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How to Write an Interview Paragraph

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Most job-seekers are used to preparing for face-to-face interviews. However, some companies are adding an additional step to the process or, for companies that hire people to work from home, replacing the face-to-to face interview with a written one. For some job seekers, the written interview is better than the face-to-face interview because it gives them more time to ensure their responses are perfect. For others, the written interview is frightening because job seekers are concerned they will not be able to express themselves clearly in writing.

Read the interview question carefully. Ask yourself, "What does the interviewer hope to learn about me from this?" Some requests for written interviews will be very specific. Others will simply ask you to introduce yourself. Understand whether the would-be employer wants a general introduction or some specific information about your experiences, strengths and weaknesses before you begin writing.

Create an outline for your interview paragraph. Use the information obtained in step one to focus your outline. For example, if the interviewer wants you to give an overview of your experience with children, your outline would include one or two general statements about your experience with education and examples to prove those statements. Limit your outline to three major points.

Write your paragraph clearly and concisely, following the outline you created in the previous step. Give only necessary information, and give clear, specific examples that highlight your achievements. Use key words from the job description and job posting, as well as specific action verbs, to describe your skills and experience.

Revise the paragraph written in step three to include a stunning introduction and conclusion. Use introductions that make an intriguing yet clear statement about your qualifications for the job, and conclude with a summary of why you are right for the position.

Ask a friend or colleague to read your interview paragraph. Ask her to point out any extraneous information and confusing points. Similarly, ask her to tell you whether your length appears too sparse, just right or too wordy. Have another friend or colleague proofread your paragraph for grammar and spelling mistakes.

Tip

Use I-centered language. While it is common to want to avoid talking about yourself, an interview paragraph is a place to write about yourself and brag about your achievements. However, you should not just tell the company why you are good, but tell them what you can do for them.

Warning

While you may have a lot to say about your qualifications for the job, be careful not to make your paragraph too long. A long-winded paragraph is boring to the employer. It is better to write clearly and concisely, and leave some questions for them to ask you during the second interview.

About the Author

Miranda Morley is an educator, business consultant and owner of a copywriting/social-media management company. Her work has been featured in the "Boston Literary Magazine," "Subversify Magazine" and "American Builder's Quarterly." Morley has a B.A. in English, political science and international relations. She is completing her M.A. in rhetoric and composition from Purdue University Calumet.

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