#44 Student Guide to Acing Interviews Transcript



Julie Crenshaw  0:00  

Truly, you don’t necessarily want every single thing you ever apply for. This is a two way street. They are interviewing you, but you are genuinely trying to figure out is this a good fit for me before I commit to it, you don’t want to commit to a semester long or a year long internship, where you were so focused on getting the internship that you forgot to really step back and assess if this was even a good fit for you or what you really wanted. And now you’re committed and you’re stuck and you’re kind of regretting it.


Lisa Marker Robbins  0:37  

The first time a teen has to put themselves out there with strangers. It’s nerve racking and full of fear of what might go wrong. Julie Crenshaw is the number one best selling author of navigating and avoiding awkward conversations. And today, she shares tips for teens on how to do just that. You’ll leave this episode with ways your team can feel confident in their ability to express themselves and put their best foot forward. I’m Lisa marker Robbins and I want to welcome you to College and Career Clarity, a flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right in to a great conversation. It is my pleasure to welcome Julie Crenshaw, your conversation expert to the podcast. Julie works with adults, teens, young adults in the space of getting comfortable putting themselves out there having confidence, knowing how to interact and how to follow up. So I thought, oh my word. This is the perfect person to come on, and help instill confidence. And our parents are trying to guide their teens and their teens, this might be an episode they want to share with their teen or young adult to really know how to put themselves out there as they’re interacting with future employers, people that they want to do job shadows with colleges, because it can be scary. Julie, welcome to the podcast.


Julie Crenshaw  2:21  

Thank you. I’m so excited to be here. I think this is going to be a great topic.


Lisa Marker Robbins  2:25  

It’s a much needed topic. There’s a lot of people in the space of working with these college bound families and coaching the families. I truly believe the college bound journey is a family journey, not just the students journey. But this is an area that I think it is a difference maker, because it’s scary. And yet there’s not a lot of stuff out there are a lot of people coaching in the space that you’re coaching. So thanks for making the time.


Julie Crenshaw  2:52  

Absolutely. And I have found the same thing. It’s amazing how many resources are out there that cover so many facets of what a person needs to do to be successful, but not the interpersonal skills piece. So it’s so interesting, because in my opinion, that’s the maker breaker skills are usually what’s going to get you across the finish line of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish, or potentially backfire. We’ll talk about that a little bit today.


Lisa Marker Robbins  3:20  

Yes, yes, yes, yes, the skills will get you across the finish line of what you’re trying to accomplish. But at the same time, it’s actually the first piece of this as well, right, it’s the first thing that you need to do when you reach out like inside our launch Career Clarity course. And we should tell everybody, for this fall cohort, you are one of our bonus teachers. So you’re gonna do a deeper dive with the students inside the course. But I was like, ah, we’ve got something for everybody, let’s do a podcast on this as well. So I’m excited that that’s upcoming. But this putting yourself out there, you know, this week, we were having my launch live that we have with our families that are in the course. And we were talking about like starting to build your network and just putting yourself out there with something as simple as if you’re on LinkedIn as a student, which totally is something that they can and should do. In my opinion. I actually have a LinkedIn builders Guide, which I’ll link to in the show notes, but just hitting that button to connect like not even having to say something. And there were students that that felt scary too. And I thought, oh goodness, and a couple weeks in the course I’m teaching them how to put themselves out there and ask for a job shadows or do an informational interview about somebody’s job. So getting started is hard. Talk to us about how to even get started and not be just overwhelmed and frozen and anxiety.


Julie Crenshaw  4:47  

Yes. Well, first of all, it’s totally understandable that that would be intimidating. So I don’t want I don’t want to chastise anybody to say you shouldn’t be nervous because it’s understandable. You’re putting yourself out there for the First time you want to make a good impression, you don’t want to mess it up. And I totally get that. So I don’t want anybody to feel like there’s something wrong with them for being nervous. But one of the things to keep in mind that I think always helps me, when I’m putting myself out there and feeling those jitters of oh, this is a big person, or this is somebody I really want to connect with, I want to make a good impression is to remember that what that person really wants is just to get to know me better. They’re all judging me for who I am or how I’m answering these questions. They’re just trying to better understand what I’m trying to accomplish. You know, I want to work with them. Maybe it’s a job, maybe I’m trying to apply to grad school, maybe I just want to learn from them. Maybe I just want to be more familiar with their work. And they are simply just trying to figure out who I am, what I’m about what I need, maybe how they can help. Because from my perspective, if someone’s reaching out to me, one of my first thoughts is okay, how can I help you? What is it that you’re wanting that I can help to provide for you, I think that’s so true.


