Write an A+ Interview Paper Using Our Tips and Examples

06 September, 2021

13 minutes read

Author:  Josh Carlyle

You will quickly find yourself with your back to the wall once your teacher assigns you an interview paper. Studying is often a headache by itself, and now you have to conduct interviews. Worse yet, you probably have no idea how you can do this. Luckily, we will tell you how to write an interview paper step by step in this comprehensive guide. So prepare your favorite drink and learn how to write a top-notch interview paper.

how to write an interview paper

What is an Interview Paper?

An interview paper provides an expert opinion on a specific issue. In essence, it is an interview transcript inserted somewhere between the introduction and conclusion of an academic piece.

How long should it be? It depends on the topic and the length of your interview, but most papers are within the length of 2,000 – 5,000 words. What things should you consider before writing an interview paper in the first place? Let’s check them out below.

General Aspects of Writing an Interview Paper

Academic papers require you to provide arguments based on studies, research pieces, statistics, etc. But an interview paper is different – for this type of essay, you will develop assumptions around an expert’s opinion.

Let’s imagine your essay question reads the following: “Should we ban abortions?” If you write an interview paper, you should ask someone high-powered for their consideration. Let them be an executive director of the American Gynecological & Obstetrical Society.

You would reach them via email or phone or whatever communication channel you prefer and conduct an interview. Afterward, you would put all your findings on paper.

how to write an interview paper

But in practice, writing an interview paper involves many more complexities and challenges, like planning, topic research , drafting, etc.

Let’s speak straight facts: nobody will reschedule their week to meet you because you need to do some homework. You’re one of the millions of students, and the local governor or a famous scientist won’t give you an interview nine times out of ten.

So you would want to target someone less busy, like professors from other faculties of your college or some researchers within your academic environment. Hunting a bigger fish is pointless unless you’re a well-established journalist working for a popular media channel. If you struggle to find someone within your college/university, you can contact people from your circle.

Writing Outline and Structure of an Interview Paper

 As you know, a typical paper consists of three parts:

  • Introduction. This part includes background information, the hook, the thesis statement, and the transition.
  • Body. It is the longest part of the paper consisting of several paragraphs. It should contain the actual interview.
  • Conclusion. The final part summarizes the considerations and insights of your essay.

The question is: ‘where should you put an interview transcript and how do you do this?’

To answer this question, you need to come up with the interview papers format in the first place. There are several of them:

The narrative format implies that you can use either direct or indirect speech when referring to your interviewee. If you choose this path, you can stick to a 5-paragraph essay structure, retell the considerations of your interviewee, and cite their words here and there at your discretion.

You can also choose this format if you contact several people. Check what a narrative interview paper structure looks like when you reach out to several people:

  • Introduction.
  • Paragraph #1 – the first interviewee’s perspective.
  • Paragraph #2 – the second interviewee’s opinion.
  • Paragraph #3 – the third interviewee’s thoughts.
  • Conclusion.

Alternatively, you can dedicate each paragraph to a particular idea of one person.

“Question and answer” will suit your needs perfectly if you interview one person. It is the simplest format used in online magazines, news reports, and other media. Your interview paper outline will look like this:

  • Introduction
  • Question #1 – Answer #1
  • Question #2 – Answer #2
  • Question #3 – Answer #3
  • Question #4/5/6/etc. – Answer #4/5/6/etc.
  • Interview analysis. You may include your thoughts on the subject matter.


Conversational style is informal, and you can use either first-person or second-person narrative and follow a typical 5-paragraph paper structure. But writing interview papers in this lousy style might be perplexing, especially if you deal with this task for the first time.

We advise you to try the Q&A format because it’s the simplest one and takes the least time. Just imagine how much time your paper writing will take if you decide to interview three or five people.

How to Start an Interview Paper?

If you have no idea how to start an interview paper, choose the topic first. Selecting a topic for your interview paper is not a big deal, but you should keep in mind that you may not find appropriate interviewees for it.

Let’s imagine you want to explore whether the government should force people to get vaccines. This topic implies that you need to contact authorities. It might be a local lawyer, governor, or executive director of a local hospital. Well, the chances are these people will politely refuse to give an interview for your homework.

