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Interview Skills: Effective Strategies and Techniques for Mastering Interviews

Course Syllabus

Instructor: Shawn Randy Fisher
Rutgers Email:
Course: 37:575:393:05
Dates: 3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18, 4/25
Day/Time: Saturdays, 1:00 pm - 3:50 pm
Duration: 5 classes -
Location: C/D Labor Education Center (SMLR), Room 133 LEC
Office Hours: By appointment (by phone / computer)


Course Description

This course is intended to help you showcase your personality, strengths, interests, and abilities to potential employers (hiring managers, decision-makers) through the interview process.

Intended audience

It is for people - at any stage of their careers - who want to learn how to prepare for and master the interview process. Content is provided from both the interviewer and interviewee perspective.

Learning Outcomes

Course Level

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • describe appropriate behavior and dress for the interview;
  • list and prepare for commonly asked / behavioral interview questions;
  • explain the perspective of a hiring manager
  • list suggested questions to ask hiring managers, human resources personnel, recruiters, third parties, and so forth;
  • describe techniques and tactics to study prior to your first interview;
  • list questions to ask yourself after the interview to evaluate your success and areas in which you can improve;
  • list tips to manage the phone interview;
  • develop an effective strategy for managing different types of interviews and special situations
  • develop an effective strategy for negotiating salary issues

You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.

Course Methodology

  • Short lectures, facilitated activities
  • Interactive, participative, experiential
  • There are also readings, discussions and assignments

Course Requirements

Computers, Tablets, Phones & Electronic Devices Not Permitted In Class - 1st Class is an Exception

  • Phones are to be turned off for the duration of the class.
  • Texting is not permitted.
  • Bring a Pen / Pencil and Paper to Class to take notes.

Attendance & Absences

  • Students are expected to attend class on-time, participate and contribute with substantive ideas and comments (vs. rah-rah) individually (as called upon by the instructor); in pairs and in groups.
  • Work is monitored and evaluated by the instructor.
  • Absences affect the learning experience - yours and your classmates. If you are more than 15 minutes late for class, it will count as an absence. This is STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  • This is a short course. A 2nd absence may result in failure of the course. If you are absent for any reason, you are responsible for the information presented in class and any assignments submitted.
  • If you know in advance that you are going to be absent, it is your responsibility to let the Instructor know via email. You are still responsible for readings, review of slides and content and readings. Absence from class is NOT an excuse for late or missing work.
    • (Comment.gif: If you know you are going to be absent with a legitimate reason (i.e., religious holiday, medical note), please go to:
    • If you are going to be absent, you must submit all work that is due by 11:00 PM the day of class.

Missed Classes

  • If you are absent, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING ALL OF THE CLASS LECTURE INFORMATION AND NOTES including possible adjustments to the course calendar.
  • Get these from a classmate and/or the Canvas (LMS) site BEFORE asking to see me for extra help; I cannot be solely responsible for helping every absentee student catch up.
  • Be smart and get this info BEFORE the next class in case the next class is affected (e.g. I give an extra assignment, I move the location, I change the reading or a due date, etc.).
  • Besides, you can only stay up to date if you make up missed work immediately.
  • Quizzes and class exercises cannot be made up if you're not here.

Learning Management System

  • Depending on the course, we use either Sakai ( OR Canvas ( as our Learning Management System (LMS) + the primary means of Communication.
  • Every student is responsible for any information conveyed via the LMS. Be sure that you are able to receive announcements through this platform. Check your email inbox to ensure you are receiving emails.

Using Google Docs

  • Some assignments are to be submitted via the Learning Management System; others Google Docs
    • Be sure that you are familiar with the functionality of both.
  • The standard format for written assignments (unless stated otherwise) is MLA-style, using 12 point Times New Roman font, single-spaced, with one-inch margins (i.e., 500 words per page).
  • Documents MUST be named this way: FirstName LastName_Assignment Name (For example, 'RandyFisher'_Final Paper).
  • For some assignments, we will use


  • Homework is required in this course.
  • Plan your time and activities to meet the requirements and deadlines specified in the course.

Class Participation

  • Class participation is required in class and online - in terms of quality and quantity - Students are REQUIRED TO PROVIDE FULL ATTENTION AND PARTICIPATION.

