ISD-Interview

How to Ace Your ISD Interview

Interviewing can be stressful. Just thinking about walking into an interview can conjure up thoughts of sweaty palms, out of control heartbeats, and a little nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach. These are all natural responses, but if not controlled can destroy your chance of getting that job.

The reason so many people suffer this kind of nervousness is because of the unknowns. You never know what type of question is going to be tossed your way. Will the interviewer ask traditional type questions, situational ones, or one centered around ISD specifics relating to software, philosophy, or trends?

Unknowns can wreak havoc. So, how can you best deal with them? By showing up fully prepared to succeed.

6 ways to ace your ISD interview:

Speak with expression
Use vocal variety when speaking. By varying your inflection, pitch and volume, and adding in some noticeable pauses, you’ll be less apt to bore the interviewer. You’ll appear interested and energized, which are two highly-desirable features.

Think like the hiring manager
Imagine you were the one hiring for the position. What would you want to hear and see from a candidate? What would help you connect? Perhaps mirroring body position, using eye contact, and demonstrating excitement for the opportunity to interview?

Use solid examples
Employers are usually looking to see how you have handled challenges in the past. They want to understand your process in working through a challenge, analyzing all the pieces, and composing a logical solution. Providing examples of how you’ve dealt with such challenges is a strong way to prove you are the best person for the position.

Prepare a list of follow up questions
Always ask questions when invited to do so. This not only allows the interviewer to see if you are a good fit for the company, but even more importantly, it allows you to analyze if the company is a good fit for you. Ask questions about company culture, advancement opportunities, management styles, team dynamics, and what’s expected. By asking thoughtful questions, you’ll make it clear that you are interested in and serious about the position.

Prepare for potential questions
The Instructional Design Technology – Career Development Blog has an insightful list of potential questions that can help you prepare for an ISD interview.

One of the questions that the blog asks: What is your proficiency level of eLearning tools such as Flash, Captivate, Camtasia, Breeze, Blackboard?

When answering such a question, remember to cite solid examples. Highlight a recent work project you completed successfully, and talk about how the tool helped you accomplish your goal. This will not only offer you an opportunity to illustrate your knowledge and skill level, but also will give you the chance to showcase your best work.

Send a thank you email the same day
A huge mistake many make when interviewing is not sending a thank you. Email is a good medium because it’s quick, modern, and they may even respond. Your thank you email should include a sincere note of gratitude for meeting with you, a confident statement that you really want the job, and a quick plug outlining why you’re perfect for it.

A Career in ISD

If you’re looking to enter into the ISD field or are trying to advance in it, adding to your educational skills can help. Some ISD graduate programs, like UMBC’s master’s program in Instructional systems development, offer a portfolio element to their curriculum. A portfolio provides students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned with tangible evidence of knowledge, skill, abilities and competencies. Portfolios can be a wonderful career tool that may assist graduates in getting jobs, promotions, new clients, and other professional opportunities.

Over to you. How do you prepare for an interview? Feel free to comment and share your ideas!

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