The following course in Theories and Techniques of the Interview is provided in its entirety by Atlantic International University's "Open Access Initiative " which strives to make knowledge and education readily available to those seeking advancement regardless of their socio-economic situation, location or other previously limiting factors. The University's Open Courses are free and do not require any purchase or registration, they are open to the public.
The course in Theories and Techniques of the Interview contains the following:
The Administrative Staff may be part of a degree program paying up to three college credits. The lessons of the course can be taken on line Through distance learning. The content and access are open to the public according to the "Open Access" and " Open Access " Atlantic International University initiative. Participants who wish to receive credit and / or term certificate , must register as students.
The cover letter is your first and possibly, only opportunity to engage a prospective employer. It is a key marketing tool to convince the employer to take the time to look at your resume’. Think of it as bait that you are using to hook the reader. Recruiting coordinators are searching for a reason to dismiss your application. Don’t give it to them by writing a cover letter that is rambling and poorly written, or that contains typos or grammatical errors. The primary purpose of your cover letter, when combined with your resume’, is to get an interview. The second purpose is to communicate the intangibles not readily apparent from the factual content of your resume’. It should be written in a tone that is direct, unassuming, and conveys enthusiasm. The difference between your resume and cover letter is that your resume should provide the reader with a better understanding of who you are. Your cover letter should connect the dots for the reader and show how your previous experiences apply to the job for which you are applying.
Lesson 2: How to Begin An Interview
For interviewers, a job candidate might look really great on paper, but at some point you're going to have to talk to him/her to make sure they’re the best possible person to fill your open position. Whether conducted by a panel of hiring managers or in a one-on-one setting, or in a room with a dozen other candidates waiting nearby, the oral interview involves getting the candidate to talk about themselves and to share the experiences that demonstrate if they’re a great fit. How you start the interview will set the tone for the rest of the interview. The basic items that you will need for an interview are a recording device, pen and paper. Also, a quiet setting is essential to the success of your interview. Choose a quiet place that is as free of distractions as possible. Even if you work in a bustling office, find a corner where you'll be less likely to encounter noises or activity that can make it difficult for you and the job candidate to concentrate.
Lesson 3: Prepare Mentally & Physically
In such a tough corporate environment it has become harder than ever before to land that all important interview so when you do, you want to be sure you make no mistakes. The key to being successful at anything in life is to put in the effort and hard work. If you haven’t prepared yourself properly for an interview, then any experienced interviewer will catch you out sooner rather than later. However, there are a number of ways to make sure that you are properly geared up for that all important interview. It is important to get yourself in the right frame of mind. You want to be in the best possible shape when you arrive for an interview. A positive mental attitude is the key so think back to any previous successes you have had, in any walk of life but particularly job related. Visualizing these will automatically put you in a good frame of mind. Also, make sure you know exactly where you are going when you set out and that you leave yourself plenty of time when you get there. Turning up late or flustered puts you in a slightly panicky mindset and this is the last thing you want.
Lesson 4: Background Research
A job interview is a type of employment test that involves a conversation between a job applicant and representative of the employing organization. Interviews are one of the most popularly used devices for employee selection. Interviews vary in the extent to which the questions are structured, from totally unstructured and free-wheeling conversation, to a set list of questions each applicant is asked. Research has shown that structured interviews are more valid than unstructured, that is, they are more accurate in predicting which applicants will make good employees. First impressions can play a major role in how an employer perceives you as a candidate. What you say during the first phase of the interview may make a big difference in the outcome, in a good way or in a bad way. In fact, some hiring managers may make a decision to reject a candidate based on what they didn't do when they met them.
Lesson 5: Closing the Interview for Interviewees
Don’t leave a job interview wondering where you stand with the hiring manager. There are techniques you can use to professionally close an interview so the hiring manager will know that you want the job, and so you’ll be able to leave knowing the next steps in the hiring process. A job seeker’s goal is to sell herself/himself to the hiring manager and to evaluate if the position will be a good two-way fit. But don’t forget if you decide during the interview that you want the job, then you should also try to discover where you stand with the hiring manager and find out the next steps in the hiring process. There always seems to be a big debate on whether or not a candidate should try to “close the sale” at the end of a job interview. The answer is yes, but you need to close the interview with class. Professionalism is of the utmost importance and the preference is to take an open, honest approach at the end of a job interview.