Due Dates & Assignments

  • All assignments must be submitted ONLINE (No Hard / Print Copies accepted)
  • Blog Posts are to be submitted as a "Blog Post"
  • All required assignments MUST be submitted to pass the course. Late Assignments (i.e., timestamped or received 11:56 PM) will NOT be accepted or graded. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Classroom behavior

  • It is the University policy that free discussion, inquiry, and expression are encouraged in class.
  • However, classroom behavior that interferes with either (a) the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or (b) the ability of students to benefit from the instruction is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • Examples may include routinely entering class late or departing early; use of beepers, cellular telephones, or other electronic devices; repeatedly talking in class without being recognized; talking while others are speaking; or arguing in a way that is perceived as “crossing the civility line.”
  • In the event of a situation where a student legitimately needs to carry a beeper/cellular telephone to class, prior notice and approval of the instructor is required.
  • Classroom behavior which is deemed inappropriate and cannot be resolved by the student and the faculty member may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct ( for administrative or disciplinary review as per the Code of Student Conduct which may be found at

Disability & Accommodations

If you are a qualified student with a disability seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify with the Office of Disability Services. (

  • The classroom is not a place for children or animals (pets).
  • Students are NOT permitted to bring family members or pets for daycare or baby sitting. Service animals are acceptable.

Weekly Activities

Pre-Work / Course

Objectives & Initial Review

The Interview Skills class is designed to be practical, experiential, applied, hands-on....and fun!

In the week leading up to the class, please start looking at the job ads on or company websites, and identify a job posting / advertisement that you are interested in AND believe that you could do. (i.e., you've got 7/10 of the criteria / requirements) and/or the transferable skills.


  • Introduce yourself - your name, field of study, desired job / role, cool jobs you've had, and something intriguing about you / your (work) experiences. Try for 200 words!

Learning & Activities

Review the course structure (i.e., the flow / sequence of the content and activities) to learn about the expectations and requirements for the course. Also be sure to review the assignments, requirements and deadlines.


Bring to Class

  • A job advertisement of a job you believe you are qualified for. Also - take a picture of it for safekeeping.
  • Pen and paper to take notes. (If you need an electronic version, you can take a photo afterwards.)

Pay Attention to ALL Instructions

  • Important instructions are provided in class - and may not be repeated - for required work and assignments.

Preparation = Success

Success in this course requires planning, preparing and time management. DON'T DO ASSIGNMENTS AT THE LAST MINUTE.

Week 1 - Course Intro / Syllabus Review + CAR Stories Intro

(Comment.gif: Instructor's Opening: I remember a time when I was applying for a job - polished up my resume, tweaked the cover letter; submitted application to applicant trackint system (ATS) and waited for several weeks. Then, I got an interview....and after hearing "Tell Me About Yourself", I thought it would have been great to practice AHEAD of time.)

Objectives & Initial Review

  • Course intro, about instructor, syllabus review
    • Course simulates the interview experience
    • Experiential, APPLIED, interactive
    • High quality participation expected + rewarded (in-person & online)
  • Interviewing is a Job Skill + Life Skill
  • Direct feedback (Professor), practice (mock interviews)
  • Reduce stress - for interviews
  • Review assignments & instructions; blog posting themes; grading
    • Importance of Planning Ahead - especially to find Interviewers for Videos
    • It is Student's Responsibility to Be Up to Date
  • No Computers / Electronic Devices in Class (after 1st class)

Multimedia, Readings


Learning & Activities (in-class)

  • Interviewing as "muscle memory"
  • Background, Skills, Experience & Transferable Skills
  • Behavioral Interviews & CAR Stories - how / why to use them
    • Simulation of Interview in-class



Prepare for Class

  • Create blog
  • Find & Save Advertised Job Description (PDF)
    • Write three (3) CAR Stories FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE - THAT MATCHES this Job Description - pay attention to Job Requirements & Roles and Responsibilities.
  • Bring pen and paper to next class - to take notes (you can take a picture of them when you're finished)

Week 2 - CAR Stories (cont'd) + Research Thyself & Employers

Objectives & Initial Review

  • Why Am I Taking this Course? Purpose?
  • Blog Posts - What Did I Learn - Self, Others?
  • What is the Objective of the Interview
  • What is a Behavioral Interview?
  • What is a CAR Story? Transferable Skills? Competencies?
    • Why are CAR Stories Important?

Multimedia, Readings


Learning & Activities (in-class)

  • Handshake U
  • When does Interview Start?
  • CAR Stories (for professional job): Specific information of value, interest to prospective employer
    • Job Description, Roles & Responsibilities
  • Knowledge + Experience & Transferable Skills (70 / 30)
  • Researching Employers (Organizations, Hiring Managers, Decision-Makers)


  • Handshake U - (walk in)
  • Self - Revise Your CAR Stories - for your Professional Job
    • Tighten up Delivery, Language & Body Language
    • Integrate Transferable Skills
  • Pairs - CAR Stories - Peer Review/Practice (in pairs, 5 min)
    • (Comment.gif: Hint - Use CAR Stories + Transferable Skills into Your Response to Behavioral Interview Questions)
    • Suggest How Peer can Improve Their CAR Story
  • Plenary: Call on Individuals - Share CAR Story (on-the-spot)
  • Lecturette: Researching Organizations & Desired Job / Role
    • Job Role
    • Organization
    • Hiring Manager / Decision-Maker
    • "The Business" - customers, markets, competitors, revenues, profitability, etc.
    • Pain, Problems, Challenges
    • Info Sources - Library, LinkedIn, Website,
    • Organization "Burn" Rate
    • Connect the Dots
  • Research Employers (pairs OR groups, 4-5 people)
    • What is the business, products, services, industry, growing / declining, issues / "Pain"
    • Present/Plenary


