Interview and Resume Preparation Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

The person/message feedback reflects whether the focus is on the person who sent the feedback or the message. The immediate/delayed one is focused on the timeline of the feedback. The monitoring one has to do with the spontaneity and sincerity of the feedback. Finally, the supportive-critical one reflects the divergence or convergence of the feedback with the original message.

Self-centered feedback is a combination of the feedback types previously mentioned, being a person-focused one, most likely supportive, intentional and positive. This type of feedback can enhance the communication content if it reflects a sincere, unbiased opinion, but because it's likely to be subjective, it can distort the feedback message and implicitly become detrimental to the communication.

6. Interviewing

It is said that non-verbal communication accounts for more than 90% of the message sent out in an interview. In fact the verbal content weights only 7% of the message the interviewer receives from the candidate. The non-verbal communication is divided into body language and the way the candidate speaks, such as the tone of the voice. This type of communication has several ways of being expressed, such as posture, eye-contact, voice delivery and the hands' position.

Posture has to do with the way the candidate seats in his/her chair. This should be upright, but not too stiff; otherwise it wouldn't inspire self-confidence and the feeling of comfortable. Relaxing and leaning forward, roughly 10 degrees towards the interviewer, should reflect interest and involvement.

Direct eye-contact with the interviewer, when this one is talking reflects active listening. The overuse of eye-contact can seem challenging and lecturing for the interviewer. Experts suggest the eye-contact for about 10 seconds before briefly looking away and then re-establishing the eye-contact.

A controlled and clear voice should inspire confidence to the interviewer. It is advised to talk to the interviewer as an equal, rather than a subordinate, avoid monotone voice or high-pitched one, and breathe or pause before or after a question. Smiling or nodding could be appropriate at times, but the candidate needs to be careful not to overdo it.

Hands' control might not seem very important, but they can send various messages to the interviewer, so the candidate needs to be careful with them. Therefore, if the candidate doesn't' know what to do with them, he/she should rest them on the table or in his/her lap. Experts' opinion is that the less the candidate moves his/her hands, the more in control he/she is.

7. Difficult Question

When asked difficult questions, the candidate feels instinctively that the interviewer is probing, making the former feel like he/she is under great scrutiny. As one prepares his/her responses before the interview, one might want to consider what information these difficult questions seek: that is, are there ways in which the candidate can become a liability to the company through his/her answers? or, if the company intends to invest in the candidate after being hired, what kinds of things would this one need to overcome? Is the candidate kind of person who can deal with things when these get rough, or not?

Experts suggest being honest, but reassuring in answering sensitive questions. The candidate should use tact and choose his/her words carefully so that he/she shows respect for other people in his/her responses. Also, he/she should usually use understatement in his/her reply to sensitive questions because when people hear something slightly negative, they tend to focus on this aspect in a way that is out of proportion when compared to its significance in day-to-day life. For instance, if one says during the interview that he/she is not always organized, the interviewer might imagine a desk full of papers strewn everywhere or deadlines missed. However, in reality one's conception of disorganization might not be the same as the interviewer's conception of disorganization, but rather closer to his/her conception of organization.

Most of the interviewer's difficult questions could be answered honestly in many ways. The candidate just has to choose the version of the truth that is most appealing, which is also the version that helps support the main message.

There are many ways to answer to difficult questions. Persuasive appeal, quality of evidence and the avoidance of fallacies are some of them. The persuasive appeal was used even in antiquity by the Greeks and it has three dimensions: ethos -- which is the speaker's credibility; pathos -- which implies appealing to the listener's emotional and psychological needs; and logos -- which are the logical arguments. A persuasive appeal should start with a claim, continue with the evidence that supports the claim and finally the speaker's reasoning to for using the chosen evidence to support his/her claim.

Logical evidence is part of the persuasive appeal because it comes to support the claim made by the speaker. Verbal evidence is any statement made by the speaker that supports his/her claim. Real evidence is a material thing that comes to support the claim (e.g. murder weapon in a murder trial). Evidence should be relevant, material, clear, credible and recent to be able to really support the claim.

Fallacies are flaws in thinking that need to be avoided and/or examined by both a good speaker and a discriminating listener. Fallacies can come from hasty generalizations or false division.

Reference list:

Hackman, J.R. And Morris, C.G. 1975. Group Tasks, Group Interaction Process, and Group Performance Effectiveness: A Review and Proposed Integration. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.). 1975. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 8: pp. 47-99. New York: Academic Press.

Hackman, J.R., Brousseau, K.R., and Weiss, J.A. 1976. The Interaction of Task Design and Group Performance Strategies in Determining Group Effectiveness. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, Vol. 16: pp. 350-365.

Janis, I.L. And Mann, L. 1977. Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice and Commitment. New York: Free Press.

Pierce, J.L. And Newstrom, J. 2000. Leaders and the Leadership Process. McGraw Hill: Boston, MA.

Wittenbaum, G.M. And Strasser, G. 1996. Management of Information in Small Groups. In Nye,

J.L. And Brower, a.M. (Eds.) What's Social About Social Cognition? Research on Socially Shared Cognition in Small Groups. pp. 3-28. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

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