An eLearning Resource: Interview Behavior Videos

Ever wanted to be able to show clients what a bad interview looks like? Well you are in luck, check out Higher’s Online Learning Institute. You can access the complete module right now with your username and password.  If you aren’t already taking advantage of our 13 eLearning courses, sign up here for instant access to these videos and the other eLearning courses.

Here are 4 things to know about this exciting new resource:

  1. There are two short videos with examples of good and bad interview behaviors.
  2. You can also get transcripts and suggestions for using the module with clients in the companion resource section.
  3. More than 20 resettlement programs across the country are using our eLearning courses in their job readiness activities.
  4.  The job seekers in the videos are refugees. Thanks to them and to African Community Center (ACC), Denver, CO for helping out.

Here’s a sneak peek at Interview Behavior Videos. 

Email Higher at to let us know what you think, how you’re using our latest eLearning resource and what else would be helpful.

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Interview Preparation Infographic

A big part of job readiness activities includes providing clients with the skills they need to successfully interview for employment. We’ve covered this topic before (10 Interview Preparation Best Practices), but when we saw the infographic below, it just seemed too good to keep to ourselves.

To summarize, there are 5 things that you can help clients do to prepare for interviews:

  1. Get Organized – help clients plan routes and be sure they know to arrive 15 minutes early.
  2. Make a Good First Impression – be sure clients dress appropriately and smile.
  3. Demonstrate Energy and Enthusiasm – this includes making eye contact and having confidence.
  4. Research – both the company and the role.
  5. Demonstrate Attitude and Aptitude – help clients practice those infamous behavioral interview questions (check out Interview Behavior Videos to see more on this topic).

For more details and some fun facts, check out the infographic below.

Interview Preparation Infographic

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

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Job Interviews 101: Basic Components and Key Skills for All Clients

Preparing for Job Interview: Calendar and PlanThrowback Thursday: a classic Higher blog post about a fundamental of our work.

How many times have you helped clients land a job interview only to have them freeze and lose out on a job they would have rocked? There can never be too much interview preparation – for general skill building and specifically for a targeted position.

Job readiness training or other group classes can help convey the basics, but it takes repetition and individual practice to gain confidence in interviewing.  Even when you have the inside track based on employer relationships, poor interview skills can still cost clients jobs.

Most job interviews include three basic parts: 1) Establishing a Positive First Impression; 2) Demonstrating a Good Fit; and 3) Confirming Interest in the Position.  Keep this three-part framework in mind to help clients synthesize information from different sources (e.g. job readiness classes, one-on-one interview prep and real interview experience) and deepen their skills over time.

1.   Establishing a Positive First Impressions:  Confident Greetings and Introduction

For clients with very low English language skills, first impressions are especially important. Building their confidence is the key to helping all clients demonstrate their language skills English by introducing themselves (Hello, my name is…) with a great smile, firm handshake and good eye contact.  Appropriate attire, interview etiquette, posture and personal hygiene are also important parts of this basic preparation to succeed in interviews and the U.S. workforce in general.

2.   Demonstrating a Good Fit:  Learning about the Job and Talking about Yourself

After greetings, interviews can include questions, a tour of the facilities or explanations about the nature of the position and company.  You can help clients prepare to experience different approaches and understand that the purpose is the same – to see if they will be a good fit for the job.

Clients  are seldom comfortable with self-promotion, which can feel like boasting or bragging in the context of their home cultures.   Explain that employers look for qualities and characteristics as much as concrete skills and experience.

They may hear different questions, but their answers should emphasize the qualities and characteristics they offer, including relevant skills and experience.  Clients need to be able to convey a positive attitude and energy that shows why they will be a good employee.

Interview practice questions may include:

  • Why should I hire you (and not someone else) for this position?
  • Why do you want to work for our company?
  • What makes you the best person for this job?
  • What motivated you to apply for this position?

Some typical qualities employers look for include dependable, reliable, on-time, friendly or other customer service traits.

3.   Confirming Interest in the Position:  Asking Questions and Confirming Next Steps

Job interviews usually end with the opportunity for the candidate to ask a question. Not doing so can cost your client the job. Explaining the importance of taking the chance to demonstrate interest in the job, company or some aspect of the opportunity is the best lead in to practicing possible questions.

It’s also important to outline what questions they should NOT ask.  For example, emphasizing break and lunch times and compensation can create the impression that a candidate will not be a “good worker”.  Other questions that express worry about how to find the right bus stop or getting to work on time are better addressed outside of the interview.  Everyone wants to know if they got the job, but it’s helpful to explain that asking about “next steps in the process” is a more acceptable way to ask that question.

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Your Top 10 Interview Prep Best Practices

10 Interview Preparation Best Practices10 Interview Preparation Best Practices is a visual collection of your tips, tricks, and best practices for providing clients with the skills they need to successfully interview for employment.

This is the second of five resource sheets from speed dating”, where 120 refugee employment service providers at our Second Annual Refugee Employment  split into small groups and spent 10 minutes discussing each of five topics.

Be sure to download the complete set of notes here. There’s so much great information it was hard to know where to start!

Looking for more interview preparation resources? Through Higher’s Online Learning Institute, we offer several free eLearning modules that you and your clients can access. Consider showing one in job readiness class or one-on-one with clients. Interview Behavior Videos or How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions are great resources to check out.

We have several other resources in the works, so be sure to check back often. As always, please let us know your ideas for other resources to make your jobs easier.

