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Advice / Job Search / Interviewing

5 TED Talks to Watch Before Your Next Interview

Amy Cuddy

TED Talks are fun and interesting. Preparing for interviews can be, uh, less fun and interesting.

To reconcile this, here are five fabulous TED Talks that are both enjoyable to watch and useful in helping you prepare for your next big interview.

1. Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

We all know that body language impacts the way others perceive us. What isn’t so obvious is that our body language also alters the way we feel about ourselves.

To be your most confident self at your next interview, try some of Amy Cuddy’s power poses. Sure, you’ll want to think about your body language while you’re meeting with the hiring manager, but consider it before the interview, too. Being in the right mindset before you go in could be just what you need to be the best version of yourself.

2. How to Speak So That People Want to Listen

Julian Treasure offers some excellent rules of thumb to follow for when you’re talking in general, but also for when you’re sharing your experiences with an interviewer. For example, number three in his list of seven deadly sins of speaking is being negative—in an interview, you always want to keep your language between neutral and positive.

But the best part of his talk is when he walks through the various ways you can use your voice to show excitement, emphasis, or even power—all useful stuff when you’re showing a hiring manager what you could bring to the table.

3. Talk Nerdy to Me

For those of you who have a more technical background, it’s important to realize that not everyone you speak with will have your same technical prowess. In this short video (it’s only four and a half minutes!), Melissa Marshall gives a few suggestions on how to make your experience more relatable.

Here’s the even shorter version: Jargon is bad; stories are good.

4. How to Spot a Liar

In an interview, it’s not all about impressing your interviewer; it’s also about figuring out whether the position you’re applying for is the right fit for you. I’m not saying your potential future employer would be dishonest about the job you would be doing or the environment you would be spending your time in, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to know the telltale signs of a liar.

For some of us, it’s also good to be mindful of how our nerves change the way we communicate. If some of your nervous ticks make you seem untrustworthy, this is definitely something you want to be mindful of.

5. The Optimism Bias

It turns out that optimism, kind of like power poses, actually changes our body and can affect real life outcomes. It can lower stress and keep us motivated, along with numerous other benefits. In even better news, many of us are naturally inclined to be pretty optimistic.

What we have to watch out for, according to Tali Sharot, is not letting ourselves lose sight of reality. We need a healthy dose of both optimism and precaution to set ourselves up for success. A good thing to keep in mind no matter what stage of the job application process you’re in.

Are you a fan of TED Talks? Any that I missed that you think relate well to preparing for an interview or job search?