But if you choose to investigate how lockdown impacts intellectual workers, you can contact your friends or family members who work at home. In other words, it’s better to choose topics that reflect the experiences of ordinary people rather than the opinions of untouchable experts.

Asking people for their opinion about well-known facts like the Earth’s shape is a bad idea. You would want to choose high-profile debatable topics you can actually discuss.

Establish the Goal of Your Interview Essay

You have to establish the goal of your essay before researching the topic. For this, ask yourself: “What message should your interview essay deliver?” Sometimes, a topic of your choice might already explain the purpose of your essay.

Conduct Research

Interviewing someone implies that you should ask questions. But you will fail to do so if you know little to nothing about your topic. So read some case studies, news, articles, etc. Once you get the picture of your subject matter, you will come up with dozens of interview questions.

Get to Know Your Interviewee

A good interviewer always refers to the life and experience of their interviewee. If you’re lucky to work with someone you can read about on the Internet, find out as much information about them as possible. If your interviewee publishes any books, articles, or studies, you will better know them as well.

The more you know about the person, the more interview questions you can come up with. You can ask them whether the Internet tells their true story: “Is it true that you, Mr. Interviewee, support flat earthers?”

Draft Your Interview Questions

If you want a person to share their in-depth vision of the topic, you need to ask both open-ended and close-ended (“yes/no”) questions. However, you may struggle to prepare interview questions. Many students get stuck during this stage. To overcome this block, you need to learn some types of interview questions:

  • Opinion – What do you think of this topic?
  • Behavioral – What would you do in this situation?
  • Experience and knowledge – What do you know about the subject?
  • Background – How are you connected to the subject? What is your age, occupation, etc?
  • Emotional – How do you feel about the subject?
  • Sensory – What does the subject taste and feel like?

You can also think of the questions following the interviewee’s “yes” and “no” answers.

Tips for Conducting a Successful Interview

These four tips will help you conduct a productive interview on the first try:

1. Plan Your Meeting

Note that you want to interview a person in a quiet place so that nobody will distract you. This might be some cozy book store or a café. Or, you can arrange an online meeting. Make sure you have at least one hour for the interview.

2. Rehearse a bit

If you will conduct your first-ever interview, you want to practice with your friends/significant other/ family in the first place. This approach will help you identify what stage of your upcoming interview may challenge you the most.

3. Record Your Interview

You will forget about 50% of the information within an hour once you finish the interview. So don’t rely on your memory − bring a recorder instead. Why not take notes? You wouldn’t want to go red while asking your interviewee to repeat what they have just said or wait until you write down their answers.

4. Talk to Your Interviewee for a While Before You Begin

Speaking to someone you don’t know might be uncomfortable. You don’t have to attack them with your interview questions straightaway. Instead, you can exchange some casual phrases or discuss the weather. This will help you relieve stress and get comfortable with each other.

5. Explain Your Interview Protocol

It’s better to explain to your interviewee how you will conduct your interview. Tell them that you will use a recorder and introduce the discussion topic.

Interview Papers Format

interview paper format

In academic writing, you have to explain the purpose of your interview and introduce your interviewee in a specific “scholarly” format. The APA format interview paper has the following requirements:

  • Use 12-point Times New Roman.
  • Write a title page.
  • Use double spacing.
  • Introduce your interviewee and provide the background information – explain why this person is suitable for the interview. Mention their name and qualifications.
  • Use direct quotes if you cite some facts provided by the interviewee.
  • Use block quotes for citations longer than 40 words.

How to Write a Title Page?

The title of your paper must include your name, your institution, department, the course name and number, the teacher’s name, and the assignment date. The rules of writing the title page are the following:

  • The title page must be numbered.
  • Capitalize all major words in your title and make it bold.
  • Place the title of the essay three or four lines down the top of the page.
  • There must be one empty line before the student’s name.

Interview Papers Examples

If you’re searching for an interview essay example – check several samples below:

  • A narrative interview essay .
  • A Q&A interview format paper.
  • An interview with a scientist.

Interview Papers Writing Tips

The following writing tips will help you deliver the first-class interview paper:

  • Write the introduction at the end. Once you finish your essay, you will likely reconsider some ideas you had before you began. They will help you frame your interview essay with a captivating introduction and conclusion.
  • Give yourself a break after finishing your final draft. This will help you look at your paper with a fresh pair of eyes once you start editing.
  • Edit one type of error at a time. For example, you can reduce logical errors first and switch to grammatical mistakes afterward.
  • Use an active voice. If active voice makes your sentence shorter, use it without hesitation.
  • Check for any sample interview paper to decide on the interview questions. Perhaps, some pieces will spark your interest.

