Job Hunting – Using Toastmasters to Prepare for the Interview, Part III

For Part 1 of this series, I discussed valuable lessons that came from using prepared speeches to better develop my skills for the job interview process. In Part 2, we looked at how to Get to the Point to further practice and prepare for that next interview. In this segment, we’ll discuss using CC Speech #3, Organize your Speech and how to practice ways to impress your next boss with organized answers to their questions.

Speech 3 – Organize your Speech.

Organizing your speech may feel counterintuitive when you’re thinking about answering questions in an interview. After all, you may feel like you cannot be prepared for specific questions that will come up in a job interview situation. While that can be true from time to time, with proper practice you can be prepared for a large number of common interview questions (and variants) that you’re likely to encounter.

An example I’ve seen (and used) multiple times is the common, “Tell me about a time you tackled a challenging situation?”

To provide a well-organized response, consider the following format:
1. Describe the situation
2. Describe the solution
3. Discuss the steps that got you (or your team) from problem to solution

Another example, “Tell me about your most successful effort.” could have a very similar organization:
1. Describe the situation
2. Describe the solution
3. Discuss the steps that got you (or your team) to that solution

 

For this project, I recommend splitting the speech into 2 questions (like the two above, or you can pick other questions) and then use this format:

For the opening – tell your club audience that you’re going to answer 2 interview questions in this speech, and what job you are looking for (about 30 seconds to 1 minute)

In the body of the speech – give each question, followed by your answer. Each answer should be 1.5 – 2 minutes

For the closing– in roughly 1 minute, explain why you would be ideal for the position you’re applying for

Since you already did “Tell me about yourself?” in the Icebreaker and 3 questions in speech 2, you can choose different questions for this project, or revisit ones from before to sharpen your answers. i.e you could choose to include the “Tell me about yourself” question if you want to practice your changes based on the feedback to the Icebreaker project; that’s up to you.

As before, for some ideas on questions, I suggest CareerBuilder.com which has great content on interview questions, such as this article: http://advice.careerbuilder.com/posts/how-to-answer-10-tough-interview-questions

And as always, when the meeting is over I recommend that you find a few minutes to talk to your TM mentor about the presentation, and discuss plans for your next speech. Remember to keep the notes from your evaluation. You’ll want to practice these questions again. Believe me.

In our next article, we’ll discuss using future projects to continue your practice to get that job.

Good Hunting!

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