Intro to interviewing: Developing skills to help you land the job

Knowing how to interview is an important skill—one that’s very necessary for people through most of their lives. Doing it well means being professional, communicative and able to think on one’s feet. 

Some of your students may already have an interview or two under their belts, while others may not yet have had any. Either way, interviewing well is a skill and, just like any other skill, practice makes us better. That’s why this activity consists of mock interviews paired with a subsequent class discussion. 

Brass tacks: Set up a table and two chairs facing one another so the class can watch you conduct the interviews. Ask for volunteers, or otherwise select five students who “want a job” to be interviewed. Choose four unique questions for each from the following list to ask during their interview and have the class to take notes on each “applicant's” interview—the good, the bad and the otherwise interesting. After the five interviews are done, open the floor for discussion about how they went. Sharing the student handout at this time gives students a frame of reference and may prompt discussion. Once the class has analyzed and evaluated each candidate’s performance, allow everyone to vote on who they think should “get the job.”

Get into character and set the stage: You are a manager at Itzy’s Ice Cream & Frozen Treats, a popular local hangout. The location you’re in charge of is currently looking to hire a new employee. Many have applied but you have narrowed it down to five candidates. On paper, all of the applicants are fairly equally matched, as far as their schedules, the number of hours they want and their expected wages are concerned. That means their answers to the following questions—as well as their personalities and demeanors—will be the deciding factors for who gets hired. Have fun with it. Really develop your manager character and the company’s backstory. Be as creative with it as you like. 

Printed material, Group activity