Ted Talks To Watch Before Your Interview To Sound Smart And Be Confident

 Sources say that Thomas Alva Edison was the first to use ‘interview’ as a selection tool. Since then there has been no looking back for ‘Interviews’. Starting from kindergarten to jobs, one has to almost always face an interview before becoming the chosen one.

There is a lot of helpful and friendly advice available on conducting oneself during interviews. One might wonder, what else I could say that has not been said already. Not much really, but I thought it might be really helpful to compile some interesting and scientific approaches candidates can take to approaching interviews.

I am a big fan of TED. It helps me understand some complex issues, opens up my mind to new perspectives and most importantly inspires me. I would like to take this opportunity to present some TED talks which according to me would help equip one with really helpful knowledge in preparing for interviews. Most of these suggestions are backed by research and are the sweat and efforts of some sharp minds. For the sceptical ones, this one fact might be a real winner and differentiator, it’s not your friendly uncle’s advice, this is Science and Experience at work that’s telling you what will work in cracking your next big interview. 


1. Believe you can and you will

In her talk ‘the power of believing that you can improve’ Stanford University researcher, Carol Dweck speaks about how people were able to successfully accomplish seemingly difficult tasks they undertook simply by believing that they could. She speaks about the growth mindset Vs. fixed mindset, and how individuals who believed in continuous growth and challenges were far more likely to be successful at their work.

Watch this talk to reinforce the faith of self-belief in yourself. It all begins from here.


2. Use stress to your advantage 

It’s hard not to be stressed on the big day. Psychologist KellyMcGonigall in her aptly titled talk ‘How to make stress your friend?’ speaks about how one can befriend stress and use it to one’s advantage. She explains how our body reacts to stress with elevated body reactions like pounding heart, rapid breathing and so on. We usually interpret these bodily responses as anxiety, but instead, Ms.Mcgonigal says it might be helpful to think of these reactions as ways in which body is getting energised instead of exhausted.

The study conducted by Ms.Mcgonigal showed that this one small change in subjects’ thought process altered their bodily responses to more favourable states. In this state, candidates were more confident and calm.

Feel yourself getting worked up? Tell yourself it’s your body doing a warm-up before a jog.


3. Want to feel more confident? Strike a power pose! 

This is one of the most watched TED videos, and rightfully so. Amy Cuddy from being an academician rose to fame amongst general population after her TED talk titled – ‘Your body language may shape who you are’.  

Amy Cuddy tells us how by adopting certain postures known as ‘power poses’ can make us feel more confident and powerful. Instead of nervously withdrawing into ourselves when we are waiting in anticipation, it would be rather beneficial to us to strike a power pose and let our body wire us into subconsciously feeling powerful says Amy.

 Watch the slightly longish talk to learn the easiest trick to feeling confident.


4. Having a conversation with your interviewer – Done right
Radio Host Celeste Headlee shares her years of wisdom with us in her ted talk titled – ’10 ways to have a better conversation’. Interviews are not question and answer sessions, interviews are conversations and exchange of opinions.  So how do you have an effortless conversation with your interviewer? Celeste suggests honesty, brevity, clarity and effective listening to be key ingredients of an engaging conversation.  Watch this talk to learn how to turn your interviews from QnA sessions to effortless conversations.

5. De-jargonise your talk 

Do you find yourself looking for ways to explain your complicated technical project in layman’s terms?
Is your audience often left clueless when you speak about your work?
This talk is for all the people whose work involves a lot of complicated technical terms, Melissa Marshal in her talk titled – ‘Talk nerdy to me’ helps you out of this conundrum.

Melissa’s short talk under 5 minutes gives you handy tips to help you articulate your work in a way that can be understood by anyone.


6. Sounding more effective and forceful

Have you been often told to appear more energetic in interviews? Have you been suggested to improve your communication to get across your point better?

Having taken care of the content of your interview, it is time to now focus on effectively delivering the content. Julian Treasure, sound consultant addresses these concerns in his ted talk titled – ‘how to speak so that people want to listen

He speaks about the seven deadly sins of speaking, and the four powerful cornerstones of speech. He also tells us about voice modulation to sound better. This is a 10 minute talk, and if you are able to incorporate even a couple of his suggestions I believe it would make a definite impact in having better conversations.


7. Tomorrow you will be a different you

How many times did we want something badly, and then just phased out of that eventually? Too many times to count right? I has happened with us all.

Dan Gilbert in his talk titled – ‘The psychology of your future self’ speaks about recent research on a phenomenon he calls ‘end of history illusion’. This phenomenon is people imagining that the person that they are today will be the person that they will be forever.

People underestimate the changes they undergo and the person they become in response to these changes. With time, people change, and so do their motivations and priorities in life.

If today cracking this interview is of utmost importance to you, remember that tomorrow this interview might just be a speck of dust to you. So, don’t beat yourself up too much.

Signing off with my two cents, I have always firmly believed that human endeavour and grit trump everything. No force, institution or event can match up to this pursuit.

Sasi Priya Byra

Baptised TISSIAN to be christened HR Manager. Avid reader, wannabe prankster and novice writer. Life’s philosophy is to live a calvin and hobbes-isque adventure set in the rustic Malgudi.