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From Interview Gaffes To Facebook’s New Bereavement Policy: April’s Top Leadership Stories

This month’s top stories explore how to avoid silently bungling job interviews, and why Sheryl Sandberg wants to change how companies approach grieving.

From Interview Gaffes To Facebook’s New Bereavement Policy: April’s Top Leadership Stories

This month, we learned how to avoid job interview mistakes before you even open your mouth, why Sheryl Sandberg is trying to make Facebook’s work culture more supportive of grieving, and how the most productive people start and end their workdays.

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These are the stories you loved in Leadership for the month of April:

1. The Surprising Ways You Ruined Your Interview Before You Even Opened Your Mouth

When you go into a job interview, you probably focus on what you’re going to say. This is definitely important, but you also need to make sure that you’re not overlooking the nonverbal stuff. While first impressions might not count for everything, they’re extremely difficult to undo—especially on a job interview.

2. The 7 Questions Recruiters At Companies Like Amazon And Spotify Wish You Would Ask

Job interviews are unpredictable. But often you can count on the hiring manager wrapping up with, “So do you have any questions for us?” What you say from this point on is just as important as the answers you give beforehand. Fast Company spoke to hiring managers at employers like Amazon and Spotify to find which questions they love being asked, and how posing them the right way can show off your skills, personality, and priorities.

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3. Three Habits Of The Best Job Candidates I’ve Ever Interviewed

For many of us, what it takes to excel at job interviews is a bit of a mystery. But an experienced recruiter says that it all comes down to three simple habits that she’s seen time and again among candidates who have passed with flying colors. This month we learned what you can do on your next interview to become the type of candidate hiring managers love.

4. Want To Be Happier And More Successful? Learn To Like Other People

Most self-improvement advice comes down to tips for upgrading some part of ourselves—the focus is on us, and what we need to do. However, research from the University of Georgia hints that there may be an overlooked approach to much the same outcomes: seeing the good in others. This month we explored why the best self-help advice may not have much to do with ourselves at all.

5. I Work At Slack–Here’s How I Use It To Manage My Workday

Many of us probably use Slack and other group chat platforms to message our coworkers, or to make lunch plans with colleagues who sit on the other side of the office. But Slack actually has features that go beyond messaging, including bots that schedule your meetings and order your food for you. One Slack employee shares how he utilizes the app to streamline his workday.

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6. Three Questions I Ask Every Job Candidate To Test Their Soft Skills

Soft skills are difficult to test, especially in the highly ritualistic content of a job interview. How on earth are you supposed to grasp a candidate’s attention to detail, or how quickly they learn just by chatting across a table? One entrepreneur shares the three questions he asks every candidate to screen for those traits—and the answers he’s looking for.

7. How The Most Successful People Start And End Their Workdays

What you do when you first wake up and before you go to bed can impact how productive you’ll be for the hours in between. While no hack and habit is universal, it never hurts to take inspiration from successful leaders and entrepreneurs. From 20-minute morning strolls to reading the New York Times on mobile at bedtime (yes, you read that right), here’s how a few of them rise and shine, then power down.

8. Five Things I’ve Learned As A New Manager At Google

Nine months ago, Amber Yust became a manager for a team of privacy engineers at Google. Like anyone stepping into a new role, there were aspects of her job that she didn’t anticipate. This week she shared how she discovered, among other things, how to be more than just a “crap umbrella” for her direct reports.

9. The Bigger Lesson From Facebook’s New Bereavement Leave Policy

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s life came to a halt after her husband’s unexpected death a during 2015 vacation to Mexico. After a leave of absence, Sandberg went back to work and instituted a policy she hopes will change how companies approach bereavement. This month, we learned why grief counselors believe this will be a long process, but are hopeful that Sandberg is moving the needle in the right direction.

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10. Could Time-Blocking Replace Your To-Do List?

To-do lists frustrate many of us. We start the day with four things to tick off, and by the end of the day we’ve often only accomplished two (and added eight more.) So one writer decided to experiment with an alternative called “time-blocking—here’s how she fared.