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Interviewing Skills

Purpose of Course  showclose

Welcome to PRDV103: Interviewing Skills.  This course is the third in a series of four courses included in the Job Search Skills Program that also includes Job Search Skills, Resume Writing, and Professional Etiquette.  The Interviewing Skills course is intended to help you showcase your personality, strengths, interests, and abilities to potential employers.  At this stage of your career exploration, you will have researched and targeted appropriate jobs and have marketed yourself to these employers with an attention-getting resume.  If you have not already done so and feel you would benefit from more information about how to conduct a successful job search, or how to formulate a resume that gets you that interview, please explore the other exciting courses in this track.

Course Information  showclose

Below, please find some general information on the course and its requirements.
 
Course Designer: Mary Matera
 
Primary Resources: This course is comprised of a range of different free, online materials.  However, the course makes primary use of the following resources:
Requirements for Completion: In order to take full advantage of Interviewing Skills, we recommend that you view the courses on Job Search Skills, Resume Writing, and Professional Etiquette.  To successfully complete this course, please follow instructions for each resource.  It is our intention that as you learn what the experts have to say, you will learn how to present yourself in a prepared, confident, and professional way to today’s employers.  At the conclusion of the course, you will be asked to complete a final exam. 
 
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam.  However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, it is recommended that you take notes on and work through all materials in the course.
 
In order to “pass” this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam.  Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
 
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of approximately 3 hours to complete.  Please plan additional time for note taking and exploration of embedded links of interest to you.  Each unit includes a “time advisory” that lists the approximate amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit.  This should help you determine how to budget your time to complete each of the three units.
 
Tips/Suggestions: Please view the Saylor videos in the introduction of each unit to learn more about the major concepts of that unit.  You may wish to compile a folder either online or hard copy which contains information you obtain while progressing through the Interviewing Skills Program.  These documents will help you organize your thoughts and plan your interviews in the manner that is most effective for you. 

 
A version of this course is also available in iTunes U.
Preview the course in your browser or view our entire suite of iTunes U courses.  

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Describe appropriate dress for the interview.
  • List and prepare for commonly asked interview questions.
  • List suggested questions to ask hiring managers, human resources personnel, headhunters, third parties, and so forth.
  • Describe techniques and tactics to study prior to your first interview.
  • List questions to ask yourself after the interview to evaluate your success and areas in which you can improve.
  • List tips to manage the phone interview.
  • Develop an effective strategy for negotiating salary issues.
  • Describe how to negotiate an offer wisely.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have access to a computer;

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    Have the ability to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (e.g., doc., ppt, xls, etc.);

√    Be competent in the English language;

√    Recommended: Be knowledgeable about job search and resume skills; and

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Unit Outline show close


Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources
  • Unit 1: Before the Interview  

    As in any worthwhile endeavor, you will need a plan of action to ensure your dreams come true.  The interviewing stage of your job search is where you will have an opportunity to convince employers that you are just the person they have been looking for!  Of course, as in any journey, you must take the initial steps necessary to arrive at your desired destination.  This unit will help you prepare for that exciting, yet often anxiety-producing interview that lies ahead.  Please view Saylor’s introductory video in subunit 1.1 to learn more about the resources in this unit.

    Unit 1 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 1 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 1.1 Make a Positive Impression  
  • 1.1.1 Put Your Best Foot Forward  
    • Reading: Kentucky Office of Employment and Training: Interview Workshop, “Interview Dress Suggestions”

      Link: Kentucky Office of Employment and Training:  Interview Workshop, “Interview Dress Suggestions” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: In this reading we are reminded that, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”  The authors offer suggestions for appropriate clothing, grooming, and jewelry, and remind us that, “The way you dress is how you want an employer to think of you.”  The readings in subunit 1.2 should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.1.2 Dress for Success for a Particular Industry  
    • Reading: North Dakota State University Career Center: “Dress for Success”

      Link: North Dakota State University Career Center: “Dress for Success” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: What may be considered appropriate dress for one employer may not be the best selection for another type of job.  Employers from various industries offer their opinions on which apparel is best for a first impression, an interview, and a career fair.  Read the introduction and click on an industry under male or female to learn the critique of the model’s appearance for that type of industry.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 1.2 Preparing for the Interview  

    This subunit provides resources to ensure that you are armed with the information you need to take on the exciting challenge of “Mastering the Interview.”  You will read about the “Seven Phases of an Interview” and learn the “Top Ten Critical Success Factors” that employers are looking for.  In “Job Interview Preparation,” you will read about the six steps in the interview process and how each step requires your full attention for an effective interview.  Finally, to ensure that you are fully prepared, you will benefit from an “Interview Preparation Checklist” and “Job Interviewing Quiz.” 

