Interview Skills

Learning Outcome

  • Prepare evidence to enhance employability (interviews)

Background

The interview is often the final step in the recruitment process and the final hurdle that students face in order to secure employment, WIL and further study opportunities.  Success at interviews requires high level communication skills and requires students to:

  • Research the role and the organisation
  • Identify the selection criteria being required by the employer
  • Reflect on their skills, education, experience, aptitudes, values and interests in relation to the criteria required in a role
  • Prepare for the interview (responses, portfolio/evidence)
  • Articulate and communicate clearly how they meet the selection criteria and provide examples to support their claims

This topic will focus on the areas of interview preparation and performance. Consideration should be given to where in a program this topic is best covered. It is recommended that interview related activities be run the semester prior to peak recruitment periods for graduates WIL placements etc.

Students need to be aware of the different questions they may encounter at a job interview:

  • Introductory questions. Example: “Tell me about yourself”
  • Behavioural questions. Example: “Give me an example of when you have worked effectively in a team”, “Tell me about a time when you have had to explain a difficult concept to someone who has no knowledge of the topic”
  • Motivational questions. Example: “What about this job interests you?”  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
  • Organisational awareness questions. Example: “What do you think the challenges for this organisation might be in the future?” “Describe our organisation and what you think makes it unique”
  • Self-Awareness questions. Example: “How do you think your values align with our corporate values?”  What skills do you have that you think would be of benefit in this role?”
  • Technical questions: these will vary depending on the industry/professional area
  • Hypothetical/Scenarios. Example: “What would you do if your supervisor asked you to do something that you felt was unethical?”, “You are given a deadline for an important task that you know you are unable to meet.  What would you do?”

Activities and discussion

To maximise available class-time it is suggested that this topic be delivered in flipped classroom mode where class-time is spent in activities that allow students to practise and refine their interview skills and receive feedback.  

Activity Options:

Option 1. Interview Triads with Peer Feedback.  This exercise can be useful for large student cohorts where conducting an individual interview is prohibitive

  • Pre-class – Provide students with access to interview resources.  A number of resources are listed under the Resources area of this teaching tool but you may have other resources specific to your industry area.  Provide a list of possible interview questions relevant to the industry area to be used in this activity. Include enough questions so that students can select different questions for each rotation in this activity. Consideration should be given to the inclusion of a range of interview question types.
  • In-class – Introduction – Students should be given the opportunity to ask questions to clarify any issues raised through the pre-class activity.  Students should also be briefed around providing constructive feedback to peers.

Have students form groups of 3.  Students will rotate between the roles of interviewee, interviewer and observer and should be provided with group instructions for this activity detailing these roles.  A mock interview is conducted within an allocated time with time allowed for self-evaluation by the interviewee and peer evaluation by the interviewer and observer. 

  • Assessment – self and peer evaluations are submitted for assessment 

Option 2.  Panel Interview – suited to smaller student cohorts

  • Pre-class – Provide students with access to interview resources.  A number of resources are listed under the Resources area of this teaching tool but you may have other resources specific to your industry area. Provide a list of possible interview questions relevant to the industry area. Include at least one of each an introductory (Tell me about yourself.), motivational interview question and a behavioural interview question. Alternatively, students could be given a job advertisement/position description as the basis for the mock interview. Students should be scheduled to attend an individual panel interview
  • Panel – A panel should be convened to conduct mock interviews for individual students.  As well as an academic staff member consideration could be given to the inclusion of an industry representative(s), past students, WIL support staff, students at higher year levels.
  • Assessment – Panel assessment using assessment rubric

Option 3.  Interview Stream – this could be done entirely external to the classroom

  • Interview stream is an online video tool that allows academic staff to set assignments and allows students to record and submit videos for assessment.  This resource is currently being trialled with one program and updated information will be available here when it is available for broader use.

Further Resources

Mode

Face-to-face, mode or flipped classroom

Time

Up to 1 hour depending on the activity option used.

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