Prepare for Class

  • Stand Up and Vocally Practice Three (3) CAR Stories - in Response to Behavioral Interview Questions
    • Rehearse Out Loud to Friend, Colleague and/or in front of Mirror
  • Integrate CAR Stories into Your Cover Letters, Resumes & LinkedIn Profile
    • (Comment.gif: Recommendation - Create a LinkedIn Profile - make sure to upload a photo, and use your personal email address. You can populate it with your resume information)
    • Be sure to add the LinkedIn URL to the Class Email Sign Up Sheet (Google Docs)
  • Research Your Desired / Target Employer
    • (Comment.gif: As per the Google Slides in Week 2 - Toolkits I + II)
  • Write one (1) Blog post + substantive replies (before next class)

Week 3 - Critical Success Factors for Interviews

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Tip: Review + Mini-Intros will take about 1 hour of class time

Objectives & Initial Review

  • Blog Posts - what did I learn? Self, Others?
  • Integrating CAR Stories & Transferable Skills into Responses to Behavioral Interview Questions
  • Strategies for Researching Employers
  • Attunement - Importance of
  • Self-Awareness, Presentation, Delivery
  • Assignment Review
    • Video Interviews 1 + 2, Final Paper
    • (Comment.gif: Hint: Start Planning Ahead, Especially for Video 2 - You will need a Partner to ask you the Behavioral Interview Questions)

Multimedia, Readings


Learning & Activities (in-class)

  • Information Interviews
  • Nonverbal & Cultural Situations & Strategies & Voice Tone & Pace
  • Grooming, Team Colors,
  • Organization / Cultural Fit
  • Appropriate / Legal Questions
  • HR + Employer's Perspective (POSS. GUEST SPEAKER OR VIDEO)


Mini-Intros for Networking - for Practice / Conciseness
  • Networking - Mini-Intros (30 secs, timed, per person)
    • (1) Write your responses by self (3-4 min); (2); then choose one (1) person per table (about 8 tables) to stand up and model response and receive feedback (30 secs, timed); then everyone at each table per table has opportunity to present mini-intro (30 secs each, activity is approx. 5 min.)
  1. Full Name (or nickname)
  2. Field of Study / Interest
  3. Desired Role & Company (professional)
  4. What I Bring to Employer / Role - (Hint: Transferable Skills)
Appropriate - Legal & Illegal Questions
  • Ask Questions from ICTC HR Management Handbook - pp. 45-46:
    • Candidate Evaluation Chart / Selection Interview Chart (Instructor: Call and Response - walkabout)
    • Respond and Pivot - Like a Politican
CAR Story Practice (if time is available)
  • Make Your Pitch: Explain Your CAR Story - in Response to a Behavioral Interview Question
    • The CAR story is a way of aligning and mapping your experience to the behavior and requirements for your desired job / employer


Prepare for Class

  • Prepare for Mock Interviews / Oral Presentation (draft)
  • Conduct information interview(s) - off-campus / in-person is best
  • (Comment.gif: Information Interviews are essential for connecting with industry insiders; building relationships and discovering what you cannot learn from the job description OR Internet.)
  • Write blog post

Assignment DUE Next Class

  • Video 1 - Introduction / Interview (copy and paste URLin a Microsoft Word document (with your name - i.e., Shawn Fisher, Video 1)

Week 4 - The Interview Process & Types of Interviews

Objectives & Initial Review

  • Blog Posts - what did I learn? Self, Others?
  • Assignment Feedback
  • Preparing for Interviews / Employer Research
  • Body Language

Multimedia, Readings


Learning & Activities (in-class)

  • Integrating Job Role / Major Responsibilities into Answers (i.e., "Program Coordinator)
  • Challenging Questions - Acknowledge, Pivot, Return to CAR Stories & Transferable Skills
  • Managing Stress & Intro to Yoga (see Resources in Content & Readings)
  • Managing Your Electronic Profile & Digital Portfolio
  • Interview Clock / Time Management (10, 40, 15, 5)
  • References
  • Follow-up: Getting In Touch, Self / Negotiation vs. Team Player (optics)


  • Lecture: New learning (above)
  • Challenge / Pivot Answers - (Comment.gif: "You are unqualified OR have no real work experience in our industry - why should I hire you?)
  • Oral Presentations of Final Paper (optional)
  • SIRS Course Evaluation


Prepare for Class

  • Conduct Information Interviews with target employer / competitor (as per advertised job description)

Assignment DUE Next Class

  • Final Paper
  • Video 2

Week 5 - Getting Visibility; Salary & Compensation; Networking & Info Interviews

Objectives & Initial Review

  • Assignment Review - Video 1, Video 2, Final Paper
  • Blog - Learning and Takeaways