Lisa Marker Robbins  6:12  

People who love what they do, or let’s say it’s a college tour guide, or an admissions officer, or someone that has a job that they love, and you’re possibly exploring, could this job be the right fit for me, they are excited usually to be a resource and share about their expertise.


Julie Crenshaw  6:34  

Right. And it’s not commitment. It’s not like, well, I’m trying to learn more about this. So now I’ve signed a 40 year contract to work for this company, or whatever it is, the person understands that you’re trying to learn, because they’ve been there themselves, where they’re just trying to explore their options, they’re trying to better understand what’s out there. So they’re not, if that takes some of the pressure off to they’re not expecting a commitment out of you, just because you reached out to them, they understand that you are trying to gather information and learn. And that is part of what they’re there for is just to help give you that information that you’re looking for help explain whatever it is to you that you’re coming to them for. So it’s a little, it’s a lot more casual than it may feel. That’s so


Lisa Marker Robbins  7:21  

true. It’s, I always say, focus also on being interested, instead of interesting, like, don’t over think, oh, gosh, I gotta be out there. And I’ve got to just blow their socks off. Like, it’s just a conversation at this point. And even being interested in them, you know, if you’re setting up to do like, Hey, can I talk to you about your job? I want to learn more about what it would mean to be a civil engineer. Right? And so just be interested in them. And then I think like the conversation becomes whether it’s an email or an actual conversation, it just kind of flows and becomes more natural, don’t you agree?


Julie Crenshaw  7:59  

Oh, yes. And they don’t expect you to have tons and tons of experience, they understand that you’re 16 1718 They been there themselves, everybody had to start at ground zero at some point. I may have X number of years experience doing this after X number of years of college to learn how to do it. But at one point I was 18 just trying to figure out who in the world I was, and what I wanted to do and what I was interested in. So why would I expect differently from you? Why would I expect you to know everything and have all this experience in office, I’m a realistic person, the people that you’re speaking to a realistic they understand the stage of life that you’re in, and that it’s a very explorative learning information gathering stage. And they want to help support you to be able to make the decisions maybe faster than they did to understand if what they’re doing is a good fit or not. They want to help you.


Lisa Marker Robbins  8:59  

Do you have any tips for like, let’s say that I’m a student, and I’ve been heavily invested in and this is an interesting one to me, I see this a lot. I see a lot of people who are exploring maybe health sciences, health care. And a lot of those people have a love for music. I actually I see a lot and I meet a lot of adult physicians and nurses and people in health care who have a side gig as like I’m still in a band or a sing at church, or that’s not an uncommon connection, but yet it feels wonky. Because like being a musician and could not be further from Organic Chem, right. So let’s say I want to talk to a doctor about okay, what what is your job and I don’t really have a list of extracurriculars that align with that job. How would you tell a student to navigate something like that?


