviews may be a stressful and consuming process on your career path, but you don’t have to dread it completely. Part of the turmoil rests in being unprepared and unsure. A few helpful videos and articles should ease the pain, but if not, rest easy knowing that the perfect job could be just an interview away.

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

My list of places traveled is growing but will never exceed my list of places to travel next.

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