Multimedia, Readings


Learning & Activities (in-class)

  • Getting Noticed / Visibility (Job Search Today)
  • Negotiating Salary, Compensation
    • The Interview Process (& when does interview end) - Trump Middle Finger Lady
    • Contracts / Contracting
  • Information & Mock Interviews(revisited) - in pairs
  1. Information Interviews - to get inside information OR learn about about a person's experience in a job / in a company (based on their past experience) - (pairs)
  2. Mock Interviews (revisited)
    • Alumni (Rutgers); Trade Associations; Affinity Groups
  • OPTIONAL: The Road Ahead: Adobe VOCO; and Facebook: Grail (Telepresence / Hologram Technology) / puppetry / manipulation?


Networking & Future Trends

Homework & Wrap-Up

  • Complete remaining readings
  • Complete remaining blog post
  • SIRS - emailed directly to you (previous week)

Assignment Instructions

Blog Posts - Original Posts & Substantive Replies

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  1. Each week, you MUST blog about your experience of the interview process. (This is MANDATORY).
  2. The blog posts will help prepare you to write the Final Paper
  3. There are no grades for each blog post.
  4. They MUST be 250 words with substantive information / content AND substantive replies to at least two (2) of your peers (75 words for each person).


  • Posts that are less than 250 words are NOT considered "complete", and will forfeit credit for the week's post - and lose 10 points off your Grade for the Final Paper.
  • Contributors who do not respond substantively to at least two peers - will forfeit credit for the week's post - and lose 10 points off your Grade for the Final Paper.
  • Substantive replies are NOT required for the last (Week 5) blog post.

BLOG POSTS DUE: Wednesdays by 11:59 pm

  • You are required to reply substantively (75 words per person) to blog posts of your peers and colleagues - and continue the discussion thread / conversation as appropriate. Feel free to share your thoughts and advice.

REPLIES DUE: Fridays by 11:59 pm

  • Be aware of:
    • Timeliness
    • Connection / Alignment to Week's Theme
    • Focus on what you Learned
    • A SMART Goal for What You Are Going To Do Differently
    • Writing / Presentation Quality

Blog Posts - Themes

Week 1: Introduce Yourself: Your Name, Major / Field of Study, and the Types of Jobs / Companies you are looking to work for

Week 2: Three (3) CAR Stories from Your Work Experience (Aligned to the desired Job Description / Ad)

  1. CAR Story 1
  2. CAR Story 2
  3. CAR Story 3

Week 3: Identify and Research Employers of Interest

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Tip: This blog post requires that you actually do research - and you can do this at the Library, on the company website, news releases, LinkedIN, etc. Also, this is where networking and information interviews are very helpful - as they help you to connect the dots with hard to find, but important information.

Questions to Ask / Find the Information You Need

  • What is the Job / Role? What are you going to do?
  • What is the Organization? What do they do? What industry are they in?
  • What is their Business?
    • Who are their customers, markets, competitors
    • Are they making money? Losing money?
    • Are they in a regulated industry (i.e., energy, utilities, transportation);
    • Are they unionized?
    • What Problems / Challenges are they facing ("Pain)
  • Who is the Hiring Manager / Decision-Maker; Team Members - what are their backgrounds - what do they do, where have they worked before?
  • What is the culture of the organization like (you get this from networking / information interview)
    • Do people like to work there? Why/Why not? What is the average length of time that people stay in the organization?

Week 4: Information & Mock Interviews

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Tip: The blog posting for this week involves sharing the information you learned regarding setting up, conducting, assessing / evaluating Information Interviews and Mock Interviews - and what you will do differently as a result of what you observed or learned.

Week 5: Course Learnings & Takeaways

  1. What did I learn? How has this affected my understanding of the job search / interviewing process - from the perspective of employee and employer (hiring manager).
  2. What will I do differently? How Will I Handle Challenging Situations? How will I demonstrate this learning (i.e., experiment, put it into practice?)
  3. What are the Top 3 Actions that I will take to learn more / achieve my goals? Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-based).

Video Interviews (Upload to YouTube)

Planning Ahead for the Video Interviews

As per the Syllabus - the 1st weekly assignment is due soon  - the video interview of "Tell Me About Yourself".

See the Instructions -

You will need to plan ahead to make sure you have the appropriate clothing and the person asking you the behavioral questions (for Video Interview II - at the end of the course).

Dress Up - Wear Professional Attire

Going on an interview, whether on video or in-person requires professional attire.l - and these days, even if you are a computer programmer - you need to dress smartly for the interview process. You don't have to go out and spend $1,000 and high end tailoring - even if you go to a 2nd hand shop, you can get a shirt / slacks cleaned, and you will look snazzy. Dress to impress!

