Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Playing the interview game

9 December 2013

Playing the interview game

Victoria University graduand Ewa Kusmierczyk has discovered the key to success in job interviews—and it's more than just what you say, or how you say it.

She says it’s all about the small things which help to develop trust between the interviewer and the candidate, and which are often taken for granted.

Ewa, who will graduate next week with a PhD in Applied Linguistics, studied 18 recorded interviews in minute detail, observing how speech, gaze, gesture, and documents are used to negotiate a shared understanding of what is required as an answer. This process, she says, relies on using multiple channels of communication.

“The candidate has limited time to pick up on the signals, and any misinterpretation can be taken as a reflection of incompetence.”

For example, when an interviewer points to a candidate's CV while asking a question, this is likely to be a signal that specific information or a specific example is expected.

The candidate will meet this expectation if they make a direct reference to a particular experience in the CV.

Ewa says actions that accompany speech, such as gesture, have an important role to play, especially when things are not going well.

“Gestures can carry information that is not expressed in speech. Mimicking the other person’s gestures and speech in particular helps link the interpretations and create a feeling of understanding.

“Because the interviewer typically holds the power, some candidates can feel at a disadvantage. This is particularly relevant where skilled migrants, and especially non-native speakers, are competing against New Zealanders.”

Ewa gathered data from mock interviews with graduate students and by working with an international recruitment agency which allowed her to video real interviews.

In addition to showing her how trust is built up, close to 30 hours of data uncovered a feature relevant to interviews in New Zealand—the so-called “tall poppy syndrome”.

“Candidates are obviously expected to present themselves as positively as they can but there is an implicit expectation that they will soften their self-promotion,” says Ewa.

Softening strategies include humorous comments, story-telling, or using intonation, gaze and gesture to engage the interviewer.

Ewa is putting her knowledge into practice by working for NZUniCareerHub—an initiative involving career services at seven New Zealand universities which matches graduates and employers.

Longer term she hopes to find work helping organisations to look at the way they think about, and approach, interviews. “Bad employment choice is a costly business,” she says.

Ewa graduates with a PhD in Applied Linguistics on Thursday 12 December at 1.30pm.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news