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Attitude over aptitude: How to nail your next job interview
The best advice to getting hired it also something you were told in middle school: be yourself. Can you guess the other two great tips?
Michelle Tillis Lederman, CSP, CPA, PCC, is a speaker, trainer, and author specializing in workplace communications and relationships. She was named one of Forbes Top 25 Networking Experts. Her new book is The Connector's Advantage: 7 Mindsets to Grow Your Influence and Impact (2019).
Michelle Tillis Lederman: One of the most common mistakes I see in interviewing is that the candidate puts on what I call the interview mask.
They shift from who they are to “I am now the ideal candidate.” And it almost becomes robotic. And it becomes disconnected. And we sit there in front of somebody and we’re not really us. I’ve always brought who I am to an interview. And sometimes I didn’t get the job because of it.
But isn’t it better for somebody to understand that this is who you are and how you’ll interact when you’re not just sitting in that interview chair— and does it fit with the organization?
I went through seven rounds with the most impressive consulting company that you’d ever heard of. I wanted the job, and I was me and I was loose and I was chatty.
And the feedback even after seven rounds when they had the technical skill. Remember, they’re only trying to figure out three things. Can they do the job? Do they want to do the job? And will they fit?
Well they knew I could do the job. They knew I wanted to do the job. And they kept interviewing to try to find this fit, and it wasn’t there.
And after I was upset for an hour I got over it.
If you understand that if you’re bringing this mask, this persona that is not what you’re going to bring to the workforce, you might end up in a role that is not the right one for you.
We often get contrary questions seeking information that might not put us in the best light.
And our idea of a great response is to give them a fake one, give them one that looks like a strength. Well I was in that position and I had my what’s your greatest weakness answer ready – delegation. Thinking “oh, I’m a doer and I do it all myself,” and I presented that.
And the interviewer said “yeah, I get that answer all the time. Give me another one.” And I was a deer in the headlights.
And I tried humor and I said, “What do you mean? I’m not perfect? I have more flaws?”
He wouldn’t let me get away with it. And what happens in those moments is that you give a real answer. And that’s what I want you to do. Give a real answer.
And I said “well, if you asked my mom the question she’ll tell you that sometimes I talk before I think and that my foot fits very well into my mouth. And it’s true, and I’m working on it.” And then I proceeded to say “here’s the ways in which I’m trying to get better at that. But I’m not there yet.”
If that interviewer leaves not having the answers that they need it’s very hard to evaluate whether or not they want to hire you.
So if somebody asks you a question make sure you are giving them the answer up front. I always say: put the bottom line on top. Answer the question and then explain it.
A company would much rather have somebody who’s aware of the things that they need to work on and know that they’re working on it than somebody who thinks “I got this all”.
Attitude over aptitude will get you a long way.
Another mistake that candidates make is not recognizing when the interview starts and when it stops.
Because it’s not just that hour that you’re in the room. That interview starts from the moment they invite you for the interview and sometimes even before. Every interaction you have in scheduling, in the security area, in the elevator, in the waiting room are all part of the process.
And I love that time where you’re walking from the waiting room to the interview room with your interviewer. That rapport building is such a key portion of the interview. And I actually consider it the initial stage.
After the interview is over, that hour ends and they say goodbye—it’s not over. We all know about the thank-you note.
But I would even tell you that when you don’t get the job, it’s still not over. Build the relationship with that interviewer. Build the relationship with the company because maybe that job wasn’t the right one for you, but maybe the next one is. Get some feedback. Maybe you can enhance your skills and do better at the next interview. Maybe you know somebody that you can refer in. Understand that the end of the interview is not the end.
The best advice to getting hired is also something you were told in middle school: be yourself. "Likability leadership expert" Michelle Tillis Lederman believes that if you're not yourself during your interview, you probably won't be a great fit for the job. Interviewers are far more likely to want to see someone real rather than someone projecting an image of a perfect person. Michelle makes a stellar observation that the interview often starts long before the actual sit-down interview itself. Michelle Tillis Lederman's new books are Nail the Interview, Land the Job and The 11 Laws of Likability.
If machines develop consciousness, or if we manage to give it to them, the human-robot dynamic will forever be different.
- Does AI—and, more specifically, conscious AI—deserve moral rights? In this thought exploration, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, ethics and tech professor Joanna Bryson, philosopher and cognitive scientist Susan Schneider, physicist Max Tegmark, philosopher Peter Singer, and bioethicist Glenn Cohen all weigh in on the question of AI rights.
- Given the grave tragedy of slavery throughout human history, philosophers and technologists must answer this question ahead of technological development to avoid humanity creating a slave class of conscious beings.
- One potential safeguard against that? Regulation. Once we define the context in which AI requires rights, the simplest solution may be to not build that thing.
Duke University researchers might have solved a half-century old problem.
- Duke University researchers created a hydrogel that appears to be as strong and flexible as human cartilage.
