Saturday, December 5, 2015

Notes on Interview

     Interviewing plays a vital role in how we communicate with each other. Interviewing is one of the best ways to gain information. Talking with an expert can often be more helpful than reading an article or book.
     An interview is a conversation controlled but dot dominated by one person who asks questions of another person. An interview must have a purpose. The purpose may be to learn what people think or to gather information about a new idea or discovery.

Using Interviews to Gather Information

     Interview comes form a French word, entrevoir, which means "to see one another." A good interview grows out of a personal relationship between people.

1. Consider Your Audience
     A professional interviewer has one specific purpose: to act as a proxy for the audience. Your task as interviewer is to keep the interests of your potential audience in mind. Who ultimately hear the information you are gathering? The teacher? Your classmates? The ability to anticipate what those people would like to know makes a great interviewer.

2. Be Curious
     The best interviewers bring a passionate curiosity to the job. Great interviewers are brave enough to ask the natural questions, even at the risk of making themselves seem foolish. You must always make an effort to generate some curiosity about whatever person you choose to interview. Everyone has an interesting story to tell, and you can find it if you ask the right questions.
     A lack of curiosity will lead to the following: 
  • You make up a list of question and go through them from beginning to end--no matter what the person you are interviewing wants to talk about.
  • You don't listen to the answer. You just worry about the next question.
  • If an answer confuses you, you don't like to let on.
  • You think more of what the person thinks of you that all your energy in the interview goes into playing a role.
     If you have the right attitude, you may hear yourself makes these comments during an interview:
  • That's fascinating. Tell me more.
  • I had no idea--whatever made them do that?
  • How did you feel when that happened?
3. Preparing for an Interview

     Choosing a person to interview and arranging a time and place suitable for the interview are problems you must solve before you can ask the first questions.

Getting an Interview
     If possible, create a an easy interview situation. Choose people who want to talk or are agreeable or cooperative. Sometimes, it may take some persistence on your part to get some people to speak. In such a situation, try to meet the demands of these people especially with the time and venue of the interview.

Select a Subject Carefully
     No matter how skillful you are, an interview won't work if you haven't chosen the right person.
Always interview an expert. You are sure to learn more and gain better information than you have would have by asking friends or people who have are in a different field.

Choose When and Where
     The best setting for an interview is a place where you won't be disturbed. You want to hav eyour subject's undivided attention. Any interruptions during the interview will distract your subject, break the rapport--the feeling of trust and cooperation--you have developed, and stretch out the time the whole interview takes. A quiet place where you have your subject's undivided attention is the best place to conduct an interview.

     Be sure that you don't cheat yourself on the amount of time you request. Beginners often worry that they will take too much of the subject's time and quit too early.
On the other hand, it is rude to take more time than you requested.

4. Doing Your Homework     You need to learn all you can about your subject. The preparation you do before an interview helps you create good questions. When you have the basic biographical facts, you are free to concentrate on more imaginative questions.

5. Dress for Success
     Dress appropriately based on the venue and time of the interview, your subject, or the topic.

6. Take What You Need
   Be sure to take the right equipment with you to an interview. You should always have a small notebook and open even if you plan to use a tape recorder. The notebook shows your subject that you mean business and it encourages talking.
Asking Effective Questions
     Prepare a list of questions. Your goal is to guide the conversation where you want it to go. Keep your questions brief and to the point. Build your most important questions on the famous five Ws and an H. Strive as much as possible to develop open-ended questions. Your goal is to use short questions to produce long answers and not the other way around. Be ready to react to the twists and turns of the conversation. Listen for intriguing statements, and when you hear one, ask a follow-up question.
Avoid yes-no questions.

Conducting Interviews over the Phone

     An interview is probably best done face-to-face, but sometimes that just isn't possible. A phone interview forces you to concentrate on what your subject is saying. Keep in mind, that's it is easy to let your mind wander when you don't have your subject right in front of you. Keep distractions to a minimum.
Interview for a Job or Scholarship

Interviews are certainly vital to your future success.

1. Use Communication Skills to Your Advantage
     Prospective employers are not out to embarrass you or trip you up; they only want to gain an accurate impression of you and your abilities. In particular, they want to know how you communicate with other people.

2. Be Alert and Energetic
     During the interview, try to show energy and enthusiasm. Sit on the edge of your chair and lean slightly forward. Keep eye contact with the person interviewing you. Don't become so wrapped up in answering questions that you forget to connect on a personal level with your interviewer.

3. Pay Attention
     Pay attention to the interviewer's name and use her name occasionally in your answers. During the interview, remember to be an active listener and show respect for the interviewer.

4. Get There on Time
     Plan to arrive about 15 minutes early. Make sure you know how to get to the interview venue and how long the travel time is before the interview day.

After the Interview

     Consider every interview a learning experience. As soon as possible after the interview, jot down some notes on how you would like tonight improve. Replay the highs and lows.

Anticipate Questions

     Good planning means that you try to guess, as best you can, the questions you may be asked in an interview and give some thought to how you might answer them. Most interviews boil down to why you are applying, what kind of person you are, and what you can do. Prepare a short list of positive points you wish to make about yourself. Be alert for situations where you can bring them into conversation. Here are a few possibilities:

Puff balls. Puff balls are easy questions. One example is "Tell me about yourself." Use a question like this as a springboard to tell the interviewer something you have planned to say.
Pauses. Inevitably, you will feel a lull in the conversation. In any event, a pause gives you another chance to use some initiative. While the interview is momentarily distracted jump in and offer to talk about a subject you know will show your skills and abilities to best advantage.

Bridges. A bridge is a transition form one answer to another. Suppose the interviewer asks, "Have you been late for work?" Your first answer--"Yes"--and then, by cleverly using a bridge, you turn the original question toward something else you wanted to talk about. "I was late once," you say, "but it was because I stopped to help a child who had fallen off a bike."

Rehearse Tough Questions

1. Where do you see yourself in five years? The interviewer probably wants to know if you are ambitious.

2. Why should I hire you? The firm finds out how well you understand its needs and responsibilities that come with the position you are applying for. 

3. Why do you want to work here? This is where the employer finds out how much you know about its organization. You want to convey your interest in contributing to its mission.      

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