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Students Gain Valuable Interviewing Skills during Class Exercise

May 04, 2015

Nerves were running high on April 14 in Michelle Carter’s Written Communications class at the Princeton Campus. Student took turns standing behind a podium and addressing their classmates, as well as a panel featuring campus director Denver Riffe, career center director Elaine Owens, and Michelle herself. The students were tasked with convincing the panel that they had the skills for the job they had previously selected, written a cover letter for, and created a résumé to match. This type of exercise is beneficial in building confidence, especially for panel job interviews, which can often be intimidating.

The students were scored on various presentation elements, including nonverbal expressions, eye contact, appropriate dress, verbal skills, audience engagement, speaking volume, and the ability to clearly and persuasively state what the job required and why they were the best candidate. 

Students were encouraging of their fellow classmates, and the panel of faculty and staff offered constructive criticism and tips for improvement. Michelle, who has a master’s degree and previous work experience in the human resources field and has extensive interviewing experience, repeatedly emphasized to the class that employers look for certain fundamental skills in potential employees. “Strong organizational skills, being a self-starter, having problem-solving skills, and having the ability to make good decisions are key,” she said. She encouraged the students to exhibit these qualities in their presentations. Elaine elaborated that students should strive to match their skills to the employment opportunity, while Denver advised them to be professional and understand the business with which they are interviewing.

Student Chris Martin found that the experience provided helpful tips he could use in his job search. “The feedback was great!” he exclaimed. “Going forward, I will not be as afraid when I go to an interview. This exercise will help me come across as more confident in future interviews.”

Students in the Written Communications class participated in an exercise where they took turns persuading classmates, faculty, and staff that they were ideal candidates for a particular job.

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