  • Men - a buttoned-down dress shirt (ironed / pressed) and a tie, and a blazer / jacket if you have one. Make sure you wear pants / slacks too - fully clothed (because you might have to get up unexpectedly - and you don't want to have interviewers see you in your underwear!). Avoid black shirts - white or blue is best.
  • Women - a blouse or button-downed shirt (not sleeveless), ironed / pressed and buttoned up (no plunging necklines) and a blazer / jacket. f you must wear an open blouse / shirt, do so under a blazer / jacket, and make sure that only one button is open - so the look is clean and conservative.
  • For Everyone - NO hats, NO wild colors, stripes, images or patterns - make sure what you wear is flattering and NOT distracting.
  • About Ties - they must be fully-tied - all the way to the neck. (Employers don't like the 'boy-band' look.) No loose / open shirts and the tie dangling below. This looks sloppy, unkempt and ultimately disrespectful to the employer. The tie must be affixed firmly to the shirt collar / your neck.

Once you get the job, then you can dress more casually. For interviews, the look is clean, polished and conservative.If you decide to be a 'free spirit', and wear 'whatever', then your employer will interpret this as rebellious, and a lack of discipline / following the rules, and not a team player - regardless of your answers to behavioral questions in the interview.

(Comment.gif: You do NOT have to buy any clothing for this class. If you have any concerns, please write / see me directly.)

Find an Interview Partner Who Will Ask You the Behavior Interview Questions

Finding someone at the last minute, is always a challenge - so, avoid that problem by asking someone ahead of time; confirming the day, time and place with them - and making sure to explain the process and your expectations of them.

The person will be required to ask you the behavioral interview questions, beginning with "Tell Me About Yourself". If you are not satisfied with your answer (i.e., the content or how you answered), you may want to do it again with them. So, ask for 1 hour of their time - and it will probably be less time. If you don't ask for enough time, then you will feel pressure to do the interview and this will affect your answers and performance.

Make sure to find the appropriate environment to conduct the interview - i.e., where you will sit, the lighting, the furniture and the recording means (i.e., computer / camera / smartphone). It is OK to hear the interviewer's voice on the video.

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Tip: Practice makes perfect - so practice your answers and tone and posture BEFORE doing it LIVE with your interviewer.

Practice, Practice, Practice; Use Bullet Points to Jog Your Memory; Dry Runs (4)

  • Practice makes perfect, and dry runs give you an opportunity to practice.
  • Be careful about memorizing a script - the candidate (you!) can come across as monotone (i.e., no variation in tone) - as if you're simply reading a script aloud. (In conversation, people don't sound that way.). Instead of a script, use bullet points to jog your memory.
  • Rehearse in front of a mirror - speak your 'notes out loud - until it becomes 2nd nature / natural
  • Feel free to vary your tone - speaking naturally with emphasis - just as you would in a normal conversation

Set Up the Camera + Look Directly into the Camera (not your computer screen)

  • Make sure to look directly into the camera. That is how the interviewer will see you.
  • Do a test of looking into the camera to see how it looks (as a dry run), and then in the interview, look into the camera. It's OK to look away from time to time - that is naturally - in conversation, people don't generally gaze into each other's eyes for minutes at a time!

High Priority: Properly Set Up Your Voicemail

  • Make sure to properly set up your voicemail, so that (1) You have a professional greeting that is easy to understand, spoken clearly and welcoming; and (2) You can RECEIVE MESSAGES from an employer!! (You would be amazed how many people do not do this!!)
  • If your voicemail is set up, then make sure to erase the messages in your inbox, to allow room for receiving new messages - from employers.
  • It is very frustrating for the employer to call you, and to receive a notice that there is no room in your voicemail inbox - it is not professional, for sure - and can set the wrong tone for your developing relationship. This is definitely something people will remember about you - and it DOES leave a BAD IMPRESSION!

Research the Company + Tell the Interviewer What Excites You About the Organization, Its Products / Services, Team, Culture, etc.

I would like to hear more about your excitement about working for the company. Use your research to find out more about the company, what was interesting to you and why; why do you want to work for them, vs. anyone else?

Video 1 - Tell Me About Yourself

  • 1 minute duration - use the video we watched in Week 1 as a Guide:
  • Focuses on the Job / Organization you are applying to.
  • Answers the question: Tell Me About Yourself and Gives them a Taste of Why They Should Hire You (Comment.gif: You can weave in a CAR Story in your answer / response but this is optional)
    • Show interest in the "business" of the organization and what they do, and why it is important.
  • Online Interview / Skype or YouTube Video call (aka 1st Interview screen}
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Tip: Be sure to map your experience to the job you want. For example, if the job is a "Coordinator", then it would make sense to use the word "coordinate" in how you explain your abilities. There will also be some keywords in the job description that you will want to tease / incorporate into your remarks.

