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Introduction to High School Interviewing. Interviews: What you do tends to matter more than what you say. Only a small portion of communication effectiveness depends on spoken words according to a 1971 study by Albert Mehrabian 93% is contingent on what you do and how you do it

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interviews what you do tends to matter more than what you say
Interviews: What you do tends to matter more than what you say
  • Only a small portion of communication effectiveness depends on spoken words according to a 1971 study by Albert Mehrabian
  • 93% is contingent on what you do and how you do it

55% = Body language (non-verbal communication)

38% = Vocal qualities (primarily tone)

7% = Words

100% = Communication / Interview effectiveness

  • Key takeaway: You can win the interview before you really start to speak


Source: Mehrabian, Albert (1971). Silent Messages

body language 58 actions speak louder than words
Body Language = 58% (Actions speak louder than words!)
  • Body language absolutely answers several critical, but unasked, questions for the interviewer:
    • Do you really care about this interview opportunity?
    • Do you really care about my school?
    • Do you really care about yourself?
  • Tips to improve body language:
    • Before the interview: practice good hygiene and dress for success (dress for where you want to go, not where you are currently at)
    • On the way to the interview: walk with a purpose and smile
    • Greeting the interviewer: smile, maintain eye contact and offer a firm handshake
    • During the interview: sit up straight, lean forward slightly in chair, maintain eye contact
  • What to avoid:
    • Yawning, fidgeting, slouching, sloppiness
    • Attire significantly more casual or significantly more dressy than the interviewer’s
    • Overpowering perfumes / colognes
vocal qualities 35 watch your tone
Vocal Qualities = 35%(Watch your tone!)
  • What should my tone be?
    • Friendly
    • Enthusiastic
    • Interested
  • Don’t be like these guys:
    • Eeyore(sad, depressed, mopey)
    • Cruella De Vil(critical, harsh, mean-spirited)
words 7
Words = 7%
  • What you say can be important, so
    • Be concise
    • Be honest, and
    • Practice beforehand (just memorize 2-3 key points for each practice question, don’t memorize every word in your response or you’ll appear robotic)
how to approach interview questions
How to approach interview questions…
  • Before the interview:
    • Compile a list of anticipated questions (see samples on next page)
    • Write-out answers and practice them:
      • Remember 2-3 main talking points for each answer (don’t memorize each and every word)
      • Conduct a mock interview with parent or friend if possible
  • During the actual interview:
    • Listen carefully to the actual question
    • If you draw a blank, it is ok to ask interviewer to skip and come back to that question later
10 sample interview questions in two categories
10 Sample Interview Questionsin two categories

Category 1: Know thyself

  • Tell me about yourself? (this is not an opening to share all your life experiences…instead provide a memorized, 30 second to 1 minute “elevator pitch” that introduces you and shares 3-4 things that make you memorable)
  • What three adjectives would your friends use to describe you?
  • What are your interests (academic subjects, intramural activities, leisure activities)?
  • Are you nervous? (be honest, it is ok to say “yes” as most every candidate is)
  • Tell me about your family? (focus on the positives)

Category 2: Know thy high-school

  • Why do you want to attend our school? (show off your knowledge of the school…see note on researching schools on next page)
  • What do you know about our school?
  • What is our school’s motto?
  • What does our school motto mean?
  • What programs, activities or classes interest you the most at our school?
final takeaways
Final Takeaways
  • The interview is a small part of the overall application process. They really just want to get to know the real you a little bit better
  • You’ll make a lasting impression by sharing your passions and what makes you most special
  • Do some research on the school before your interview (brochures, school website)
  • Review a list of your activities, awards and accomplishments
  • Know your interview location and get there 15 minutes early
  • Send a personalized thank you note to your head interviewer afterwards

Relax, say a prayer and let God work his plan for you!