Summarizing During Job Interviews
Summarizing is a key skill to deploy when you are interviewing for a job. It demonstrates your clear thinking and your communication skills and it can help to leave a great mental picture of you with your interviewers at the end of your session. Successful summaries are all about practice.
Leverage Introductory Comments
Many interviews begin with an open-ended question that allows you in effect to introduce yourself. Some candidates will take this as an invitation to ramble on in an unorganized way about their personal lives and professional experience. Instead of this unimpressive approach, come prepared with a pithy summary that gives a positive thumbnail sketch of you as a candidate. Give enough detail to draw the interviewers into further questions, but leave out anything irrelevant to the position on offer. Red Rocks Community College emphasizes the importance of using an introduction as a compelling way to outline why you are the best candidate for the job.
Leave a Lasting Impression
Your prepared summary should be about ninety seconds in length, and you should think of it as a kind of personal branding statement. It should very briefly summarize your career experience to date, showcase a recent accomplishment you are proud of, and then finish by explaining how you would like to contribute to the hiring company’s mission.
Describe Your Experience
You should also be prepared with a good summary of what you do in your present or most recent job, demonstrating how you have developed your professional skills. Particularly highlight those skills that pertain to the job you’re interviewing for, and while keeping it brief, do include specifics about how well you met your goals.
Reinforce Positive Attributes
As you get toward the end of the interview, look for an opportunity to present a short summary of why you are the best candidate for the job. You can think of this as “closing the sale.” You may be asked if you have anything to add, and this is an excellent opportunity to give your summary. If not, volunteer it at the end of the interview. It should express enthusiasm about the job, summarize some of the key points of the position and briefly show how you meet those requirements.
Follow-Up After the Interview
Take good mental notes during the interview of the main points you believe the interviewers were seeking in the successful candidate. When you write a thank you letter after the interview include a brief summary of the points in your resume or experience that closely fit you for the role. You can use bullet points if you like, to make it easy for the recruiting manager to scan. Send a thank you note within two days of your interview and follow-up with a phone call as a way to emphasize your interest, stresses The University of California, Berkeley.