Exercise: Interviews: Actionable Intentions

Once you have taken the time to comprehensively note what you bring to the table, decide how you intend to deliver that information. For each item on your list, think about one or two intentions that you can pair with your life narrative. For example, when you plan to present your educational accomplishments, you could report impress, explain, describe, or even extol. If you are asked about a time you made a mistake and how you handled it, after you describe the mistake, you might employ an intention to tell, to expound, to defend, to advocate, or to analyze your process of response. To answer surprise questions that are asked during the interview, you can first take your time to think about the intention behind your answer, then breathe, and then speak, acting upon your intention with your words.

For example, “I will respond by associating, comparing, teaching, or clarifying what I do know”, then breathe, and then speak.

If possible, assemble potential questions that you might expect to be part of the interview or write out your ‘best guess’ list of questions. Practice answering those ‘best guess’ questions out loud with an underlying Intention. As you practice, you may learn that a particular Intention will shape and color the way you deliver your content. 

If you are a naturally bold and dynamic person that does not hesitate to claim your accomplishments and you want to Impress your interviewers, but do not want to be perceived as arrogant, you may simply employ a modifying Intention, such as,  Explain or Describe. Or, if you are the opposite type of individual, more inclined to minimize your role and emphasize teamwork, but do not want to appear reserved or understated, you may need a modifying Intention such as Inspire or Galvanize as you deliver. Remember that Intentions serve to achieve your Desired Outcomes during an interview. 

Keep in mind that there are many possible outcomes for an interview and no matter what your personality type, Intentions can support Amplification, Balance, or Softening of your natural and authentic self. 

Effective preparation for any interview includes practicing your answers out loud to questions or topics you are sure to encounter. It also involves preparing to answer questions that go beyond the standard interview line of inquiry. That means preparing for improvisation.

Employ the pattern of think, breathe, speak. Take the time to think about selecting an intention or direction. Then speak as you practice. This pattern will strengthen your ability to manage the pressure of an interview and slow the impulse to inhale and answer immediately before you are ready. While you may have an idea of what you want to communicate, you may not want the actual interview experience to be the first time you translate those ideas out loud and with body positioning, vocal production and gestures.

Learner Milestones

  • Predetermine Intentions that can be acted upon in the Interview

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