Writing Help by Handmadewriting

An interview paper doesn’t seem that intimidating once you learn how to write it step by step. First, you have to choose the subject that allows you to interview ordinary people rather than hard-to-reach ones. Then, you need to research your topic, conduct an interview, and write a paper.

You can get an A+ for this assignment with enough effort and dedication. But a doable task doesn’t necessarily mean that you must do it by yourself. If you have plenty of other assignments to do, you can ask our essay writers to craft an exemplary interview paper for you. For this, you can place an order on our website, and we will do all the dirty work.

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how to start an interview assignment

Job Interview Assignment Tips

Job Interview Assignment

Hey job-hunters! Have you been applying to jobs and have finally been called in for an interview? That’s great news. In some interview processes, it is common to give an assignment to test the candidate’s knowledge about a specific topic. In today’s article, you will learn job interview assignment tips and ways to create a great project.

What is a Job Interview Assignment?

A typical interview job assignment is a great way to gauge a candidate’s knowledge of a specific topic and help filter great candidates from good candidates. This approach is definitely trending and becoming more and more popular at companies, especially in the tech industry. It is not uncommon to be asked to demonstrate your knowledge of coding in a project, show your design profile or create a design for something, or even create business assumptions or strategies for a specific case that you are given. These tasks can be great ways to not only measure your skills, but to also understand your thought process behind it. One major tip: in many cases, your project does not have to be 100% right, but you need to show the thought process behind it and how you arrived at the conclusion or assumption.

What Are Recruiters Looking For In The Assignment?

This is a question you need to think about. Are they looking for answers, suggestions on ways to proceed, business assumptions, or to get a better idea of your own thought process? Read the directions carefully a few times and make sure you understand what is being requested. If you have any doubt, send the recruiter an email to clarify.

Usually you will determine how in-depth you will make it and how much time you want to allocate to this assignment. If you have additional questions, just ask. But know this: often the assignment is framed so that you are showing your thought process and work. In other, more unethical circumstances, companies are hunting for ideas and solutions. This will be addressed later in the article.

Common Mistakes

When candidates are given a project, there are a series of common mistakes that recruiters and hiring managers normally come across. Here are some of the main ones to watch out for:

  • Didn’t follow directions: You need to know what is being asked of you and understand how to approach it. If you don’t read and understand the directions, you are just wasting your own time.
  • Didn’t ask questions: A lack of understanding of the directions will lead to a misguided project/assignment. Make sure you clarify what is expected of you if you have any questions or doubts.
  • Know the company: Do you know what the company does? What is its core business? What is its mission and vision? Not knowing this will be evident in your assignment.
  • You did the bare minimum: There are projects and there are projects. Some look like night and day. If you did the bare minimum and didn’t put forth much effort, it will show.
  • Didn’t review your work: Make sure that you focus and deliver quality work. It is expected that you review, spellcheck, re-read, and re-do weak areas. Don’t let these minor things slip through the cracks.
  • Lack of excitement: Are you not excited about the project and company? Your work will show this. Get excited about it and produce something great.

Should I Even Bother With The Job Interview Assignment?

You are probably asking yourself this question, “Should I even bother with the job interview assignment?” and yes, it is a valid question. Here are some things to think about to help you come to a conclusion.

How serious is the company: Have you done your homework on the company? Are they reputable? Read about them in the news, visit their site, read their blog posts, Glassdoor reviews and assess this.

What are the company’s intentions: Some projects requested by companies are very interesting whereas others are questionable. If the assignment seems too much like a consulting project (where you are doing consulting work for the company and really just providing them with solutions), this should be a red flag. Try to get a better understanding of what the assignment is, how it will be used, and how your work “could” be leveraged. Some companies give very interesting and well-thought-out projects whereas others are sketchy, and it seems like they are out for a cheap deal. The latter is what I call idea snatching. I have seen this a number of times in the market. The fact is, there is no position. The company is just fishing for ideas.