- The blend of three polymers provides enough flexibility and durability to mimic the knee.
- The next step is to test this hydrogel in sheep; human use can take at least three years.
Duke researchers have developed the first gel-based synthetic cartilage with the strength of the real thing. A quarter-sized disc of the material can withstand the weight of a 100-pound kettlebell without tearing or losing its shape.
Photo: Feichen Yang.<p>That's the word from a team in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. Their <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/adfm.202003451" target="_blank">new paper</a>, published in the journal,<em> Advanced Functional Materials</em>, details this exciting evolution of this frustrating joint.<br></p><p>Researchers have sought materials strong and versatile enough to repair a knee since at least the seventies. This new hydrogel, comprised of three polymers, might be it. When two of the polymers are stretched, a third keeps the entire structure intact. When pulled 100,000 times, the cartilage held up as well as materials used in bone implants. The team also rubbed the hydrogel against natural cartilage a million times and found it to be as wear-resistant as the real thing. </p><p>The hydrogel has the appearance of Jell-O and is comprised of 60 percent water. Co-author, Feichen Yang, <a href="https://today.duke.edu/2020/06/lab-first-cartilage-mimicking-gel-strong-enough-knees" target="_blank">says</a> this network of polymers is particularly durable: "Only this combination of all three components is both flexible and stiff and therefore strong." </p><p> As with any new material, a lot of testing must be conducted. They don't foresee this hydrogel being implanted into human bodies for at least three years. The next step is to test it out in sheep. </p><p>Still, this is an exciting step forward in the rehabilitation of one of our trickiest joints. Given the potential reward, the wait is worth it. </p><p><span></span>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
What would it be like to experience the 4th dimension?
Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows.
An algorithm may allow doctors to assess PTSD candidates for early intervention after traumatic ER visits.
- 10-15% of people visiting emergency rooms eventually develop symptoms of long-lasting PTSD.
- Early treatment is available but there's been no way to tell who needs it.
- Using clinical data already being collected, machine learning can identify who's at risk.
The psychological scars a traumatic experience can leave behind may have a more profound effect on a person than the original traumatic experience. Long after an acute emergency is resolved, victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to suffer its consequences.
In the U.S. some 30 million patients are annually treated in emergency departments (EDs) for a range of traumatic injuries. Add to that urgent admissions to the ED with the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Health experts predict that some 10 percent to 15 percent of these people will develop long-lasting PTSD within a year of the initial incident. While there are interventions that can help individuals avoid PTSD, there's been no reliable way to identify those most likely to need it.
That may now have changed. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has developed a method for predicting who is most likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic emergency-room experience. Their study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.
70 data points and machine learning
Image source: Creators Collective/Unsplash
Study lead author Katharina Schultebraucks of Columbia University's Department Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons says:
"For many trauma patients, the ED visit is often their sole contact with the health care system. The time immediately after a traumatic injury is a critical window for identifying people at risk for PTSD and arranging appropriate follow-up treatment. The earlier we can treat those at risk, the better the likely outcomes."
The new PTSD test uses machine learning and 70 clinical data points plus a clinical stress-level assessment to develop a PTSD score for an individual that identifies their risk of acquiring the condition.
Among the 70 data points are stress hormone levels, inflammatory signals, high blood pressure, and an anxiety-level assessment. Says Schultebraucks, "We selected measures that are routinely collected in the ED and logged in the electronic medical record, plus answers to a few short questions about the psychological stress response. The idea was to create a tool that would be universally available and would add little burden to ED personnel."
Researchers used data from adult trauma survivors in Atlanta, Georgia (377 individuals) and New York City (221 individuals) to test their system.
Of this cohort, 90 percent of those predicted to be at high risk developed long-lasting PTSD symptoms within a year of the initial traumatic event — just 5 percent of people who never developed PTSD symptoms had been erroneously identified as being at risk.
On the other side of the coin, 29 percent of individuals were 'false negatives," tagged by the algorithm as not being at risk of PTSD, but then developing symptoms.
Image source: Külli Kittus/Unsplash
Schultebraucks looks forward to more testing as the researchers continue to refine their algorithm and to instill confidence in the approach among ED clinicians: "Because previous models for predicting PTSD risk have not been validated in independent samples like our model, they haven't been adopted in clinical practice." She expects that, "Testing and validation of our model in larger samples will be necessary for the algorithm to be ready-to-use in the general population."
"Currently only 7% of level-1 trauma centers routinely screen for PTSD," notes Schultebraucks. "We hope that the algorithm will provide ED clinicians with a rapid, automatic readout that they could use for discharge planning and the prevention of PTSD." She envisions the algorithm being implemented in the future as a feature of electronic medical records.
The researchers also plan to test their algorithm at predicting PTSD in people whose traumatic experiences come in the form of health events such as heart attacks and strokes, as opposed to visits to the emergency department.