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Interview Success

 

Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview Success

Practice | In the interview | So what?

 

Here are some practical tips on succeeding in interviews that are supported by academic research:

Practice

Being good in interviews comes with practice, and you don't have to wait until you are in an actual interview before you try out and start improving your interview skills.

Research shows that practice:

  • Is positively related to candidate success.
  • Gives you important insights into preparation, presentation and persistence.
  • Should emphasize research into target organization.
  • Should give you space for reflection.
  • Should include both rehearsal and feedback.
  • Should include practice and coaching in how to answer difficult questions (including how to identify equal-opportunities questions not to answer).

In interview

Research has shown that:

  • Successful candidates spend less time responding to questions and more time talking outside preset questions (implying a flawed interview process that gives weight to non-target data!).
  • Successful candidates experienced fewer interrogative interactions sequences (less grilling!) and more conversational sequences.
  • The opening sequence (4-7 mins) is important for shaping power balance in interview.
  • Successful candidates experienced more push-pull, with balance of power and turn-taking, whilst unsuccessful candidates had extremes of push or pull.
  • Hostile environment are characterized by lack of eye contact, leaning away, limited smiling, and not facing one another. Guess what: this is not a good idea.
  • Black/white interviewers gained more responses from black/white candidates.
  • Successful candidates attributed events internally (not making excuses).
  • Gender issues still arise: women can succeed more by wearing more masculine clothes (eg. suits)

See also

Attribution Theory, Using Body Language

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