Learn “newspaper style” in your interviewing technique. Written and oral, it can rescue the toughest of interview scenarios.
I have a request of you. The next time you pick up a newspaper – old-fashioned paper or high-tech online – notice the way each item is written.
- The headline summarizes the article.
- The first paragraph lays out the entire story.
- The first sentence of every paragraph tells what the whole paragraph is about.
- The major facts of every story always come first. Less important, more detailed points come later, and the most insignificant are at the end.
There’s solid reasoning behind this big-picture-up-front format. It lets you, the reader get what you want out of the news article very rapidly and effectively. You can stop reading any article after a paragraph or two, and still know the gist of the story. And when an article really interests you, you can dig deeper into the minutiae by reading further.
What does this have to do with your interviews? Just as when you read the newspaper, your interviewer always has the right to dig deeper, or shift to a different subject. You have the prerogative to discontinue any article after only a headline or a paragraph. And your interviewer can redirect you to a different topic, simply by asking another question.Your interviewer has the right to dig deeper, or shift to a different subject. Click To Tweet
So, organize your answers to interview questions in “newspaper style.” State your main point in the first sentence or two of each answer. Don’t flounder in details to set up the scenario for your main point. If you do, a new question may cut you off before you get to your main point. You’ll run the risk of appearing narrow-minded, inconsistent, and detail-oriented to a fault – even if you’re not!
I’ve found that very few folks – including senior-level executives – have realized what their news reveals to them daily. If you learn and become skilled at newspaper style – both orally and in writing — your job search communications will improve. You’ll see that it goes beyond interviews to your resume, letters, social media profiles, and networking. And beyond job search, your general business communications will be enhanced – from memos, to group presentations.
“People care about what newspapers tell them to care about.” ~ Delia Parr
What do you think? Feel free to comment below!