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Interviewing For Success
Interviewing For Success
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Interview skills

  1. 1. Interview Skills How to Improve your Performance During Interviews
  2. 2. How to Perform Well During an Interview What’s an interview?  A conversation between you and a prospective school or employer  An opportunity for you to answer (and ask) questions  An opportunity for you to evaluate a future school or job What’s the purpose of the interview?  Characteristics and qualities  How you express yourself  Your motivation, interests and enthusiasm
  3. 3. Interviews: The First Thing to Learn There aren't any right or wrong answers to interview questions The WAY you present yourself is AS IMPORTANT as what you say Relax. Be yourself. Be as natural as possible.
  4. 4. Preparation is the First Step Study and prepare  You DO need to prepare for an interview if you want to perform well  There is USUALLY a direct correlation between how well you perform and how well you have prepared for the interview Take the time to research  The better you understand what you’re facing, the more effective you will be in answering their questions  The research process alone can often help you decide if there could be a good match between your skills/characteristics and the program/job
  5. 5. What Information is Useful? Internet research is very useful in gathering information about the school, program, job position or company  How large or small is the organization?  How long has it been in business?  What products/services/programs does it offer?  What reputation does it have in the market?  Has it been in the news in the recent past? Why?  How does it present itself on its website?  What are the values / what is the mission?
  6. 6. What Techniques are Useful? First understand WHO you’ll be interviewing with… then work on HOW you will approach interview  Read the program description carefully  Read your application form and personal statement carefully  Try to ANTICIPATE which questions the interviewer may ask.  Think about HOW you will answer difficult questions – from why you scored low on an exam to your weaknesses (more on this later)  Identify which parts of your character you want to emphasize  Think about how you want the interviewer to describe you to his/her boss after the interview
  7. 7. So What Kind of Questions WILL They Ask? Standard interview questions  Tell me about yourself  How would your professors describe you  What are your greatest strengths / What are your greatest weaknesses  What do you know about our program/job  How do you think you would fit in our organization  Why do think you would succeed in our organization
  8. 8. So What Kind of Questions WILL They Ask? Some of these questions can be difficult to answer  Tell me about yourself  Why should we let you into our program?  How has your education prepared you for this program?  Have you ever had a conflict with one of your professors? How was it resolved?  What characteristics should a successful student have?  How smart are you?
  9. 9. Interviews: The Second Thing to Learn Remember that there aren't any right or wrong answers to interview questions The WAY you answer is AS IMPORTANT as what you say If you can’t answer a question, you can always address the question and try to move the interview to another question  “I’m not sure how my professors would describe me, but I would hope that they have seen my commitment to my studies and my interest in XYZ
  10. 10. How Do You Answer The Questions Tell me about yourself?  Describe your characteristics and interests  Talk about your goals  Don’t expand too much or talk too long  What are your greatest weaknesses?  “I’m perfect” is not the answer they’re looking for  BEFORE the interview, identify parts of your character that could be considered weaknesses AND identify how they can ALSO be strengths
  11. 11. Let’s Practice Tell me about yourself?  What are your greatest weaknesses? Write 5 things for each question that can form your answer From these 5 bullet points/things, create complete sentences as if you were verbally answering the question Pick one of the two questions Take the sentences you wrote and put them together to create a complete answer
  12. 12. Let’s Practice Read your answer as if you were speaking it during an interview  Does it convince you?  Will it convince the interviewer?  Does it convey everything you would want to say?  Why or why not? This is the SAME TECNIQUE that you should use for the questions you feel are most likely going to be asked
  13. 13. Interview Skills How Language and Presentation Play a Role in your Interview
  14. 14. Language is Important: Word Choice Translating words from Italian to English does not always work It is more important to translate CONCEPTS than the words themselves Volontà  I was committed to a long term project Realizzare  I was able to successfully complete the project Fattivo  I contributed with a proactive approach to my studies
  15. 15. Language is Important: Choose the Right Words Understand the context of the sentence Identify translation options Back-translate as needed Eliminate impossibilities Use thesaurus to explore the specific uses of the word Try to detect emotional connotations “Google” it
  16. 16. Language is Important: An Example Underline Sottolineare, evidenziare Emphasize Dare importanza to ~ the importance of sth. sottolineare l’importanza di qcs. (stress vocally) pronunciare con enfasi, enfatizzare (highlight) mettere in evidenza [eyes etc.].