    This subunit and note taking should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

    • Reading: Kentucky Office of Employment and Training: Interview Workshop, “Seven Phases of an Interview”

      Link: Kentucky Office of Employment and Training: Interview Workshop, “Seven Phases of an Interview” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Click on this link to read about several relevant interview topics.  Begin your reading by clicking on the “general phases of the interview” to learn what to expect on the “big day.”  This resource offers a brief description of seven phases of the interview process, beginning with “Before you Go In” to “Making a Decision,” that will assist you in making the right career choice.  Other links on this page cover such topics as “Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing, “Truths You’re Never Told about the Job Interview,” and other thought-provoking links.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: College Grad: “Mastering the Interview”

      Link: College Grad: “Mastering the Interview” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This article describes techniques and tactics to study prior to your first interview and differentiates between competency and behavioral answers.  For example, click on “Top Ten Critical Success Factors” halfway down the page to learn personality traits, skills, and abilities that “nearly every employer is seeking.”  To rise above the competition, the author suggests that you prepare to show your competence in as many of these areas as possible.  Links are listed that lead to many relevant articles such as “Ten Tough Interview Questions and Ten Great Answers.” 
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: TrustyGuides: Debra Wolf’s Job Interviews, “Job Interview Preparation”

      Link: TrustyGuides: Debra Wolf’s Job Interviews, “Job Interview Preparation” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: “On the day of the interview, there should be no surprises.”  To present yourself most effectively, this article describes six steps in the job interview preparation process, beginning with knowing your goals for the interview to specific logistics such as the name and title of the person you’ll be seeing, approximate travel time, parking, and so forth.  The focus on the day of the interview is to appear confident, well informed, and enthusiastic.  Debra Wolf also includes an Interview Preparation Checklist and a Job Interviewing Quiz in this article on Job Interviews.  You may click on these titles in the Table of Contents on the right of the page or click on the links below to go directly to those articles.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: TrustyGuides: Debra Wolf’s Job Interviews, “Interview Preparation Checklist”

      Link: TrustyGuides: Debra Wolf’s Job Interviews, “Interview Preparation Checklist” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Read this article to ensure that you are prepared to address such factors as knowledge about the company, the job, and yourself, as well as information to have prior to the interview. 
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: TrustyGuides: Debra Wolf’s Job Interviews, “Job Interviewing Quiz”

      Link: Debra Wolf’s Job Interviews, “Job Interviewing Quiz” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Take this quiz to assess your knowledge about how to prepare for a successful interview.  Click on “Get the Answers” to learn the correct answers to the quiz.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Before the Interview”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Before the Interview”

      Instructions:  In Unit 1, you have learned how to dress appropriately for the interview. In addition, you have learned why each phase of the interview is important and what critical success factors today’s employers are seeking. Finally, you should be able to describe the interviewer’s goals as well as your goals during the second interview. To assess your grasp of the important concepts in this unit, please click on the link above to take the multiple choice quiz. You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link. Retake this quiz as needed to prepare for the Final Exam. You can do it!

      This quiz should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

  • Unit 2: During the Interview  

    Every step in the job search journey you have taken so far has brought you to this stage: the interview process.  You have probably sent out gazillions of resumes that reflect your education, experience, and career goals to potential employers of interest to you.  You now have been invited to visit a company and convince the interviewers that you are the perfect person for the job!  This unit offers resources to help you optimize the brief time you will spend with interviewers to learn more about their expectations, to convince them that you are the best fit for the job, and to determine whether acceptance of an offer would help you accomplish your career goals.

    Unit 2 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 2 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 2.1 Types of Interviews  
    • Reading: Connecticut Department of Labor: Job & Career ConneCTion, “The Interview Process”

      Link: Connecticut Department of Labor: Job & Career ConneCTion, “The Interview Process” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This article discusses how candidates can maximize the brief 30- to 60-minute interview to convince a potential employer that they are the right person for the job.  This is not a time to panic but to demonstrate that you are prepared, have presented your qualifications effectively, and that you are a good “fit” for the organization.  The authors also list questions to ask yourself after the interview to evaluate your success and areas in which you can improve.  For more information on various types of interviews, read CareerOneStop: “Job Interviews” and William & Mary’s Cohen Career Center: Nathan Newberger’s “How to Master Telephone Interviews” in this subunit.  The readings in this subunit should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: CareerOneStop: “Job Interviews”

      Link: CareerOneStop: “Job Interviews” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This article lists types of interviews including phone screening, selection, work sample, peer group, group or panel, luncheon, stress, video conference.  A brief description and tips are offered for each type of interview.  For more information on telephone interviews, read Nathan Newberger’s article below titled “How to Master Telephone Interviews.”
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: William & Mary’s Cohen Career Center: Nathan Newberger’s “How to Master Telephone Interviews”

