How to Write an Interview Script
Writing an interview script, or formulating appropriate responses to anticipated interview questions, gives you the opportunity to flesh out the dialogue you want to use during an interview. While writing an interview script is ideal for interview preparation, when it comes down to the live interview, you should be ready to go “off script.” Ideally, your goal should be to engage in conversation with an interviewer, employing prepared elements from your script without sounding canned or rehearsed.
Write Answers to Common Questions
Start by formulating a response to typical introductory interview questions. Regardless of the line of work you are in, most common interviews start off with an invitation to discuss your background, your education and your previous work experience. Job sites like Indeed give plenty of guidance about the most common interview questions and how you might answer them.
For your scripting purposes, write a brief introduction that explains where you are from, where you received your training or education and summarize your previous work experience with an emphasis on positions that relate to the role for which you are applying.
Think About Strengths and Weaknesses
Next, write responses to interview questions that relate to what you consider to be your professional strengths and weaknesses. The strengths you choose to emphasize in your script should focus on your ability to manage your time, be detail-oriented and goal-focused, and to work independently as well as in a team environment, suggest careers website The Muse. Never say you don't have a weakness, as this can make you come across as arrogant. Rather, select a weakness that can easily be perceived as a strength, such as an aim for perfection or tendency to over-prepare presentations.
Questions about the Job
Anticipate questions that relate to your industry and to hypothetical issues you might encounter in the job you're seeking. For example, if you are applying for a job in publishing, you can anticipate questions related to fact-checking, meeting deadlines and working with a multidisciplinary team in producing publications. Consider past experiences that demonstrate your ability to troubleshoot problems, come up with innovative solutions and act quickly in ways that benefit your employer. Script answers to questions that ask you to elaborate on these areas.
Ask Things You Want to Know
Write a series of questions that are appropriate to ask the hiring manager as part of the interview process. For example, you may wish to ask for additional details about the job, inquire about how you will be evaluated, what the employer’s expectations are for the position and what immediate tasks you would be charged with if selected for the job.
To finish, script a summary to utilize when the interview is drawing to a close. The summary should reiterate your interest in the position and inquire if the hiring manager needs additional information about your background or your experience. Thank the interviewer for her time at the end of your interview.
If you don't manage to cover everything that is on your script in the interview, don't worry. You can always write a letter of thanks to the hiring manager or interview panel members, and use the letter to reiterate your strengths and qualifications, and if necessary, expand on areas of your background or education you don't believe you fully expressed during the interview.
- Write a letter of thanks to the hiring manager or interview panel members immediately following your interview. Use the letter to reiterate your strengths and qualifications, and if necessary, expand on areas of your background or education you don't believe you fully expressed during the interview.
Lisa McQuerrey has been an award-winning writer and author for more than 25 years. She specializes in business, finance, workplace/career and education. Publications she’s written for include Southwest Exchange and InBusiness Las Vegas.