To: English 302 Students
From: Chris Nelson, Course Lecturer
Date: 1 February, 2007
Subject: Project 3: Job Talk Project Description and Information Sheet
For all our attention to résumés and cover letters, we realize that they serve one major purpose: Getting an interview. The interview is the most important part of the job hunt, because it is your opportunity to find out whether the job and organization is right for you, and serves as an opportunity for potential employers to assess if you are right for them.
Using your Job Announcement, do some research into your organization to find out both the responsibilities of the position and the nature of the organization. Beginning [day/date] and continuing to [day/date], we will hold mock interviews. You will be grouped with others in class, and will sit in the front of the room as a group to give your mock interview.
- Dress professionally. (see Locker’s discussion on p. 553)
- Bring your print-out of the position’s duties and responsibilities.
- Announce your job announcement and briefly explain the position’s activities.
- Each person sitting at the front of the room will have bundled slips of paper. Each slip will have an interview question on it.
- Each person in your group will ask you a question that you will answer. These questions will be the same type of questions you may be asked on an interview. I have listed the questions below so that you can read them and prepare in advance to answer them. As Locker notes, practicing your interview answers is not only a good idea, it also imperative to your answers sounding smooth and relevant.
- Others in the class, including me, are free to ask additional questions if we want to find out more about the position and your suitability for it.
- There is no minimum requirement for time, but your answers should be developed in ways that leave your audience satisfied that you answered questions “completely,” and actively steered the direction of the interview.
- Address the entire class, as well as the instructor, as you talk.
- Tell me briefly about yourself.
- Why do you want the position?
- What is your ideal job?
- What college subjects did you like the most and why?
- Where would you like to be in 5 years?
- What are your interests outside of work?
- What do you know about the organization?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- If you were to ask your employer one question, what would it be, and why?
Be sure to read Chapter 19 in Locker, and pay specific attention to pages 554–556, and pages 557–561 for examples of “complete” answers and ineffective answers. Also, see the questions in the sidebar on page 561 for questions to ask employers.
You will receive my evaluation of your performance during the class period following your Job Talk. You may use this sheet to prepare for your Job Talk.
Interview Rating Sheet
Rating = check minus, check, or check plus
- Used the company name easily
- Nonverbal Communication—made eye contact, smiles, good posture
- Showed knowledge about organization
- Replied with detailed and relevant answers
- Did most of the talking
- Was dressed well
- Asked questions about the company that showed knowledge of the organization and position
- Provided clear explanations of how s/he can benefit the organization
- Used technical jargon specific to the organization
- Audience will remember this particular person’s answers
This project aims to familiarize you with responses you can provide during interviews that best present yourself and speak specifically to how you may fill an organization’s need. Speaking in front of an audience can be daunting, so this project simulates an unfamiliar environment where you can use the interview strategies Locker presents. It also mimics the increasing tendency of hiring personnel to hold interviews with multiple interviewees.
- Evaluate your performance in a typed memo (at least 1 full page). What are you pleased with? How did you incorporate the ideas from Locker and to what degree were you successful? Also, include observations about your peers’ job talks that 1) you liked, 2) you feel you learned from. Discuss the things you might do differently next time, as well as the types of things this exercise has enabled you to do better.
- Type this self-evaluation and include it in Portfolio 1. This memo will serve as your Job Talk Reflection (see forthcoming Portfolio 1 Handout).
This project will be scored as part of Portfolio 1.