59. Describe the most significant or creative presentation that you have had to complete.
Also, remember the S-A-R (situation-action-result) technique and see a sample S-A-R story.
Effective technique for preparing interview responses
Looking for a relatively painless way to prep effectively for a job interview? Try composing written responses to questions typically asked in job interviews. Based on our research, personal experience, and anecdotal evidence from the college students we have taught, we are convinced that preparing written responses to job-interview questions will:
- increase the interviewee’s level of confidence in responding to questions;
- show evidence of preparedness by providing thoughtful, non-rambling responses;
- increase the level of relevance by specifically addressing the questions;
- provide more detail and thoroughness in responding to questions;
- allow the interviewee to focus more on response delivery in the interview setting.
A number of years ago, we discovered that preparing written answers to job-interview questions helped us perform better in job interviews. That discovery prompted us to assign our students to compose responses to frequently asked interview questions. Because this assignment frequently has seemed to enhance performance both in mock interviews and actual job interviews, we turned to two disparate areas of research to understand why the technique was effective. We concluded that the phenomenon is closely related to Writing to Learn theory.
Research by Perry and Goldberg in 1998 suggested that interview preparation is important because their study showed that when recruiters were asked about college students they interviewed, interviewing skills surpassed the students’ background or experience in recruiter assessments of the likelihood that their companies would consider hiring a given student. We can then speculate that students (and other job candidates) who have better interview skills than others may have dedicated more effort to interview preparation than others.
Most career experts agree that few interviewees prepare adequately for interviews. In 1995, Barone and Switzer went so far as to note that, while college students spend in excess of 4,000 hours studying and attending class to prepare for their career, the average interviewee spends less than an hour preparing for a job interview. These experts also agree on the reason for the lack of preparation — job-seekers have no idea what questions will be asked in interviews, so they assume there is no way to prepare. Finally, career authors agree that this typical job-seeker rationale for lack of preparation is faulty because interview questions — or at least general areas of interview questions — actually can be predicted to some degree, and lists of frequently asked interview questions are available in any number of books, articles, and on numerous Web sites. [See our Interview Question Database and lists of interview questions.]