Meeting Minutes 1/19/2022

Location: Zoom

Meeting Called by: Pre-Optometry Club

Duration: 1 hour

Guest Speaker: Jen Bennett, Director of Student Services: Interview Tips and Tricks



  • Jen gave the club a background on her experience in interviewing and her professional career leading up to working at OSU Optometry. 
  • Interviews require preparation, just like any exam or test. Many people just wing their interviews but solid preparation can improve the experience and outcome. Jen compares interviews to conversations, some people are more inclined to the setting but with effort, interview skill can be developable for all.
  • Key topics: knowledge of the optometry profession, academic preparation, resiliency, empathy and exposure to diversity, uniqueness, leadership potential and interpersonal skills. Our mission: Use your experiences to demonstrate competency, skill, and potential in these areas.
  • Know yourself: 
    • Self-awareness is a course of confidence; it’s easier to talk about something you know well
    • Find my stories that demonstrate the “key topics”
    • Learn your: personality type, core values, goals/dreams, strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments, your competitive advantage 
    • Ask a friend! Get a sense of your characteristics from people who know you well
    • Can always learn more, take feedback, ask a counselor, explore assessment tools ( via character strengths, gallup strengths finder), reflection on lessons you are learning 
    • Know your stories, they are your content for your responses. They bring specificity and concrete examples and hold attention and capture attention. 
    • Begin by listing your experiences: use your resume, look for experiences from jobs, academic, research, tutoring, mentoring, hobbies, unique skills, etc. 
    • Develop 6 basic stories: when you solved a problem, when you overcame a challenge, when you made a mistake, when you acted as a leader, when you worked with a team, when you did something interesting or innovative. 
    • Practice telling the stories to a friend, mirror, recording. 
  • The S/TAR Method:
    • S/T: situation/task: describe the situation and what needed to be accomplished, be specific 
    • A: action: describe the action you took, focus on your own actions
    • R: results: what happened, how did things turn out, what did you accomplish and what changed 
    • If questions starting with “tell me about a time…” work well with STAR
    • When not to use STAR: tell me about yourself, why should we select you, why optometry, where do you see yourself in 5 years
    • Avoid the standard script: “I love working with people”, “I am dedicated/organized/passionate” etc. 
    • Interview the interviewer: ask thoughtful questions, nothing found on the website but allow the interviewer to go deep
  • Virtual interviews: articles on outlining unique aspects of zoom interviews will be sent out
  • The performance aspect: 
    • Interviews are similar to auditions or other performances 
    • Improv comedy exercises can help with flexibility and agility in delivering question responses: flec your imagination, harmless the power of pretend, yes… and …
    • Practice on zoom, practice feeling uncomfortable, performance improves with practice