I’m not getting paid: If a company is looking for a comprehensive plan as an assignment, then this is a red flag and should probably be avoided. Normally assignments are outlines, and are framed at a high-level, so you are presenting assumptions and possible game plans, but once again, nothing too in-depth. Summarizing this point: if a company wants something super-specific, comprehensive, and detailed, this might be idea fishing.

Ask what the general goals and expectations are: Make sure to ask this. Having a second conversation or exchange of emails with the recruiter can help reveal their intentions, good or bad.

Trust your gut: If you feel that the company has been less than open and candid with you and you are still unsure, it might be best to turn down this interview process. Every situation is different, so do your homework, research, and trust your gut.

Structuring Your Project

First things first: read and re-read your instructions. The instructions will give you the best idea of how to start the assignment. As you read the instructions, try to get an idea of what they are looking for. Is it a pitch deck in Powerpoint with some slides, or are they looking for a Word doc a couple pages long? This may not be a hundred percent clear, and you can then choose which one you prefer as per the assignment.

Outline or In-depth: Normally, it is better to aim for something more high-level, so an outline would be fine. However, there is a caveat here. If you only do an outline, you risk being average. Average means all of the other candidates out there did something very similar to what you did. In other words, your assignment will not stick out.

Due Date: Make sure you ask when the due date is. A week is standard. If a company asks for something tomorrow, they are disrespecting your time and probably the position doesn’t even exist.

Easy to read: Nobody wants to read a jumbled Word doc. Spend a little extra time formatting and beautifying it.

Add your style: Feel free to add your own style and flare. Also, check to see what kinds of designs and projects are on their website. This can give you some good information on how to design it.

Get a friend to review it: Ask a friend or colleague to review your work. Get their opinions. It doesn’t hurt to have an extra pair of eyes to review it.

No more than two or three hours: Do not spend days working on the assignment. Try to do it within two or three hours.

No Assignment – Send One Anyway

This subtitle may have raised some eyebrows and that’s the idea. Why would I suggest this? Well, depending on the position you are going for, (say it is for a Jr Digital Marketing Analyst) if you send the company a breakdown of what you would do at the company and how you would approach things, you would probably get some real attention to your profile/ resume and get a call for an interview or subsequent interview.

How could you go about doing this? Once you have read over the job description to get a good idea of what they are looking for and what your possible future job would entail, you create an action plan of what you would do in the role.  Obviously, you are going to make many assumptions as you do not know exactly what the day-to-day is like at the company, and that is ok. With this particular approach, if you can explain what you want to do, how you would do it and why, this gives the recruiter a deeper look into your thought process. That is extremely important. It also conveys great interest on your part in the position and company.

Once again, following the previous tips, it doesn’t have to be a long project, but it should go deep enough to show your knowledge and thought process. Why should you do this? Well, although there are a lot of jobs nowadays in the US market, there is also a lot of competition for great jobs. The more you can stick out, the better.

Job interview assignments have become more and more common, and I know you will come across a few as you go through the interview process.  Make sure to do your homework, always! See if the company is the real deal and look for things that might seem off about the company and the assignment. Once again, trust your gut. If it seems like they are fishing for new ideas and solutions, they might actually be. Avoid these. Just make sure to do your homework to determine whether you should do the assignment or not. If you deem that the assignment is worth doing, do a good job. Do not do the bare minimum.

If there is no job interview assignment, consider creating a mini project. Whatever you can do to get on the recruiter’s radar and prove why you are the best candidate for the job is time worth investing in a short assignment or self-driven project. One thing to remember, everyone applies for jobs the same way: finds the job on the website or Linkedin; sends resume; hopes to get a response; etc. If you can go beyond the typical approach, and also hit it from another angle, you are increasing your chances of getting noticed and called in for an interview.

Have you been asked to complete a job interview assignment in the past? Tell the community about your experience. What was the activity? How did you approach it? Did you receive feedback? Did you get called in for another interview? What happened. Help the community learn from your experience.

For more job search and interview tips, check out the CareerPrep blog and for how-to videos, check out English Interviews and CareerPrep Youtube channels .

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Eggcellent Work

Work assignments during interview process: here’s how to handle this request.

When you prepare for a job interview, you likely will  read up on the company , your interviewers and any other subject that will help. But you should also be prepared for your prospective employer to ask you to complete work assignments during interview process.

