Interview Refresher – The Ticket to the New School, Position, or Award!
One of the key communication scenarios that we often face queries about is the dreaded interviews. For a young communicator, interviews represent a communication setting that is intimate, fluid, and challenging to manage. Unfortunately, unlike a formal speech or a competition, an interview setting is unlikely to be a communication scenario that can be avoided. From Direct School Applications (DSA) processes to leadership roles, your child will likely face an interview in their speaking journey.
Public speaking tips/techniques are not thus limited to the big stage. In small-scale communication settings, these skills can be used to ensure that our young communicators continue to place a confident front. The same skills cover areas of content and delivery – even extending to body language aspects tailored for a sit-down setting. More importantly, your child can be better placed to manage the impromptu, high-stress setting.
We will share three areas that your child can look at to prepare for the big interview setting!
Know Your Interviewer
As with a traditional speech, mastering and preparing one’s content remains the first focus. In the context of an interview, this would mean understanding your interviewer’s background and appreciating their unique interests. More significantly, it helps your child identify the traits, values, or details of the potential candidate whom the interviewer is keen to accept. This background understanding can also help forecast possible questions from the interviewer.
What can your child prepare for an interview in terms of content? Our starting point is always the values or driving force behind the interviewer. What overall values define the institution, organisation, or position? For example, a leadership position may be undergirded by certain values defined in the school’s motto, mission, or vision. By combining these aspects, the interviewee can provide an answer that appeals to the interviewer!
Make it Personal
One common mistake that most interviewees commit is the inability to share a personal side of themselves in their responses. The temptation is to proceed with a ‘listing’ exercise by highlighting the common positive values that may appeal to the interviewer (e.g., confidence, hardworking). This will make it tougher for your child to stand out (because everyone entering the interview are likely to carry these traits!).
Instead, your child’s unique experiences, learning points, and journey are the elements that set them apart. No two individuals will share the same interesting experience and making it a personal sharing (through detailed stories and anecdotes) can help make your child a more memorable interviewee. These personal elements will also encourage an open, two-way conversation with the interviewer, inviting follow-up questions.
Why You Matter?
Ultimately, the interview is about your child, and it goes beyond the description of their strengths or suitability for the role. For most of your child’s answers, they should think about the factor that sets them apart. In short, why will your child’s involvement matter to the school, organisation, or team (depending on the scenario)?
This question invites your child to share more in three areas. First, encourage your child to venture into values that drive them. Whether they share an anecdote or list an achievement, think about the value that their sharing carries. Second, your child should seek opportunities to share their reasoned opinions or thoughts. Their argumentation can emphasise their clarity in thinking. Third, your child can share the specific contribution or benefit they can bring to the interviewer – this provides a strong impetus for the interviewer to select your child.
Your Interview Guide
With the middle of the year fast approaching, we thought it would be apt to re-visit the underlying tips and techniques that can help drive success for your child’s next interview. A strong interview will be like an open, engaged conversation. We hope that the three tips above can help your child ace their next interview setting!
*** This might pop up during interviews too – Saying “No” or “I don’t know the answer to it” ***
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