Grading feedback

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Blog Post

Interesting insights / observations - but your blog posts are way too short - the requirement was for 250-300 words for each posting. As an employer, this would definitely cause me concern because you are not properly following directions, and I would wonder how how / if that would affect your job performance, your work ethic and impact on your peers (i.e., if your example of not following directions) - how that would affect their performance. You have to be careful to give the correct impression - throughout all of the activities connected to the interview process and into the job itself.

Reevaluate Grade

Thank you for writing.

I use the Rubric to evaluate grades - providing a value for each requirement and then culminating in a Final Grade. Points are awarded or deducted for timeliness as well. When I grade assignments, I take special care - and for the first pass, I consider myself to be fair and generous - giving the student the benefit of the doubt. I also make notes of the high points and low points of the Assignment.

If you want me to review your Assignment, then I will ask you to provide the Grade you you deserve - and also the breakdown of points for each of the sections in the Rubric culminating in the final grade.

I will review your Assignment again in a very thorough and detailed manner - and we can arrange a time to speak about it. Remember, because of this detailed review, you run the risk of your Grade being lower - please advise.

Video Interview 1 - Instructions & Grade

I get that you are CONFIDENT in your abilities - you just have to provide EVIDENCE of your accomplishments - CAR Stories.

Also, you have to show an interest in the employer, not just outlining your skills. Choose a part of the organization that you're interested in, or a problem they are trying to solve - show that you want to be part of that effort.

Also - it really looks like you are READING your remarks, not talking to the person. So, it doesn't feel right. Most of your competition will be able to read. Rise above them - and do it naturally.

Grade B: - It could easily be an A - but you will have to work harder for it, and rehearse more.

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Tip: Consider changing language requirement


I want to see your proficiency, confidence, poise and competence in your native language - particularly if you plan to work in Chinese.

Then, I can make an accurate assessment of your skills - and you will likely get a better grade.

Make the video 1-1:30 minutes - and post to YouTube, and send me the link directly. Do this before Saturday, please.

Tell Me About Yourself

Establish Credibility

  • You goal is to establish credibility.
  • To come across as "human, authentic and believable"
  • To make sure the interviewer stays present - not go to the back of his / her head - and think "this doesn't add up". Because if s/he goes there, s/he is in their head and NOT listening to you!
  • Talk "to" the person (bullet points, natural), NOT "at" them (memorizing, reading)


The content was very good and informative.

  • talk about the employer and the job / role you want to do;
  • do some research, and reflect that in your remarks

Skills Mastery - It's a Process

  • When you learn a new skill / first time, everything seems awkward (i.e., you don't like how you look, feel, sound - and many things come out without polish).
  • The first step, is to create a script / use a template - for the words you want to use - and because, you're uncomfortable using it for the first time.
  • Then, when you actually use the script - whether reading or memorizing it - it comes out as awkward too (because it isn't the comfortable you), and it comes across as wooden, robotic and unnatural - not you! (and, certainly not 'human')
    • BUT, an interesting thing is happening - it's getting into your body - you are EXPERIENCING it, and it's getting into your muscle memory.
    • The more you PRACTICE, the BETTER YOU WILL BECOME...
    • And, OVER TIME, you will get it - to the point where - if you JOT DOWN 3-4 BULLET POINTS you want to cover in the interview, you will be able to do so, with comfort and ease - and integrate this into your "PERFORMANCE".

Performance & Energy Level + Fast Talking

In many ways, the Interview is about "Performance" - you are preparing to put on a show - and be your authentic self - with the material you have prepared / researched.

When you do the interview, try to start off on a high note - and keep your energy there / up. If you notice it flagging, then stop, breathe - even smile - and restart.

Same goes for, if you talk too fast - take a moment to pause, breathe and restart

Ending the Question on a High Note - Prepared for Another

Also, the end of the interview question, you trailed off. You need to restate your interest in the position, your value add, and excitement for moving forward. Then, you're ready for the next question - and your energy is up, not flat or trailing off.

The Person Interviewing You / Asking the Questions

Once you answer the questions, the interviewer will make note of it - and 99% of the time will not ask a followup question. S/he will record / write down your answer and then ask another behavioral interview question. For you - for this assignment - if you note that you don't use all of the available time, then have your interviewer ask another behavioral question.

Video 2 - The Way It Is, In the Real World

Hi Everyone,More than a few of you have written me,  saying "I'm sorry - I couldn't get the final assignment done properly - in one way or another. Whether it's fumbling with YouTube, submitting properly or not meeting the deadline, it still counts as a FAIL in the real world. No one is going to care about your problems / troubles.In the real world of job applications, most definitely such behavior would be a fail. Employers don't care about "I'm sorry", or, "I couldn't submit it properly" or "it's the technology's fault."

It's about diligence and preparation - and if you can't get the job application / interview process right, then they're thinking in the back of their heads - "How is s/he going to perform on the job? Are they going to be difficult to manage?" To reduce their uncertainty and risk - and they don't have all the time in the world to make exceptions for you, or anyone else, they will just move on. Next!

Excuses are YOUR problem, not the employer's - and unless you're the smartest person on the planet, they will just move on. It is your job to manage EVERY part of the process - with a painstaking attention to detail - to make sure that you cover every base, dot every "i", cross every 't'.

This may seem tough and a pain, but there is always someone better than you, someone who will go the extra mile - and get it right the 1st time - and you / your dream job will soon become a faint memory. Better you experience this from me, in a relatively-safe, class setting, than when you're out there in the real world - and you've got to put food on your table, pay your rent / mortgage, and pay back your student loans!

