Ace the Interview!

Format
Melissa Mathew

How does this align with my curriculum?

Could you ace a job interview? Students learn about preparing for a job interview and practice important interview skills.

Summary

  • Students will learn about the preparation and behaviours that lead to successful job interviews
  • Students will practice interview skills to prepare for real job interviews

Setting the Stage

Job interviews are a necessary part of the hiring process. The interview provides an important first impression for both the employer and the prospective employee. What a person says and does during an interview can be the difference between getting hired or not. It is commonly said that your resume will get you the interview but it is what you say and how you behave in the interview that will get you the job! 

In this lesson, students will learn about appropriate and inappropriate preparation and behaviour for a job interview by sorting job interview “advice” and role-playing being an employer and a potential employee.

Materials & Preparation

  • Interview Advice Sorting Activity Reproducible (1 per group) [Google Doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Common Interview Questions Reproducible (1 per group) [Google Doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Questions to Ask at a Job Interview Reproducible (1 per group) [Google Doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy

What To Do

Part 1: Activate

  • Teachers could create a word splash, Wordcloud, etc. based on students’ answers to the question: What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Job Interview”? Questions that could be used to stimulate students’ thinking include: 
  • What is a job interview? 
  • What things should you do to prepare for a job interview?
  • What are some things you should do during a job interview? 
  • What are things you should not do? 
Job interview wordcloud
Job interview wordcloud

 

  • Alternatively, if teachers feel that students have not experienced a job interview themselves, they could lead a class discussion using the following prompts:
    • Have you ever been interviewed before?
    • Have you ever had to interview someone?
    • What is the purpose of a job interview? 
    • How is it similar to other types of interviews? How is it different?
  • Teachers could share information about their own job interviews (entry-level or professional); how they felt before, during, and after; how they prepared; the scariest interview they’ve ever had; the worst interview they ever had; etc
  • Teachers could also recount anecdotes of others’ job interviews (family members, friends, etc.).
  • Students could also recount their own experiences of job interviews, if applicable and if they are comfortable sharing this information. 

Part 2: Acquire

  • Teachers could divide students into groups of at least two but no more than four to complete the Interview Advice Sorting Activity.
  • Note: Some of the advice statements are intentionally vague and thus debatable as to whether it is something one should or should not do. This is meant to foster critical thinking, and to open up discussion and dialogue among students. Teachers may wish to add their own “advice” to this list.
  • Teachers are encouraged to circulate and observe students working on this task, listening to the discussion that takes place among students. 
  • While circulating, teachers can ask students, “Why did you choose to put this piece of advice where you did?” to help students articulate their justifications.
  • Teachers can bring the whole class together to discuss criteria of a successful job interview, based on the sorting activity. This is a good time to discuss any that were marked as “unsure”.

Part 3: Apply

  • Teachers should organize students into pairs.
  • Students will role-play a job interview scenario in which they will take turns being the interviewer and the prospective employee. 

Note: In the case of an odd number of students, there can be two interviewers. 

  • Teachers should encourage students to refer to the Common Interview Questions and Questions to Ask at an Interview reproducibles to help create their role play.
Students role-playing an interview
Students role-playing an interview (Source: SDI Productions via iStockphoto)
  • Teachers can decide, based on the age and ability of their students, how lengthy the role play should be. For younger students, it may be appropriate to have the employer ask only five questions whereas ten questions may be more realistic for older students. 
  • Teachers will ask students to switch roles (perhaps even switching partners) so that students can experience both sides of the interview process.
  • Teachers should ask students to reflect on the role play they have completed using prompting questions such as:
    • Did you find it stressful? Why or why not?
    • Were some questions more difficult to answer than others? 
    • What are some examples of when you used your own experiences in your answers?
    • How did it feel to be the interviewer? 
    • What was the most difficult part of being the interviewer? 
    • What things did you see/hear your partner doing that you thought was good for the interview?

Let’s Talk Science appreciates the work and contributions of Melissa Mathew, Stonybrook Middle School, Hanover School Division, in the development of this lesson. 

Details

Assessment

  • This activity is designed to be an assessment for learning (developing interview skills). Teachers can assess students based on the quality of their answers and provide feedback for improvement. 
  • Students should be encouraged to self-assess their participation in the role play activity ( i.e., “What could I do to improve my performance in an interview?”)
  • Students could also provide peer-assessment in the form of feedback on how well the responses to questions were, how clear the person spoke, etc.
     

Assessment

  • This activity is designed to be an assessment for learning (developing interview skills). Teachers can assess students based on the quality of their answers and provide feedback for improvement. 
  • Students should be encouraged to self-assess their participation in the role play activity ( i.e., “What could I do to improve my performance in an interview?”)
  • Students could also provide peer-assessment in the form of feedback on how well the responses to questions were, how clear the person spoke, etc.
     

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