Julie Crenshaw  10:00  

You never know where that person came from. I actually have one of my good friends neighbor across the street is a retired cardiovascular surgeon. He’s an avid trumpet player, he loves jazz music. And one of the things he has always done his whole career was do these jazz band gigs. On his rare day off. For him, that was an instant connection with me. So I started out as a French horn player. My first major in school was music performance, because that’s what I wanted to do was play in an orchestra forever. And then I had this one ad shift, my junior year where I switched to exercise science. And I definitely felt like the odd girl out. I mean, I bet Hilton this room was like, track star football star softballs star, they were there on our swimming scholarship. And here I am, like, I like being I felt very like not typical. And so then when I was going to apply to grad school, I did kind of have it in my head, that there was something a little bit weird about me, or that there was something that was a little not on track that everybody else had had this very sports oriented track, this very healthcare obsessed, or health, fitness guru, obsessed track. And here I was with a whole lot of experience with marching band and district band and orchestra and competition band. And those were my experiences. And at first, I thought that that was a detriment, and that it made me less prepared. But what I found out once I started getting into these interviews, was that a lot of people found that really interesting, because it was different than what other people had to say. So it was just a different conversation they were getting to have, but a lot of them had also been in some type of music band or chorus or something. And so it was a connection point for us. And same thing with my neighbor, we did both end up in healthcare me as a physical therapist and him as a surgeon. But we also both had a rooted love for music. So it was multiple points of connection. And that actually just made it even faster for us to get to know each other and feel that similarity and really hit it off. So talk about those things that you like to do you never know what somebody else’s journey.


Lisa Marker Robbins  12:25  

Yeah, don’t make that assumption, right? Because too, I think it also takes the pressure off. And when I’m working with the teens and young adults inside our course, I say to them, like, okay, yes, you are asking for an informational interview or a job shadow. And hopefully, maybe that leads to an internship, if you’re finding that yes, that could possibly be a good fit for you. But instead of leading with this end result of I’ve got to land the job shadow, or I’ve got to land the coffee after school or hot chocolate, if you’re a teenager, not drinking coffee, look at making a connection. Look to build connections, instead of that end result. Like I’m landing the job shadow like, because then I think the conversation becomes a lot easier when you’re just looking to be interested and connect with others. Yes.


Julie Crenshaw  13:18  

And truly, you don’t necessarily want every single thing you ever apply for. This is a two way street. They are interviewing you. But you are genuinely trying to figure out is this a good fit for me before I commit to it, you don’t want to commit to a semester long or a year long internship, where you were so focused on getting the internship that you forgot to really step back and assess if this was even a good fit for you or what you really wanted. And now you’re committed and you’re stuck. And you’re kind of regretting it a little bit, you’re you’re also there to learn, you’re also there to decide if this is a mutual good fit. And that is not just internships, that is jobs. When you’re out in the field, when I’m doing an interview for a job that, you know, I’m the one trying to get the job. I am just as interested in making sure that this job is a good fit for me, because I would much rather walk away knowing Okay, nope, I thought that was going to be a good fit. But it is not, then to be so focused on trying to get the job that I get in it. And then I really regret it because it wasn’t a good fit. After all,


Lisa Marker Robbins  14:32  

through those great conversations on the front end, to your point, have the conversation. Don’t be so focused on the goal because you might discover something that you’re like, I’m gonna have to if I’m a 17 year old and that particular school, your internship might take every single Saturday away from me. It could be as simple as Yeah, that industry is still a good fit for me, but this particular internship would take away from some other things that are really important to me, maybe, and so look Get this as discovery I always say like, hold things loosely. This week inside our launch Career Clarity course, the students are getting ready to get their jobs list. Okay, so they are actually today, Sarah on our team is sending them from taking their birth and personality assessment, this list in descending order, like you look a lot like the people who does this job and love it, and you look at the bottom of the list, nothing like the people that are doing this job, and they love their job, right. But when they go into that a lot of the students have these preconceived ideas. And so my advice is, and I think it applies here, going into these conversations, hold these things loosely. Don’t have like a death grip on them like this has to work out. Because it’s a learning process.