The purpose of the course is / was to prepare you for what's coming - and to give you an advantage over the competition - which there is a lot of.Alas, I can only teach you the techniques and share my insights (which I use everyday). I can't make you follow what I know to be true - I can only hope for the best, and that some of what I taught you, will sink in, and you will use for the betterment of your working lives, greater compensation and opportunities to make a difference in your quality of life, and the lives of others.

My best for a safe and happy and restful holiday season!- Prof. Fisher

Interview Too Short - Under 5 Minutes

However, the interview is 31 seconds short - you need to really use the time wisely, and advocate for yourself. You need to increase some detail in the CAR stories - like what exactly the challenge was… to paint a picture for the Interviewer - but remember - let them know that you have experience with the nuts and bolts of a technical problem, and then share how you solved the problem - technically AND with communication skills and problem-solving skills.

Areas for Improvement

TMAY is Like A Natural, Authentic and Friendly Conversation

This is a 2-way conversation - so there will be variations in your pitch, tone and pauses - just like natural conversation. Anything more or less comes across as stiff, wooden and monotone, and not authentic - even Arrogant! - i.e., Friends DON'T Talk to each other that way!

TMAY Plants the Seeds / Feeds Into the CAR Stories

By explaining your experience in a given job / role or industry sector, you can set the stage for a CAR Story that will be coming shortly - don't be afraid to add 1-2 sentences of technical detail (but not more!) just to give the interviewer a taste of what is about to come.

Camera Focus / Angle

The camera was slightly out of focus - this may be because it is an older camera or the resolution is poor - 1080 p is the way to go these days. I found it distracting, and it interfered with my ability to truly hear you - food for thought.

Camera angle - too severe, I can see into your nostrils. You need to adjust the height of the camera, or get one that is moveable

Reading Or Memorizing Lines

Reading Lines

I wasn't sure if you were reading or memorizing or searching for your lines - I saw your eyes wandering from side to side - and I did not feel as though you were actually speaking to me - again, distracting.

This resulted in a wooden / monotone delivery.

This will improve with practice. Try using / remember bullet points instead of an entire script. Then, you can easily recall the points you are trying to say. 3-4 bullet points are enough.

Memorizing Your Lines

Memorizing your lines comes across as wooden, stiff and robotic and without variation in pitch & tone (i.e., monotone), over a 1-minute delivery. You have to vary your pitch and delivery, as if you were having a conversation. That is why, memorizing 3-4 bullet points that you want to cover, is better than memorizing an entire script. The performance will come across as more authentic and natural.

Strong Start, Trails Off

This video started off strong, and then lost my interest towards the end. You have to understand that you are Telling Me About Yourself - but it's not just about using "I" statements. It's about imagining that you're having a conversation with the interviewer / listener.

Research What The Company Does

As you seek a role in your profession, research is essential, right? Well then, reflect that, in your understanding of what the company does - and weave that into your intro - right after your name. Hi, I am XXXX, and I am interested in your company and job, because it's a great opportunity for my INSERT YOUR SKILLS. I've done research on your publications on your website, and I really like the detail your analysis you provide customers - printed and then reflected visually. (This tells the interviewer you actually care about the company, and are striving to align yourself with it - in other words, 'a good fit'.

Need to Blink

  • You rarely blink in this video - it seems really like you've memorized your lines and are trying to get through it. It comes across as unnatural and as though you are staring at the camera / interviewer.

Be Specific, Avoid General Words & Phrases

Avoid general words and phrases, when more specific and detailed information will do (i.e., "decent experience" - what does decent mean? Be specific; "critical circumstances - same thing.

Avoid Jargon, Overwhelming Technical Detail

Simplify jargon. Keep Technical info - 1-2 lines - keep it short and don't talk over the Interviewer's head or expertise - you will come across as arrogant and not authentic.

Create a Mental Picture / Image for the Employer

  • You mention that you were with the XXXX, but you did not say what you did. You have to allow the listener / interviewer to form a mental picture in their mind - this is how they remember you. Instead, I am interested in your background, but struggling to know what you did. It's a missed opportunity.

Duration - Too Short / Too Long

  • Video - too short or too long

Drop "I Believe"

  • Just say what you've done, and can do for the Employer

Revisit Alignment

  • Make sure to align your CAR Stories and comments to the actual role - so the Employer can see what you can do for him / her. Gently set the stage for your CAR Stories.

Everyone Likes "Increases in Productivity + Saving Money - in CAR Stories

Be Hungry & Enthusiastic - You Want the Job

Don't Let Your Pride Get in the Way

  • Ask for help when you need it - nothing wrong with that

Close / End Strongly - Make a Case / Advocate for Yourself

  • You have to say why you want the job, and how you will be an great contributor to the team - Make a Case / Advocate to be hired

Change Your Voicemail Message + Make Sure Your Inbox is Available

  • You want to give a good impression to an Employer, so they can get in touch with you

Final Paper Comments


Sometimes there is a delay for when an assignment is submitted via Canvas and when I receive official notification.

Regarding your final paper, I reviewed it in-depth. You did not lose any points because of when it was posted or received.

Your paper was graded on how well you followed the instructions ( in the wiki, its clarity and my evaluation of how well you answered the questions, provided an appropriate level of detail and explained your SMART goals. Your stated objective as a Data Analyst Intern would lead me to believe that you would have a great attention to detail and be able to analyze data - and I did not find that you did this adequately in your paper. You described the organization but did not analyze it. You also appeared to accept the organization at face value - just going to their website - rather than getting insight from people who actually work there (i.e., info interviews). I appreciate your initiative to research via Glassdoor - but as a Data Analyst you have to get info from the source, otherwise the data is not valid or reliable. Furthermore, no SMART goals are identified which contributes to a lower grade.

I wish you well in your job search and hope that you will use the course learning as you progress throughout your career.