  17. 17. Language is Important: An Example Underline  Definition: emphasize; mark  Synonyms: accentuate, bracket, call attention to, caption, check off, draw attention to, feature, give emphasis, highlight, indicate, interlineate, italicize, play up, point to, point up, rule, stress, underscore  Emphasize  Definition: stress, give priority to  Synonyms: accent, accentuate, affirm, articulate, assert, headline, highlight, impress, indicate, insist on, italicize, make a point, make clear, make emphatic, make much of, mark, pinpoint, play up, point out, press, pronounce, punctuate, put accent on, reiterate, repeat, rub in, spotlight, underline, underscore
  18. 18. Language is Important: An Example How to choose the right word?  Create your sentence using each of the two words  Does one of the two sound better to you?  Is one of the two more natural for you to say?  Backtranslate your sentence to see if it still conveys your meaning  Google the sentence to see how others have used it  In the end, there may be very little difference between the words
  19. 19. Language is Important: Final Thoughts What to focus on  Mother Language flow /fluency  Common sense  Creativity What to avoid  Italian that is “Englishized”  Highly informal language / slang
  20. 20. Interview Skills and Marketing Yes, Marketing  Simply put, an interview is a chance for us to MARKET ourselves So what is Marketing?  Strategy and actions intended to create an implied “need” for a product or service  The “insieme” of how you present yourself that is purposely planned to create the best impression possible for your future school / employer  How you dress, how you speak, how you move, how you react to questions – all of this comes together as part of YOUR PERFORMANCE
  21. 21. Marketing: The Hierarchy-of-Effects Model The hierarchy-of-effects model outlines sequential short-term, intermediate, & long-term promotional goals for a firm to pursue— and works in conjunction with the consumer’s decision process. Adapted from Evans & Berman - Chapter 1 Provide information Develop positive attitudes and feelings Stimulate purchase and retain desires
  22. 22. Hierarchy-of-Effects: Provide Information Provide information  Share information about yourself and your goals  Show your character and your assets In this way, you can help persuade the interviewer and remind him/her why they requested an interview Adapted from Evans & Berman - Chapter 1 Provide information1.
  23. 23. Hierarchy-of-Effects: Develop Positive Feedback Develop positive attitudes and feelings  Utilize the Interview to create a positive exchange with the interviewer  By obtaining a favorable impression, you help differentiate yourself from the competition Adapted from Evans & Berman - Chapter 1 Develop positive attitudes and feelings2.
  24. 24. Hierarchy-of-Effects: Stimulate Purchase Clearly the Hierarch of Effects model is designed for goods / services Yet the concept of “stimulating purchase” can be applied to your interview process Everything you do aims to stimulate a “YES” decision from the interviewer The “purchase” becomes your offer letter Adapted from Evans & Berman - Chapter 1 Stimulate purchase and retain desires 3.
  25. 25. Practice Makes Perfect Practice - there is no other way to improve your interview skills  Practice interviews can be done with friends, family or sometimes with the school  They can be done alone using flash cards – especially if you record your answers  Another way to practice is to apply to interview for a school/job that is not your top pick – it becomes a no risk situation Practice helps you prepare for the “REAL” interview Practice can help you learn how to avoid getting nervous and making common mistakes It can help you learn to create a good first impression You can practice marketing yourself You may be able to understand how your answers are perceived You can learn what works and what doesn’t
  26. 26. Don’t Forget About Online Resources https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/interviews/college-interviews-practice- questions-and-strategies http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/interviews/commonquestions.htm http://cben.rice.edu/uploadedFiles/Education/Helpful%20Interview%20Tips.pdf http://sharonsprings.org/wp- content/uploads/2014/01/CollegeInterviewQuestions.pdf Just to give you an idea…..
  27. 27. Putting Yourself to the Test I want each of you to write down an interview question that you feel a school may ask during an admissions interview Then think about how you would answer the question and write it down Write your question and your name on a piece of paper and pass it me I will then randomly “interview” each of you  The objective is to help you practice  NOT to put you in difficulty

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