On March 2nd, the ACT (Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow) Club held an interview information workshop with Andy Paul. Paul attended ABAC in 2013, graduated with a degree in ag education, and works for the Georgia FFA as a leadership program specialist. Even though Paul admitted that interviewing isn’t his specialty, he said that a big part of his everyday job is making connections with people, which is what an interview is all about.
Paul suggested answering questions using the 70-20-10 rule. When asked questions, many students tend to answer exactly what was asked and then move on, but this isn’t the most effective method. “If they asked a question about how you handle conflict with a superior, 70% of that answer should be a story, because people will remember stories, they will forget facts and figures. 20% should be a couple of sentences in the middle that are the lesson you learned and 10% is a simple statement about how you applied that to your life.”
He went on to talk about making the interview more engaging. Pual suggested eating something sour 10 minutes before an interview will keep your mouth from being dry; he also said that if an interviewer asks a candidate if they have any questions, the candidate should always say yes, and ask questions that highlight their strengths. “If you know you are a person that thrives off of feedback, ask that question. ‘How is feedback given in this workplace?’” As students ask these questions, they should be aware of their volume, rate & pitch.
“If you’re speaking about something that’s really passionate to you, but you’re speaking really quietly, it’s not going to do much. Or if you’re speaking about something that’s not as important, but you’re shouting across the table, it’s going to feel weird, so your volume-rate pitch is very important.”
After wrapping up the workshop, the ACT presented Andy Paul with a club t-shirt and thanked him for his time. Going forward, the ACT plans to hold more club meetings dedicated to preparing ag students, especially ag communications students, for future careers. Their meetings are every other Tuesday at 6 pm.