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14 Undeniable Lessons About Friendship From Saturday Night Live

14 Undeniable Lessons About Friendship From Saturday Night Live

A truly iconic tv show, Saturday Night Live has been on the air for an incredible 40 seasons. Starting in 1975, this sketch show has always strived to bring the spirit of New York comedy to the world. Not only becoming one of the longest running shows on television, Saturday Night Live has also launched some incredible careers. Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Tina Fey, Julia Louise-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler all found their start on this innovative show, but the magic of SNL reaches even farther than that. Over several decades, SNL has made us laugh and even taught us a few things about life. Since Saturday Night Live players are famous for collaborating together throughout their careers, SNL has particularly strong things to say about the enduring bond of friendship.

1. Fight Through Breaks

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    Everyone experiences times when they struggle to connect with their friends, or have to work through disagreements. In comedy, “breaking” means laughing in the middle of a sketch. Appropriately enough, a performance has to move on, so cast members must fight through the break. Just like real life, our friendships are more important than little bumps in the road, and it’s important to keep going.

    2. It’s Ok To Be Up Front

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      The truest friends will accept you exactly as you are – though that might not mean a speedo to the office.

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      3. Share The Stage

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        Big names and new talents tend to collide on Saturday Night Live, yet the show consistently retains it’s ensemble feel. Much like relationships, if one person is always the centre of attention, the group will be less effective. A strong reminder for all of us to make our friends feel included.

        4. It’s Ok To Be Weird

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          Weirdness is a constant occurrence on Saturday Night Live. Similarly, some of our best friends come from people we first judged to be a little bizarre. A solid reminder that eccentricities shouldn’t stand in your way when getting to know a new friend.

          5. Laugh At Yourself

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            After Saturday Night Live cast members leave the show, many find success in Hollywood. So many cast members making the switch to the West coast led to the rise of The Californians segment. A biting satire of self obsession in the golden state, this recurring segment reminds us that friendships function best when you stay down to earth.

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            6. Stand By Each Other

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              For a show that’s employed so many comedians, impressively few have been rumored to hate each other. With so many strong personalities, this show truly speaks to appreciating everyone for who they are.

              7. Unexpected Situations Bring The Best Rewards

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                Originally brought on to SNL as a writer, Tina Fey didn’t like being on camera, and stuck to background roles in sketches. One year, when the show couldn’t find a cohost they liked for the Weekend Update segment, the show’s producer asked Tina to audition. From there, she became a mainstay on the show. Audiences will remember her spot on imitation of Sarah Palin, but that too is another situation Tina Fey originally shied away from. Days before the first Sarah Palin sketch, Tina’s child mistook the real Sarah Palin on TV for Tina Fey, convincing Tina she could accurately portray the politician. Two career changing decisions that were completely unexpected, show us that our chance meetings can indeed become important friends.

                8. Embrace Creativity

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                  SNL is consistently original, quirky and creative. A winning recipe for success, friendships too are an important place where we should be creative. Gift giving, weekend plans and random outings are all most enjoyable for everyone when you’re not afraid to get a little wacky.

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                  9. Be Welcoming

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                    Saturday Night Live brings in new cast members nearly every season, yet newcomers often rise quickly to the top. Just like SNL, being welcoming with your friends and acquaintances will lead you to better, more developed relationships.

                    10. Love Your Found Family

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                      Bringing in so many different talents from around the country undoubtedly presents challenges for SNL’s production staff. Despite this, cast members regularly give a strong impression of working as one. Being open to new people and fully embracing your friendships is crucial to feeling supported in life. Loving your friends, and treating everyone as family, is another powerful lesson from Saturday Night Live.

                      11. Never Rule Out The Little Guy

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                        Many SNL sketches’ biggest laughs come from cast members who may not be stars of their season. Just like overlooked cast members bringing unforgettable performances to the table, our less outgoing friends deserve just as much attention and care as everyone else in our lives.

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                        12. New Friends Are Important

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                          Over and over again, the funniest cast members are untested talents. New members of this show have a lot to offer, as do new acquaintances and friends. You never know who will be your closest friends in the future.

                          13. Encourage Each Other

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                            Beloved comedy duos frequently rise to the top of audience’s hearts on Saturday Night Live. From Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Will Ferrel and Kathryn Hahn, our favourite moments often come from two cast members working together. Don’t forget to encourage your friends and work together – sometimes two heads really are better than one.

                            14. Don’t Be Afraid To Look Stupid

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                              Just like embracing odd characters, we shouldn’t be afraid of being our truest, most stupid selves with our friends. Comedy often requires an actor or actress willing to look silly, but can produce a spectacular moment. Be brave enough to be kooky with your friends, even if you sometimes look a little dumb.

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                              Alicia Prince

                              A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                              Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                              7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                              7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                              Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                              For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                              Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                              1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                              A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                              It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                              It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                              How it helps you:

                              If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                              Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                              2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                              Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                              Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                              How it helps you:

                              Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                              Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                              If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                              Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                              3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                              Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                              Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                              How it helps you:

                              This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                              For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                              Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                              A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                              4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                              To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                              A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                              How it helps you:

                              One word: hierarchy.

                              All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                              In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                              If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                              5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                              Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                              Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                              How it helps you:

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                              Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                              If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                              This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                              6. What do you like about working here?

                              This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                              Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                              How it helps you:

                              You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                              Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                              Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                              7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                              What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                              As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                              How it helps you:

                              What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                              First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                              Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                              Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                              Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                              Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                              Making Your Interview Work for You

                              Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                              Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                              More Resources About Job Interviews

                              Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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