Lesson Plan

Communicating in Interviews

Students learn to communicate effectively and persuasively in interviews.
Rachelle W.
Digital Learning Specialist
Fort Settlement Middle School
Sugar Land, United States
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts

The prevalence of technology has changed the nature of job interviews or college interviews for today's 21st century learners.  This lesson aims to prepare students with the elaboration, self-exploration, speaking and listening skills to approach any interview situation with confidence.  At the end of the lesson, students will be able to: 

  • participate effectively in both informal and formal interview settings
  • come to the interview prepared with thoughtful responses and questions
  • invite and encourage classmates' to participate and elaborate in interviews
  • communicate their responses clearly, concisely, and logically to the appropriate audience and situation
  • make strategic use of digital media to demonstrate how to participate in a job/college interview
English Language Arts
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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Introduce students to the unit on interviewing by sharing how one thing we will all experience at some point in our life is a job interview.  Use Animoto or Adobe Voice as a way to create a fictitious digital story of one student's experience as an example or nonexample of a positive interview experience.  Add a compelling music track to convey the mood you want to express.

Student Instructions

As students watch the story, have them generate a list of questions/concerns when it comes to the  job interview or college interview using Padlet. For example, what do you do if you are interviewing from long distance, how should I dress, etc.  You may use this list in facilitating this lesson and providing student feedback.

2 Direct Instruction

Using Blendspace, you can create and integrate a variety of tools to share with students on the topic of Interviews. If you are a teacher in a flipped classroom environment, you can simply have students watch this curated content outside of class.  In Blendspace, you can add images, webpages, text, documents and even a short quiz.  The structure it provides makes sure students stay on track and the variety fo content and examples can assist you in accomodating all students' learning styles.  As an after-video activity, have students respond to a list of the 10 most common interview questions. (Here is a list of 10 common questions from U.S. News and World Report. The title is hyperlinked to the article source.)

10 Most Common Interview Questions: 

1.  Tell me about yourself.

2.  What interests you about this job?

3.  Why did you leave your last job? (if applicable)

4.  Why would you excel at this job?

5.  What do you know about our company so far?

6.  Tell me about a time when...

7.  What would you do in your first 90 days in this position?

8.  What's most important to you in a new position?

9.  What salary range are you looking for?

10. What questions do you have for me?

Student Instructions

Students respond on paper or a note-taking application of their choice with their responses to the 10 most common interview questions.  If students need support or want to see examples, provide a link to the article to help them get started or create your own responses to the questions.

3 Guided Practice

Using the "small groups" feature in Edmodo, place students in groups to practice asking and responding to interview questions.  This gives shy students an opportunity to participate in a non-threatening way. Since students are in smaller groups, you can see which students are getting it (praise them) and provide suggestions or clarification for those that need support.  If necessary you can message students directly.  This way you can see if all students understand how to respond to interview questions.

Place students in small groups of five and assign each member two of the most common interview questions.  Each student will pose their question to the small group and respond to the other members' questions in the small group.  (Note: If you do not have access to the technology, you can always split them in groups of 10 and practice responding to one question at at time and moving to the next student after 3 minutes- like speed dating)

Student Instructions

Take turns posing one of the 10 Most Common interview questions and responding to a classmate's question.

4 Independent Practice

Students partner up and take turns asking each other interview questions.  Questions and responses are recorded using Audacity or in video form using iMovie.  Once students are finished they export the file as MP3/MP4 and upload their final assignment in Edmodo.  Sample criteria for interview responses are: delivery, quality of response, volume, etc.  This is ideal for summative assessment.

Student Instructions

Create an audio recording or a video of a mock job interview.  You and your partner will take turns answering and asking questions.  When you are asking the questions feel free to encourage your partner to elaborate more if necesssary.  You will be evaluated on the following criteria: delivery (eye contact/posture/volume), quality of response, video: appearance. 

5 Wrap-Up


The final activity is a great way to extend the learning and have students experience interviews in a real-world context.  Students will have an opportunity to participate and present themselves in a mock interview with volunteers from the community.   You may also want to consider having students do a mock interview with a panel of volunteers (or other class) using Skype or videoconferencing technology.

Student Instructions

Apply what you've learned about interviews in a more formal interview setting.  You will participate in a mock interview with volunteers from the community or with a panel of volunteers using Skype or other distance learning technology.