Julie Crenshaw  15:52  

Yep. And you may find out that what you thought that job or interview was going to be like, really isn’t it at all, you may have seen the title and the title looks like a good fit. And when you get into the interview, asking questions like, What are the things that I’m going to be doing as part of this internship? Or what are the expectations of me? Or what are the job responsibilities, because we’ve got a local college here, they have a huge animal sciences program. And first semester freshman year, they’ve got you in the barn shoveling, right, because they, they want you to understand this job is not all sunshine and rainbows that is not glamorous, right? And so they want you and I love the way that they structure their program, because they’re trying to help you understand the parts that may not be so glamorous, because they want you to to have an informed decision. Anything that you do is going to have highlights and lowlights. And so you need to be okay with all of those not just thinking, Oh, I’m gonna get to birth all the baby cows or whatever it is that in your head that you thought was amazing. You might also be like trimming cows, toenails, and shoveling the barns out and things that are kind of smelly and gross and not glamorous and not fun. So there may be part of that job that you’re thinking, oh, gosh, that would be amazing. That would just be a miracle, that would be the best thing I ever did. And then you go in and ask, well, what’s my day to day look like? What are the things I’m going to be expected to do. And there’s really only like, one thing of that list. That sounds really great. And the rest of the list, you’re going ooh, that was not what I thought and how wonderful that you found that out in the interview. And in those pre conversations, instead of agreeing to the job, or the internship or whatever. And then getting in there and going, I’m so miserable. I wish I had known this is what I was getting into. I always


Lisa Marker Robbins  17:49  

say it’s not, it’s not a failure, if you learn something and it moves you towards clarity and being informed on what you’re going to do. So we’ve got to have that mindset shift. It’s not a failure, right? Now, there are probably some things that students shouldn’t bring up when they’re emailing or reaching out to connect or having these conversations where they’re being curious and interested. So what tips do you have, because I think even as adults, we sometimes can trip over ourselves. But even more, so if you’re inexperienced that this when you’re just first starting to do it as a 1617 2022 year old. So what maybe should be avoided.


Julie Crenshaw  18:37  

Yeah, and I, I do talk about this a lot in my content, because one thing that person is trying to do, they are trying to just figure out who you are, and they want to help. But if they’re gonna bring you on as an employee, or an intern or student, they’re also they’re stuck with you for a little while. So they’re trying to make sure that you’re a good fit, that your personality is going to fit well that you’re going to be enjoyable to be around. So some of the questions that they’re asking you, they are trying to figure out. Are you someone who’s going to add to the experience here? Or are you someone that may possibly make a little worse, maybe a little bit more drama than they’re looking for? And so when they’re asking you questions, such as, tell me about the jobs you’ve done before, or tell me about a time when something happened, that was a conflict and how did you handle it or tell me about a time when you maybe had a miscommunication with a supervisor, you want to be very careful that the way that you’re explaining these situations is in a positive light that you’ve learned something from this situation that you figured out a mutual solution to the situation? Because if you are a little too upfront with comments such as well that person was just being a jerk or I had this really mean supervisor who was always is forcing me to do all the stuff I didn’t want to do. Those sorts of things might throw up some red flags to that person to go, Oh, was it really the supervisor? Or was it not? I don’t know, I don’t know if I want to take the risk on that. So anytime that you’re relating something negative, you have to understand that no matter how true it may feel to you, from your point of view, that other person is not inclined to just take you at your word, that you were a saint, and the other people were definitely the problem, and you didn’t contribute to it at all. So you just want to be really careful when you’re answering these questions that you’re talking a little bit more about the lessons that you learned, you know, well, I had this miscommunication that happened with a customer at work, you know, I worked retail in my younger years. But we were able to figure out the actually, this had just happened. And that helped me to realize that next time, if I see them with a coupon that’s expired, I need to make sure to tell them upfront, instead of waiting till the end, because that helped me to learn to have better customer service, or something like that. So it’s definitely these cuts. These customers were always yelling at me all the time. And it was so stressful. What’s a way that you can take a lesson learned from that? What’s something that you’re going to take with you moving forward? Nobody’s perfect, and nobody has perfect experiences. But are you able to learn? Are you able to grow? Are you able to see where maybe you didn’t do something exactly right? You don’t want to throw yourself under the bus completely. You don’t want to overshare you don’t want to say how you accidentally, like set the fire alarm off in the building and wait for half a day, that might not be the story. Tell, right? Do you want to just choose what you’re relaying carefully, because you want to make sure that you are showing yourself as a team player is somebody who can learn somebody who can grow somebody who can admit when they maybe didn’t do something perfectly. But now I figured out that if I do it this way, that that’s better. That’s the energy that you should be approaching those questions and answers with.