Video 2 - Behavioral Interview Questions

(Comment.gif: Another person must ask you the questions - but I don't want to see them on camera. You have to speak directly to the Camera / Interviewer - while responding to the questions from the Interviewer. The Interviewer must follow the script - NO FREESTYLING - you will be penalized if the 4 Behavioral Interview Questions are not asked.)

  • 5 minutes duration
  • Answer Behavioral Interview Questions (3 or 4, including "Tell Me About Yourself")
  2. Tell me about a time....when you had a DIFFICULT CHALLENGING PROJECT to complete OR WHEN YOU HAD TO WORK UDER PRESSURE - what was difficult about it? What did you do? (i.e., time, resource, people constraints, met / did not meet goals)?
  3. Tell me about a time....when you had a CONFLICT WITH A SUPERVISOR / COLLEAGUE / OR CO-WORKER - what was the conflict? what did you do? What did you learn / do differently?...


  • Show Enthusiasm / Positive (i.e., You Want the Job)

Tips for a Successful Video Interview / Introduction

  • Wear professional attire: suit and tie
  • Be aware of bad angles, poor lighting
  • Be careful of ambient sound / noise - and seek to reduce it (i.e., air conditioner, humming of lights, traffic noise from open windows, etc.)
  • Look into the camera
  • Talk comfortably into the camera.
  • Don't sit on your bed OR do the video in your bedroom
  • Consider how you sound / come across
  • Write up your remarks as bullet points (Comment.gif: DO NOT READ FROM A SCRIPT - I WILL BE ABLE TO SEE YOUR EYES MOVING FROM SIDE TO SIDE READING IT; YOUR VOICE TONE WILL NOT BE GOOD, AND YOU WILL APPEAR ROBOTIC AND WOODEN. Memorization is equally problematic - what I am looking for is a more natural, conversational, relaxed delivery with the information required and seeing your smile, your enthusiasm and personality - just like in an in-person interview. )
  • Rehearse out loud, watch yourself / hear inflexions in tone (mirror), pacing
    • One approach that works, is to write out your remarks (bullet points help), then edit them to be more concise. Then, read them aloud - and take out wordy words (i.e., words you stumble over) - until it starts to feel more natural, compelling. You can then add body language by speaking into the mirror / seeing yourself on video.
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Tip: Memorizing Your Lines & Remember to Smile Be careful about memorizing your script - you want to leave room for natural, spontaneous delivery. If your video is 10 seconds (which it isn't), the performance comes across OK; but if your video is 1 minute (which it is), then your performance will come across as wooden and robotic! That is not something you want. So, make sure to include a bit of personality in your video - and a way to do this, is to show some other body language (i.e., smiling, relaxed shoulders, mild use of hands, relaxed shoulders.

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Tip: Use Bullet Points to Jog Your Memory - Use bullet points instead of a script - either from a piece of paper or your computer - and have the bullet points jog your memory. This way, you can glance at the information, and not read it.

  • Be enthusiastic about the position, SMILE if you can - ADD A SMILE TO YOUR VOICE / TONE
  • Show interest in the position and employer
  • The Instructor understand that it might not be comfortable to see yourself on video, hear your voice - this takes time to get used to - and you will have to do it in front of an interviewer - so again, practice makes perfect!
  • Make sure to remember the CAR stories you worked on, especially the Actions you performed, and Results achieved.

Instructions / Directions

  • Record your video - make sure sound level is OK and camera is working
    • Upload completed video to your YouTube Account (i.e., you may have to create a YouTube account - you can do so, but use your personal gmail address)
    • Set it to UNLISTED - so that anyone who has the link can see it (i.e., Me - Your Instructor) - You don't have to make it Public
  • Give it a meaningful name (i.e., your First Name & Last Name - Video Interview)
    • Make sure the YouTube Settings are: Anyone with the Link Can View

Submitting to Canvas

  • Copy the YouTube URL
  • Submit it in the Website URL in Canvas.


(Comment.gif: Penalties may be combined, at the discretion of the instructor)

  • Late Assignment / Missed Submission Date - 10 points
    • Video link not available for instructor to view = late assignment
  • Video under OR over allotted time - 7 points
  • Missing contact Information OR improper naming of documents - 2 points
  • Creating confusion for the interviewer / instructor - 2 points
  • Late, missing or incomplete discussion / blog posts - 1 point per each post, off final grade

Keep a Record of the Links for Your YouTube Videos - and Include them in the Final Paper (IF ASSIGNED)

    • Keep a copy of the link to your Video on YouTube and ALSO put it in a section in the Final Paper
    • Keep a copy of your Job Ad (PDF Format) - (i.e., not the link but the entire ad)
  • Make sure to provide a copy of this ad as supporting evidence in your Final Paper (Appendix)

Add Your Email Address & Cell Phone Number to Submitted Document

  • Please add your email address and cell phone number to the submitted document

Digital Projects / Portfolio

  • Any digital project / work that you do, may be used in your portfolio. This can be very impressive to employers.
  • Be sure to capture and organize all relevant links - (i.e., URLs, videos, tweets, etc.)
  • A good practice is to organize them in a Google Doc - and make sure you share it with your personal and Rutgers email addresses.
  • This can serve as part of your portfolio for this course (and other digital projects) that will be impressive to employers and can showcase what you've done.