You may ask, what would I do if an employer asked me to produce free work as part of hiring process? Make sure you can answer that question because it could come up during your job interview. Employers are increasingly asking job candidates to complete work that demonstrates their skills and problem solving.

Some employers believe the assignments help weed out candidates who are not truly interested in the job. They believe if candidates accept the assignment, they will work hard to prove their worthiness as an employee. They also may believe if candidates question the assignment, they may not be as interested in the position.

How work assignments during interview process help employers

Employers that use this tactic say it helps them see how candidates would approach the role that they are interviewing for, so it is helpful. The  average corporate job opening  receives more than 200 applicants, resulting in four to six candidate interviews. The interview assignment also helps candidates who may not interview well to shine by showing off their skills in the exercise.

An employer also may use the assignment to learn more about the candidate’s work process. Will they complete the assignment before deadline? Will they produce work that goes beyond the minimum needed to complete the assignment?

In some cases, it could be a brief, timed exercise that the employer gives to each candidate. These assignments are not likely to produce work the employer can use. It is more of a boilerplate problem for candidates to solve or a simple writing exercise to complete.

Read More: How To Ace Your Next Corporate Development Interview: Questions and Answers

How work assignments during interview process help job applicants

The interview assignment can help job applicants during the interview process. It is a great way to prove that you are the best candidate for the job. If you do a really good job on the assignment, the employer may be willing to offer more money for salary.

The assignment also gives you insight into the prospective employer’s expectations. It can be difficult at times with some jobs to understand exactly what the daily responsibilities and duties are. Such assignments can help shed light on that for you, and may help you decide whether to take the job.

If you complete the assignment and enjoyed the work, this could be a great sign. If you find the work tedious and not what you expected, it can help identify problems in the job.

What type of interview assignments can you expect?

Most companies are likely not looking for free work from candidates. But they must be sensitive to concerns that candidates will have that their time is not valued. The truth is, some companies receive free work from these arrangements and benefit from it.

There are examples of employers asking candidates to complete more involved exercises, then using the candidates’ work product. For example, a copywriter interviewing for a marketing job may draft content that the marketing team can later use without compensating the candidate. An applicant for a project manager job might develop a workflow plan and budget for a pending project that can be used.

Some employers are sending candidates home with work assignments during interview process that are quite involved. You should be aware that these requests are out there and develop a plan to respond to it.

It is reasonable for employers to ask candidates to demonstrate their skills, perhaps with an assignment that might take an hour. It is not reasonable to ask candidates to tackle assignments that take longer, maybe even days, without compensation. Here are some tips for handling requests to complete work assignments during interview process.

What is a reasonable and unreasonable assignment request?

First, it must be emphasized that employers asking candidates to complete simple, quick assignments is not unusual or unreasonable. In these cases, the person conducting the job interview can explain that this assignment is given to each candidate. It is a repeated task that is not used by the company to complete work without compensation.

It is important for candidates to know what the assignment is used for and how it fits into the interview process. This can be a useful tool to narrow down a finalist list for a position and to pressure test candidate claims about skills.

However, the problem occurs when a candidate receives an overly long and involved assignment request. If the candidate is given multiple days to complete the assignment, that is an indication that it may be too complicated. If a complicated assignment is given with unrealistic deadlines, that also is a red flag to consider.

But how can a candidate competing with others for a good job handle such involved assignments? The biggest fear is if you refuse, the employer will simply move on to candidates who will do the job. Here are several tips to consider when thinking about how to respond to interview assignment.

Suggest a simpler exercise

If you are presented with an assignment that appears complicated and involved, you could consider proposing an alternative. You can tell the employer that you have other work commitments that make it difficult now to complete the assignment. But tell them you are willing to complete an alternative that is less involved.

You can explain that your current job keeps you very busy and you have many commitments now. But offer to complete an exercise that takes about an hour or so to complete. This allows you to protect your valuable time, while also offering them insight into your process.

Offer samples of work similar to assignment

It is not unusual for you to explain that you have limited time outside of work. If you are asked to complete work assignments during interview process, tell the employer you do not typically do spec work. You can offer to share work you have done that is similar to the assignment.

