You’ve landed your interview for your dream higher education job. You’ve laid out your interview outfit- freshly cleaned and pressed, have your driving directions ready and even made sure to gas up your car. How do you prepare for the actual interview?
Practice! Practice! Practice! The internet is full of interview questions, often with possible answers. Type “interview questions” into any search engine and click away at the possibilities. Get your spouse or your neighbor or your friend to read questions to you and practice responding. Read the questions out loud to yourself and record your answers. Use your smartphone or your electronic tablet or your webcam to videotape yourself as you practice answering.
Watch or listen to your recorded responses—make sure your voice is expressive, with a moderate tone. See if you are directly facing the camera or if your eyes are looking down or away. Listen for “uh” and “um”. Make sure you are speaking clearly- not too fast, not too slow.
Plan your answers to as many questions as possible. You can’t possibly anticipate every question that may be asked, but if you prepare answers to a broad range of questions, you will be better able to respond to the ones you did NOT prepare for.
During the interview if a question is asked and an answer does not come immediately to mind, ask for clarification, or ask if you can come back to that question in a few minutes. This is better than stumbling painfully through an answer that may not be responsive. Many times the actual response is not as important as how you handle yourself when faced with the unexpected. If you show that you can remain calm and think on your feet, you will impress your interviewers and be on your way to university employment.
Dindy Robinson is the Director of Compensation at Texas Christian University.
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