Examples of Strong Capstone Websites

  • Here are some examples of strong Capstone websites (the students from School of Communications and Information have agreed that they may be shared).

Final Grades

Final grades are based on the following:

  • Blog Posts (or Discussions in Canvas) (based on Weekly Themes & Responses) - DUE WEEKLY
  • Video Interview 1 (Tell me about yourself - 1 minute) - 30%
  • Video Interview 2 (Behavioral Interview with Partner - 5 minutes) - 50%
  • In-Class Attendance & Participation (Qualitative) - 20%
  • (Comment.gif: In-Class attendance and participation is essential and rewarded. If you miss 2 or more classes, you may fail the course.)

Due Dates

  • Blog Posts - Weekly - Post (Wed, 11:59 pm) + Substantive Replies (Fri, 11:59 pm) - 5 weeks
  • Video Interview 1 - Week 4 - (Comment.gif: Do NOT Complete Video 2, until you receive Instructor feedback about Video 1)
  • Video Interview 2 - Week 5

Grading criteria

Grade Range Criteria
A 90-100 Excellent work: Student exhibits superior quality in mastery of content and method of the course which surpasses that which is required, demonstrates ability to make connections among various aspects of the course, is thoroughly prepared, demonstrates originality and accuracy, and consistently displays initiative and outstanding quality in fulfilling course requirements
B+ 87-89.9 Good to very good work: Student exhibits better-than- average understanding of the content and method of course, demonstrates ability to make connections among many aspects of the course, is generally well prepared and displays above-average levels of originality, accuracy, initiative and quality in fulfilling course requirements
B 80 - 86.9 Same as above
C+ 77-79.9 Passing work: Student exhibits sufficient understanding of content and method of the course, recognizes connections among some aspects of the course, fulfills all requirements of the course but displays levels of originality, accuracy, initiative and quality in fulfilling course requirements that could be improved upon in large measure
C 70-76.9 Same as above
D 60-69.9 Just passable work: Student exhibits limited understanding of the content and method of the course or some major portion thereof and of connections among aspects of the course, is not generally well prepared, displays limited initiative, originality and accuracy, and work fulfills only the bare minimum course requirements
F 59.9 and below Failing work: Student exhibits an insufficient understanding of course content and methods to pass the course, lacks sufficient preparation, originality, accuracy, and initiative, and work does not fulfill course requirements


Attendance & Class Participation

  • Unsatisfactory - 0 - Unexcused Absence; Not present to participate and contribute to class session and activities
  • Developing - 65 - Present but 5-10 or more minutes late; and/or Rarely or minimally participates in class session; and/or Less than attentive doing other non-related class activities (e.g., mobile devices, Internet, side conversations, other work)
  • Growing - 75 - Attends class AND participates satisfactorily. Contributes somewhat to class session and activities; respectful to others and attentive for the most part
  • Exemplary - 85+ - Attends class AND is actively involved; takes initiative; shows leadership and substantively contributes to class session and activities; respectful to others and is visibly attentive


Students must attach the Job Advertisement / or Job Description (PDF Version Only - NOT THE URL / HYPERLINK), since without it peers and instructors cannot judge audience expectations. The resume should be ordered in a way that best responds to the potential employer's needs and is aligned to the Job Description.

Bullet points should list the greatest accomplishment first, and then others in descending order. A "Result" is required for each job / position held (i.e., from your three (3) CAR Stories (Challenge, Action, Results). They should succinctly offer significant quantitative and qualitative details that clearly distinguishes the candidate, and highlight his / her experience and accomplishments -

The resume should be one full page in length. If experience warrants a second page is optional. No hanging sentences (i.e., less than 5 sentences on page 2).

Absolutely no errors of syntax, grammar, consistency, or tense. Errors in consistency (in spacing, parallel form, layout, capitalization, etc.) are especially prevalent. General sloppiness or failure to adhere to generally accepted principles (such as using active verbs) are also considered.

Assignment lateness, non-submission and/or not adequately following directions are factored into the assignment grade.

Video Interviews

CONTENT: Did the candidate provide adequate information and short examples to illustrate competency in Tell Me About Yourself (Video 1) and give CAR stories (Video 2) and provide clarity and relevant experience? Did the Candidate identify the specific job s/he was interviewing for?

AUDIENCE: How well did the candidate address the interviewer / employer?

CONFIDENCE: Did the speaker demonstrate knowledge, confidence, poise, courtesy, and interest? Was s/he reading a script; memorizing lines or ad-libbing?

EYE CONTACT: How well did the candidate look into the camera, acknowledge and address those actually present?

