stick to the script.

I’m not talking movie script. I’m referring to the talking points you have in your back pocket if faced with a tough, anticipated question during a job interview. Do you have an employment gap in your background? Did you graduate with a low GPA? Did you make several job changes in the recent past? An important strategy for interviewing is to anticipate the types of questions that an employer may ask having reviewed your experiences. If there is an area of your background that concerns you, it’s best to assume that an employer may share that concern – and expect you to shed some light during an interview. Having a “script” prepared will allow you to address the question in a direct, concise way, and MOVE ON.

For instance, in the case of a lower GPA… “At the start of my freshman year, I jumped right into several student activities which were time intensive. I soon realized that selecting a few activities outside of my academic schedule was a better fit for me as I made the transition to Penn that first year. Ultimately, I was able to engage in several meaningful, long-term leadership activities at Penn while maintaining solid grades in the classroom. I look forward to sharing these experiences with you today.” In this example, the low GPA was addressed and the conversation was easily redirected.

I can’t stress enough the importance of preparing this brief “script” ahead of time. However, be sure that you don’t come off as rehearsed as you keep your talking points in mind. Follow these simple steps and you may just receive a standing ovation.

  1. Anticipate.
  2. Prepare talking points.
  3. Practice.
  4. Stick to the script.
  5. Move on.

Author: Sarah

Sarah Hastings is a career counselor with the Nursing/Education/SP2 advising group.