If you knew you had a test coming up, would you study until you felt confident you could pass or would you only spend a few minutes going over vague notes? A job interview is similar to a test in that it requires adequate preparation in order to succeed. There are numerous resources available to help you prepare, and you can even learn about common interview questions that are asked so that you can formulate responses beforehand. Research has found that writing down answers to interview inquiries helps applicants:
- Increase relevancy of answers
- Be more thorough in their responses
- Increase their confidence
- Avoid rambling answers
Actually writing down a response has proven to be a much more effective way of answering interview questions, so if you are not already adequately preparing for your job interviews, this is a very useful habit to start.
Prepping for the Interview
Your resume and work experience are important in getting a new job, but many hiring managers consider the interview to be far more significant in determining if someone is a good fit for the company. Although you should not necessarily memorize every single response to every single question that could possibly be asked, you should have an idea of how to talk about yourself in a way that is informative and relevant. It is impossible to know precisely which questions are going to be asked in any given interview, there are still good ways to prepare.
Every interview is going to be slightly different, but every hiring manager is ultimately looking for the same thing: what do you have to offer to the business? Therefore, knowing the kinds of questions that are likely to be asked can be much more beneficial than learning certain questions word-for-word. For example, you can try writing a short autobiography about yourself that discusses your educational and work experience and how you have come to where you are today. You will most likely be told to talk about yourself a little bit, so this exercise is a great way to find areas of your life that would interest a hiring manager.
You should also find accomplishments you have achieved in your professional or personal life that would help with this job. By understanding significant accomplishments, you can identify what skills you possess that helped you achieve those goals. Then when you are asked anything about the characteristics you possess or what you have learned from past jobs, you have something ready regardless of the precise wording of the question.
Why is Writing Important?
The most significant thing to take away from all this is that you need to actually write down your sample responses instead of simply thinking about them. Physically writing something down has been proven to be much more beneficial in actually retaining information instead of just thinking to yourself what would be good to say. This is due to the fact that writing is a physical activity that requires inherent reinforcement due to the relationship between your hand, eyes and brain during the activity. Writing requires you to engage in the analysis and synthesis processes, so you are not just passively mulling over answers.
By having prepared responses written down, you will have an improved self-image, better communication skills during the actual interview and increased cognitive capabilities. It will be much easier for you to organize your thoughts since it will be much simpler for you to mentally go over your notes and find the best information for the question being presented. There is also a lot to say about the improved confidence that comes with having prepared responses. Instead of focusing on the content of what you are saying, you can focus on other aspects of the interview process such as maintaining eye contact and exuding positivity.
It is entirely possible for a hiring manager to throw you a total curveball, and if a question comes up you do not have an answer ready for, it is okay to take a few seconds to mull over your response. However, for the most part, interviewers want to see that you know what qualities you possess that make you stand apart from other candidates. You need to be able to effectively talk about yourself, and writing down sample answers is a great way to accomplish that.