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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Preparing College Graduates for Job Interviews



One of the responsibilities of higher education is to prepare students for the job market. This preparation is a long process of learning competitive skills to successfully work within an organization. Sometimes, we forget that in order to have students use their new developed skills they will need to land a job. Dr. Lauren Mackenzie (2009) shares some of her assignment experiences in helping students interview better and secure the employment they desire. 


She believes that there are three concepts which are helpful to students that include viewing interviews as conversations, nexting, and thin slicing.  As you may not be familiar with these terms nexting is a flow of information, and thin slicing is understanding the non-verbal cues. Together these three concepts help in creating higher levels of interview preparedness. 

All interviews are conversations. The employer is trying to gain as much information about you while you are trying to gauge them. It is a process of opening of information and ensuring that each as an accurate perspective. Through this conversation, job seekers want to ensure that they are balancing honesty with their best attributes to both obtain the position but also ensure that it is the right match for them. 


Nexting entails working within the flow of information and furthering the information for display. As someone asks you a question, expand the information in a positive way and then try and move the conversation in a positive direction. Those who do well at nexting also are able to ensure the interview conversation maintains the best flow to highlight their abilities while leaving the interviewer a positive impression.

Thin slicing entails a concept of understand others behaviors through their non-verbal cues. People have been accurate in understanding others behaviors through a few brief moments of interaction. This is a thin slice of who they are at that particular moment. It does not represent the total person but it gives an intuitive insight into their behaviors and perceptions. If a person gets good at understanding others, they can steer their conversation in a way that encourages receptivity.

Graduates should learn the job based skills as well as the verbal skills to be successful on the market. This can be taught through class by practicing writing a resume, cover page, common interview question responses, and filling out peer evaluation forms. Through the process of thought formalization and feedback, they can better gauge their preparation.

Recent graduates may be interested in some of the job and information sites below:











Mackenzie, L. (2009). Connecting communication theory to interviewing practice: strategies for instruction and evaluation. Currents in Teaching & Learning, 2 (1).
 


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