nailing the job interview

job interviews. let’s negotiate. we negotiate with family, colleagues, friends, with ourselves. we negotiate to establish how certain or uncertain reality is or what the result of a situation might be.

today we are reviewing the zero conditional. it (and the other conditionals) are ABSOLUTELY crucial for job interviews. typical interview questions include ones which describe how you handle difficult situations, teams, and bosses. this is the grammar needed to convince the interviewer that you have the knowledge and personality for the job.

job interview questions

question 1 – describe what you generally do with challenges.

within your present position, what happens when you run into someone who isn’t supporting your efforts to get things done?

(this is the zero conditional because it describes what generally happens, or what the norm is. In this question, you are explaining how you normally negotiate difficulties, and challenges.)

possible answer:

when I run into someone who isn’t supporting my efforts, I listen to the person’s concerns and try to understand their perspective. furthermore, I attempt to communicate clearly and try to find a mutually beneficial solution.

if the situation cannot be resolved, I escalate the issue to the appropriate person or authority.
the goal is to maintain a professional and respectful demeanor while finding a resolution that benefits all parties involved.

questions 2: which behaviors indicate that a person has influence in the decision-making process?

there are several behaviors that can indicate a person has influence in the decision-making process, including:

  • 🏆 leadership: when a person consistently takes the lead in discussions and meetings, sets the agenda, and makes final decisions, this person likely has significant influence in the decision-making process.
  • 🌐 networking: whenever a person has strong relationships and networks within the organization, this person is often better positioned to influence decisions. they may be sought out for their opinions and expertise, and their input may carry more weight in discussions and meetings.
    definition of networking as a noun/ˈnɛtˌwərkɪŋ/ [uncountable] a system of trying to meet and talk to other people who may be useful to you in your work. it can also be verb: to network.
  • 🗣️ communication skills: a person is more likely to influence decision making, if/ should/when the person is an effective communicator, articulate, and persuasive. they can effectively present their ideas and opinions, and can build support for their position.
  • 🧠 problem-solving skills: when a person consistently demonstrates the ability to solve problems and find solutions, the person. they may be relied on to provide insights and recommendations in difficult situations.
  • 😎 confidence: should a person be confident and assertive in their opinions and ideas, it is very probable they will speak up and advocate for their position in discussions and meetings.
    for example, a manager who consistently leads discussions in meetings, has strong relationships with other departments, is an effective communicator, consistently demonstrates problem-solving skills, and is confident in their opinions is likely to have a high level of influence in the decision-making process.

vocab: take a look in the interview conditional certainty vocab.

grammar – zero conditional

the zero conditional talks about a condition and a consequence that is 100% or nearly always true. it is a general truth, or rule.
it is formed by a condition + consequence:

if + present simple, present simple.
for example:
if it rains, my garden gets wet. (you need a coma)
my garden gets wet if it rains. (you don’t need a coma)

You can introduce a condition with:

  • whenever it rains, my garden gets wet.
  • when it rains, my garden gets wet.
  • if it rains, my garden gets wet.
  • unless it rains, my garden does not get wet.
  • provided it rains, my garden gets wet.
  • should it rain, my garden gets wet.
  • if you are bored, you look at your phone.
  • if you have pain, you take a painkiller.
  • if you are married, you have a partner.
  • if profits are greater than costs, you make benefits.

GUARANTEED = 0 Conditional

  • if you hire my company, you get the best customer service.

vocab: zero conditional – main words

practice questions

  1. tell me about the process you use to resolve your differences.
  2. tell me what you do if someone verbally attacks you.
  3. what do you do if you are asked to do something you find unethical.
  4. what makes a good teammate? leader? follower?
  5. tell me about, describe your relationship with your current manager? give me examples.
  6. tell me about a time when you planned the way you phrased a
    problem or situation so that you could get the best result.
  7. describe a situation at work when a person is very enthusiastic about something. How did their enthusiasm affect others?
  8. what do you do when you are feeling stressed at work?
  9. describe some things that make you angry or frustrated at work. tell me what you do in these situations.

that’s it for today

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