Lesson 6: The Reality of Rejection
Every job seeker, no matter how talented and experienced, has received at least one dreaded rejection letter in his or her career. And, no matter how talented and experienced the job seeker, rejection always brings up deep seated insecurities and that inevitable question: "Why?" Even though it is a drag to be rejected by a potential employer, the key to landing a job is not to dwell on missed opportunities and just keep focusing on possibilities.
If you don't have a job and are getting rejection letters after interviewing, the process can be both scary and depressing. Do not let yourself get so down on yourself or depressed that your interview skills suffer. Each job interview has to be a whole new world of positive thinking. Don't reflect on past losses, failures, or rejections when preparing for an interview. Prepare and put a positive spin on everything that you discuss with your interviewers. Positive thinking will get you far in interviews. After each interview sit down and make a list of everything you thought went well and the things that you think you could have improved upon. Then, if you don't get the job at least you will have given yourself some feedback that you can use to improve your interview skills the next time. Sometimes interviewers will tell you why you didn't get the job but you can't count on that. You have to create your own after action review in order to improve your skills. Don't focus on rejection.
Lesson 7: Video & Web Formatted Interviews
Looking for a job? Surprisingly, you may need to brush up on your on camera skills. More companies are using the video format to interview job candidates from entry level to the top ranks. Two way interviews take place in real time with both the candidate and interviewer present, while one way interviews require candidates to respond to preset questions without a live person on the other side. Video interviews cut down on costs and save time for companies, but they can also cause job candidates no end of uncomfortable moments. There are however a fair share of hiccups that have been caught on tape. In one interview, a cat jumped up and walked across the screen. In another, a candidate's wife appeared behind him with a laundry basket, asking who her husband was talking to. Research indicates that at least 1% of candidates call prospective afterwards saying they found the video interview awkward. But many other talent managers contend that the one way video format actually gives job seekers a chance to shine.
Lesson 8: Background Research
The research and professional world relies on interviews as a common method for candidate selection for various positions. The most common form of interviews used is the face-to-face interview. Both one on one and group interviews are widely used. The major drawback with the face-to-face interview is the presence interviewer bias. In the context of research, characteristics of the interviewee may prompt the interviewer to exhibit various cues to the interviewee, resulting in skewed or biased responses. Interviewer effects could also include social desirability on the part of the subject, as they would tailor their responses to be seen in a favorable light if the interviewer expresses a negative reaction. In the case of job interviews, simple acts such as validation of the interviewer or matching a predetermined stereotype of a job position may result in interviewer bias. Because face-to-face interviews are used in college applications, internships, and job applications, the possibility for interviewer bias runs high in many high stake settings.
Lesson 9: Research: Validity and Predictive Power
There is extensive data which puts into question the value of job interviews as a tool for selecting employees. Where the aim of a job interview is ostensibly to choose a candidate who will perform well in the job role, other methods of selection provide greater predictive power and often lower costs. Furthermore, given the unstructured approach of most interviews they often have almost no useful predictive power of employee success. While unstructured interviews are commonly used, structured interviews have yielded much better results and are considered a best practice. Interview structure is defined as the reduction in procedural variance across applicants, which can translate into the degree of discretion that an interviewer is allowed in conducting the interview. Structure in an interview can be compared to a typical paper and pencil test: we would not think it was fair if every test taker was given different questions and a different number of questions on an exam, or if their answers were each graded differently
Lesson 10: Nonverbal Behaviors
It may not only be what you say in an interview that matters, but also how you say it (e.g., how fast you speak) and how you behave during the interview (e.g., hand gestures, eye contact). In other words, although applicant responses to interview questions influence interview ratings, their nonverbal behaviors may also affect interviewer judgments. Nonverbal behaviors can be divided into two main categories: vocal cues (e.g., articulation, pitch, fluency, frequency of pauses, speed, etc.) and visual cues (e.g., smiling, eye contact, body orientation and lean, hand movement, posture, etc.). Oftentimes physical attractiveness is included as part of nonverbal behavior as well. There is some debate about how large a role nonverbal behaviors may play in the interview. Some researchers maintain that nonverbal behaviors affect interview ratings a great deal, while others have found that they have a relatively small impact on interview outcomes, especially when considered with applicant qualifications presented in résumés. The relationship between nonverbal behavior and interview outcomes is also stronger in structured interviews than unstructured, and stronger when interviewee answers are of high quality.
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