VOICE TONE & PACE: How were the candidate’s volume, enunciation, voice tone and pace of speaking? Was s/he wooden / robotic or comfortable? Was the interviewer able to understand him / her?

APPEARANCE & BODY LANGUAGE: How were the candidate’s appearance, posture and body language? Was the candidate professional and properly-dressed? Was the candidate nervous / fidgety or calm / relaxed? Was the candidate enthusiastic about the job opportunity?

ORGANIZATION: Was the candidate’s interview easy to follow?

PREPARATION: Did the candidate show careful planning, good time management, and smooth transitions? Was the candidate on-time, under-time, or over-time?

FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS: Did the candidate properly name the relevant documents in the appropriate format(s); and make sure they were submitted properly to the designated places?

TECHNICAL SET-UP: Was the candidate seated or standing; computer and camera set up properly, good audio and video and free from noise, interruptions and distractions? Was the camera at eye level?

Final Paper

Did the Candidate follow the required structure and format of the Final Paper (detailed in Assignment Instructions; complete the following sections thoroughly, completely and on-time; display excellence in written communications and clarity; and respect the word count, line spacing and directions?

  1. My Interest in this Position - Why? (150 words - 1-2 paragraphs)
  2. My Prospective Employer - Research (500 words - 1 page)
  3. My Interview Strategy (500 words - 1 page) - including SMART Goals
  4. My Learning (including SMART Goals) - (500 words - 1 page)
  5. Appendices - in one (1) document (PDF)

Additional Detail About Grades

Grades: A, B / B+, C / C+, D, F

  • A - 93-100 - Excellent
  • B / B+ - 83-86 / 87-89 - Very Good
  • C / C+ - 73-76 / 77-79 - Good
  • D / D+ - 63-66 / 67-69 - Fair / Passing Grade
  • F - less than 60 < 60 - Fail

Shortcut / Link to Content & Readings

Rutgers Policy on Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is essential to the success of the educational enterprise and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses against the academic community. Every member of that community bears a responsibility for ensuring that the highest standards of academic integrity are upheld. Only through a genuine partnership among students, faculty, staff, and administrators will the University be able to maintain the necessary commitment to academic integrity.

The University administration is responsible for making academic integrity an institutional priority and for providing students and faculty with effective educational programs and support services to help them fully understand and address issues of academic integrity. The administration is also responsible for working with other members of the academic community to establish equitable and effective procedures to deal with violations of academic integrity.

The faculty shares the responsibility for educating students about the importance and principles of academic integrity. Individual faculty members are also responsible for informing students of the particular expectations regarding academic integrity within individual courses, including permissible limits of student collaboration and, where relevant, acceptable citation format. Finally, all members of the faculty should report all violations of academic integrity they encounter.

Students are responsible for understanding the principles of academic integrity fully and abiding by them in all their work at the University. Students are also encouraged to report alleged violations of academic integrity to the faculty member teaching the course in which the violation is alleged to have occurred.

For more in depth description of official Rutgers University policy view this website:

Google Docs: Set-Up

In this course, we will use Google Docs for assignments

  • All papers MUST be submitted via Google Docs (shareable link), unless otherwise specified.
  • All students have a Google Drive account. (Your Scarlet Email is Google Mail (Gmail)
  • You can use Scarletmail or you own personal Gmail account for the class.
  • Students will be asked to give their preferred email address on a Google Sheet - and a link will be sent to access the Course Folder
  • Students can create a document in Google Drive directly OR upload a Microsoft Word (*.doc / *.docx) to Google Drive.

Google Docs: Naming Convention

  • Documents MUST be named this way: Assignment Name Underscore First Name Last Name. (For example, CoverLetterResume_RandyFisher).

Google Docs: Sharing with Your Instructor

  • Sharing in Google always involves using a URL / hyperlink. The file stays in the owner's (student's) Drive.
  • Student 'shares' his / her files with the instructor with a shareable URL / hyperlink.
  • Student invites the instructor to Comment on the document by Selecting the file in Google Docs; Right-Clicking and Select Share.
  • A Dialogue box will appear with the following information: "Anyone with the link can view".
    • Change this to "ANYONE WITH THE LINK CAN EDIT"
    • Under "PEOPLE" - type Instructor's Gmail Address randyfishercan AT
    • Be sure to click the pencil / drop down menu to: "CAN EDIT"
    • Then "ADD A NOTE" - (this can be Assignment Submitted).
    • Click "DONE".

Google Docs: How Commenting Works

  • Instructor does NOT change the originally submitted file to grade and comment. (It will be saved in a dedicated folder for future reference).
  • Instructor makes a copy of the student's file - and reviews and comments on the file.
  • Instructor emails student to notify him / her - via Google Docs - when comments are completed.
  • Student receives the email, and is then invited to comment.

Google Docs: How To Video (Sharing Links) & Help Files