Lisa Marker Robbins  22:03  

So wise, all of the advice that you’re giving, makes me think like, we just need to be intentional. And we need to be prepared, like don’t just shoot off the email without drafting it and thinking through the lens of what you’re sharing with us, right? Am I making connections? am I sharing maybe something unique about myself? Am I interested, instead of just trying to be interesting, I’ve got a PDF that explains the students or framework even for emailing, but like, I’m just saying, like, draft the email run up by an adult in your world, take it through the filter, Julie of what you’re giving us, and, and be prepared. If I’m gonna go into like an interview, you’re gonna get those hard questions, what are some of the lessons you learn? And how you can do it? So preparation sounds like the name of the game here. Because if you’re prepared, it’s probably going to instill confidence heading into those conversations.


Julie Crenshaw  23:06  

Yes. And one last little thing, I would want to make sure and bring up because this is really important. And a lot of times you might be asked questions that you don’t have a great answer for those questions. Maybe you’ve never had a job before, this is your first one. And they’re asking you something like, Where have you worked before? How many jobs have you had? And the answer is just none. And you don’t really want to just go, No, I’ve never worked before, and then just let the silence hang in the air. What I’ll tell people a lot is you don’t have to answer a question exactly the way it was asked of you, if you don’t have a great answer for that question. So you might offer something instead, if they may say, Have you ever had a job before, instead of just going No. And dead silence. You can say no, I haven’t done a job before. Because I’m really involved in band or the debate team, or I’ve been doing softball since I was four years old. And I’m on these different tournament teams. That’s something that I’m really passionate about. And you’re helping them to get to know you better. You’re helping them to understand who you are. Because that’s truly what they’re trying to figure out is who are you and what are your experiences? And what are you like, what are the things that you like? So if someone asks you a question, and one of those moments that you’re going out, really have a great way to answer that. See if there’s something a little bit related, if it’s just more about spending your time. Have you had a job, it’s how you’re spending your time. Well, no, because I’ve been doing this other group or team or what have you. Maybe you don’t have a team. Maybe you’re just saying, I have not had a job before because I’ve really been focused on my school stuff. But now that I feel like I’ve got that you know where I want it. I feel like I’m ready to branch out and add to what I’m doing.


Lisa Marker Robbins  25:00  

So you have such great advice.


Julie Crenshaw  25:02  

Yeah, the way to answer those questions in a way that keeps the conversation going, is the perfect, perfect way to handle it.


Lisa Marker Robbins  25:10  

Pure gold. Well, thank you, Julie. Thanks for making time today. I’m excited to have you on for our bonus class for our students inside the launch course. But you for those that aren’t in the course right now you’ve given lots of great insights. Where’s the best way for people to follow or connect with you and see all the great things that you have? The easiest place to go is my website,


Julie Crenshaw  25:34  

which is your conversation expert.com. And I have links to my socials and my courses and my one on one coaching and all the good things on that website. I’m also on Instagram at your conversation expert, and I’m on Facebook slash your conversation expert so they’re at


Lisa Marker Robbins  25:53  

all the places okay, I know people are gonna want to follow you. Thanks, Julie. Thank you. The students in my launch prayer clarity course, always get nervous when I asked them to start building their network, ask for that first job shadow or email a college admissions officer. With Julie’s advice in this conversation and my email templates that I’ve linked to in the show notes, students will be on the right path with confidence. My college bound challenge this week for your family is to have your student take action. It might be calling the doctor’s office to make their next appointment, emailing a college admissions officer with a non obvious question that can’t easily be answered on their website. Or asking someone for a job shadow. Have them practice with you first, then give it a try with you by their side. Remember, we first demonstrate for them, watch them do it, then send them out with confidence, just like we did when they were little and we are teaching them to walk or tie their shoes. It’s just the challenges are a bit bigger now, but the reward is much greater. If today’s episode was helpful to you, please share it with a friend who needs us to by doing so you are impacting the future for many as we banish overwhelm and instill competence one teenager at a time. Speaking of time, if you have a minute, please rate or review the podcast to help us move more families toward College and Career Clarity