      Link: William & Mary’s Cohen Career Center: Nathan Newberger’s “How to Master Telephone Interviews” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: The phone interview is often the candidate’s first step in the hiring process.  In this reading, Newberger describes the advantages to the company for this initial screening tactic and offers tips to job seekers on how to “manage” the telephone interview.  The goal of the telephone interview is to secure an in-person interview.  Therefore, preparation once again is the key to success!  To learn how to prepare for other types of interviews, click on a link on the left of the page under “Types of Interviews.”  For example, to prepare for “Behavioral Interviews,” you are advised to rehearse answers to potential open-ended questions relating to your knowledge and skills.  Learn about “Case Interviews” by following the link on the left of the page.  This type of interview will test your ability to answer hypothetical questions by creating assumptions and forming possible conclusions from those assumptions.  Other interviews listed include “2nd Interview, Site Visit,” and “Meal Interview.”
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • 2.2 Interview Questions  
    • Reading: CollegeGrad’s “Fifty Standard Interview Questions”

      Link: CollegeGrad’s “Fifty Standard Interview Questions” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This article suggests that you practice answering some of these standard interview questions.  As is the case with all phases of your interviewing, preparation of the key to success!  Read CollegeGrad’s article below titled “Candidate Interview Questions” to prepare possible questions to ask your interviewers. 
       
      The readings in this subunit should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Reading: CollegeGrad’s: “Candidate Interview Questions”

      Link: CollegeGrad’s: “Candidate Interview Questions” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Although you have researched the company and listened carefully to the interviewers, you will demonstrate your enthusiasm and gain important information by asking questions.  This article offers lists of suggested questions to ask human resource personnel, hiring managers, headhunters, third parties, and peer-level interviewers, and it highlights the top five questions to ask in each type of interview.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “During the Interview”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “During the Interview"

      Instructions: The topics in Unit 2 center around learning about various types of job interviews. Unit resources offer many examples of frequently asked interview questions and provide tips as to how to respond (and equally important, how not to respond) to these probing questions.  To assess your grasp of the important concepts in this unit, please click on the link above to take the multiple choice quiz. You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. Retake this quiz as needed to prepare for the Final Exam.  Best of luck!

      This quiz should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

  • Unit 3: Negotiating Compensation  

    Discussions of salary requirements during the interview can be tricky.  There are no absolutes about when you may be asked your salary requirements:  It can be during the initial screening interview on the telephone, casually asked during the interview, or during a second (or even a third) interview.  Whenever salary questions arise, you are expected to have knowledge of comparable positions in your labor market as well as your competitive market value.  The resources in this unit will provide guidance to assist you in researching this information and to prepare you to get the salary you deserve!

    Unit 3 Time Advisory   show close
    Unit 3 Learning Outcomes   show close
  • 3.1 Preparing for Salary Discussions  

    You may have had several interviews or this may be your first interview.  In either case, the subject of salary may have the effect of making you feel embarrassed or shy.  This is definitely not the time to hide your light under a bushel!  Employers expect candidates to be informed about their marketability for a given level of job in a particular industry.  The good news is that if a question is asked of you regarding salary requirements, the interviewer is probably interested in learning more about you or even intends to make you an offer.  The readings below provide information about factors to consider when determining your value to an employer and how to turn the salary discussion into a desirable offer.

  • 3.1.1 Salary Scenarios and Questions  
  • 3.1.2 Understand the Rules of the Game  
    • Reading: CareerOneStop: “Negotiate Your Salary”

      Link: CareerOneStop: “Negotiate Your Salary” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: This site offers information about how to obtain salary information for a specific type of job or occupation.  Click on the “Identify the Salary” link highlighted under “Evaluate the Offer Wisely” to find salary information for over 800 different occupations.  You will read how to communicate your ideas and concerns effectively.  Because salary negotiation is a type of dance in which you and the employer may go back and forth in discussing issues, tradeoffs, and so forth, the article helps you to “understand the rules of the game” in order to achieve your desired outcome.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • 3.1.3 Negotiating Job Perks  
    • Reading: CareerBuilder.com: Rachel Farrell’s “8 Ways to Negotiate for Job Perks”

      Link: CareerBuilder.com: Rachel Farrell’s “8 Ways to Negotiate for Job Perks” (HTML)
       
      Instructions: Salary is not the only opportunity for you to negotiate with a potential employer for a desirable outcome.  Many of today’s employers are offering such perks as “extra vacation time, flexible scheduling, continuing education benefits, and tuition reimbursement” to retain valued workers and attract new employees.  This article offers eight tips to “negotiate for perks in lieu of a higher salary.”
       
      This reading should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.
       
      Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

    • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Negotiating Compensation”

      Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Negotiating Compensation”

      Instructions: Unit 3 reminds us that we cannot wait until an offer is extended to us.  We must become knowledgeable about salaries and perks for a particular position in a given industry and even in a specific location. To ensure you have learned the important concepts in this unit, please click on the link above to take the multiple choice quiz. You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. Retake this quiz as needed to prepare for the Final Exam. You’ve done it!

      This quiz should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

  • Final Exam  

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