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Tips for Working in the U.S. – Video

Check out advice for refugees from 28 of your peers who attended Higher’s Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop in Omaha last week.

Let us know what you think and if there’s anything we can do to make it more useful for you and your clients.  Please feel free to share with your clients, colleagues and personal networks!
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Looking for Arabic Language Job Readiness Resources?



In case you didn’t know, YOU are our greatest resource! After receiving several requests for Arabic language resources, we put out a call for resources earlier this month, and sure enough, our network responded.

Our friends Ali Abid and Brittani Mcleod from Catholic Community Services of Utah submitted a helpful English/Arabic version of the Walmart job interview, and Carol Tucker from Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska provided us with several other Arabic/English Job Readiness materials.

Visit our Downloadable Resources section to check out these great resources! You may also want to check out a post we published in 2014 that links to picture vocabulary guides in several languages, including Arabic.

As we continue to serve Iraqi refugees and SIV recipients and anticipate increasing numbers of Syrian arrivals, these resources will continue to be a “must have” for your Cultural Orientation and Job Readiness tool box. If you have other Arabic language resources that you would like to share please email us at

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Arabic Language Job Readiness Resources

Here is a list of helpful Job Readiness Resources in Arabic that we have collected from our network:

Many thanks to Ali Abid and Brittani Mcleod at Catholic Community Services of Utah and Carol Tucker at Lutheran Family Services, Nebraska. If you have other Arabic language resources that you would like to share please email us at

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Behavioral Interview Questions: Examples from Target Interviews

targetTarget jobs are hard to get.  Their rigorous interview process is one reason.  Click here for 12 actual behavioral interview questions asked in Target job interviews.

Higher’s free eLearning course How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions has proven effective in helping clients understand these common questions and learn how to craft their own answers.

Want to help your clients ace behavioral interview questions and be better prepared to interview successfully?  Here are three ways:

Our flyer will look great in your lobby!

Our flyer will look great in your lobby!

1.  Offer flyers in your office with easy, free client access to all of Higher elearning courses for refugees.  We’ll send you the flyers with an easy 3 step process clients can navigate on their own.  Email and we’ll do the rest!

2.  Assign the training to clients as part of group job interview preparation.  This is especially helpful when you know the employer will ask a behavioral interview question.  You can ask volunteers to help or make course completion a prerequisite for preparation sessions.

3.  Check out our Intro to eLearning course to see how others are using our courses in their workClick here to go right to that course.  It’ll only take you 10 minutes.

You can still get your own free username and password for Higher’s Online Learning Institute that houses 9 eLearning courses and companion resources.  Click here to sign up.

What?  Limited internet access?  Addresssing barriers is our expertise, right?  Higher can send you a thumb drive or CD-Rom with all of the courses available off-line.  Ask us how.


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How Employers Prepare for Job Interviews

STAR snipClick here to read advice from Harvard to employers preparing to conduct job interviews. You’ll recognize several topics you cover in client interview preparations.

Understanding the employer perspective on interview questions, structure and panel interviews is especially helpful.

For example, the article recommends that employers ask behavioral interview questions to help gauge how candidates will actually do the job.

We have an elearning training course for that!

How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions helps clients understand exactly how to answer them using the STAR Method. Here’s a past blog post with more details. Or, visit our homepage, get your own free username/password and check out Higher’s Online Learning Institute for yourself. Almost 1,200 of your peers are already using our courses.  Join them!



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Self Disclosure: What, When and How?

self disclosureEmployment case management (one-on-one work with your clients) is about them, not you. Keeping the focus on what they need in order to find and keep a job is a basic of our work.

That often means deflecting personal questions firmly and politely.  Causing embarrassment or hurt feelings might prevent the client from getting the full benefit of your services. My standard response is always a variation of this statement:

You are ______ (fill in a positive quality here) and will easily find many _____ (friends, girlfriends, co-signers) here. You only have one Employment Specialist – me.  Your friends/girlfriends/co-signers can’t always give you honest advice that is not influenced by their feelings for you. My job is to help you find a job and achieve success.  I can do that better if we keep a professional relationship so that my feelings don’t prevent me from giving you the best advice.  Also, this is a policy of my agency and I can lose my job if I don’t follow the rules.

Self Disclosure vs Professional Boundaries

There are times when “self-disclosure” or sharing some personal information can be helpful, though.Self disclosure 1 Sharing a story about your own experience can help clients relate to you or better understand a point you are trying to make. Here are a couple of examples:

“My first job was frying taco shells at Taco Inn for minimum wage. In the summer it was so hot that I fainted once and the uniform was really ugly and uncomfortable, especially the no-slip work shoes.”  Clients always laughed, but the story helped them see that taking a starter job is very common for all U.S. workers.

“Even after a great job interview, I was really disappointed when I didn’t get the job.  They told me it was because I didn’t ask them any questions so they thought I wasn’t really interested in their company.” Sharing this story in job readiness class helped clients understand why we were spending so much time practicing questions to ask in English in their own job interviews.

How to Decide if Self-Disclosure is The Right Approach
self disclosure2

See the original source of these helpful slides at self_disclosure_powerpoint_ppt_presentation

Here’s a test to help you decide when to use self-disclosure in client job readiness preparation.  Ask yourself this question.  “Is this story beneficial for the client, or my own ego?” If talking about yourself is better for you than the client, don’t do it.

Share examples of how you use self-disclosure to help your clients succeed at

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