If you have a portfolio of your work, tell them this will offer them the insight they seek into how you complete work assignments. You can even offer to arrange an interview with past supervisors who can discuss the quality of your work.

Find out more about the assignment

If the request you receive in the job interview to complete an assignment appears excessive, ask why it is requested. You can ask what they intend to do with the work you produce from the assignment. Ask them how many candidates will complete the task and are they all the same tasks.

If the assignment is particularly lengthy, you can ask if candidates have declined in the past to complete it. You can also ask if they have considered paying applicants as freelancers to complete the assignment. Also, ask how long to hear back after interview assignment if you elect to complete it.

Ask the Prospective Employer for Payment

Remember, the job interview is a vehicle for you to determine if the employer is right for you. It is a chance to speak candidly and professionally with your prospective employer. You can explain that you are willing to complete the assignment if they will compensate you for it.

As the rap singer Kanye West said, “Know your worth. People always act like they’re doing more for you than you’re doing for them.” You are showing the prospective employer that you know your worth by asking for compensation.

This idea only works when the assignment is particularly extensive and potentially can be used by the employer. Discuss options with the employer about payment, including whether a paid trial assignment will work. You could also offer to forgo payment if the employer decides to hire you.

How the company responds to your request will tell you a lot about it. If a company expects free work before they hire you, it likely will  expect free work  as part of your job.

How to decline an interview assignment and stay in the running

The best way to decline an interview assignment is to be honest. If you believe the assignment is too complicated and will take too long, tell them. If you are worried that the assignment poses a conflict in your other job, tell them.

Your job interviewer may offer some flexibility if you are honest with them. They may also determine that the assignment is not necessary if you are the top candidate contending. It is possible that the interviewer will also agree to an alternative assignment.

Employers asking candidates to complete assignments must recognize that applicants have limited time. It is not reasonable to expect them to complete a task that will eat up hours of their time. And if candidates produce excellent work, offer to pay them.

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Jenny Palmer

Founder of Eggcellentwork.com. With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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My boss is bullying me to quit - here's how to deal with it  .

You’ve made it past the interview phase and you’re feeling good about your chances of landing the role! Before you can make it any further in the process, however, the hiring manager wants you to complete an interview assignment. This may come as a big surprise, and you may be wondering why taking this extra step is even necessary.

Job interviews help the employer get to know you and assess whether you would be a good fit, but an interview assignment can give them a more tangible idea of your skills, how you think, and your work ethic. They can vary from a writing assignment, a technical assessment, or a presentation, and typically come toward the end of the hiring process when the employer is closer to making a decision.

Whether you decide to move forward on an interview assignment is entirely up to you and how good you feel about the employer and their hiring process. If this is something you are considering, here are five ways to handle interview assignments.

Understand expectations

Make sure you clearly understand the employer’s expectations for the interview assignment. Before you get started, you should be able to answer these questions:

  • What is the deadline to complete the interview assignment?
  • How much time should you spend working on the assignment?
  • What exactly should you be including in the final piece? A high-level overview or specific details or ideas?
  • How will this be evaluated?

Ensure you have enough time to complete the task

Make sure you are able to complete the assignment (and do a good job) within the deadline you are given. At the same time, it’s important to consider how much time the assignment will actually take. If it’s simply too much work or you have been given an unreasonable deadline, you’re within your rights to reconsider. If the employer is not being respectful of your time, you may want to ask yourself if the opportunity would ultimately be the right one for you.

Ask for more information

If you feel like your interview assignment would be improved with more context about the company or specific departmental processes and goals, don’t be afraid to ask for more information or data. This can help demonstrate your interest in the role, as well as help you work on a more custom project, proposal, or presentation. If this additional information is not available, don’t stress about it! Do your best to work with the information you were given or have found through your research. The hiring manager will understand.

Don’t go overboard

While interview assignments can be a great way to prove yourself, avoid going overboard. If you feel like you are starting to go above and beyond, it’s important to take a pause. Remember, you are not an employee just yet. It is not your job to do actual work for the company. While you want to demonstrate that you are a strategic thinker and that you have good ideas that can be valuable to the organization, you need to walk a fine line. It should raise some red flags if the employer has unrealistic expectations about what you can and should accomplish.

Review your work

Make sure you take the time to review your work before you submit, and if applicable, practice your presentation or proposal. During this stage in the process, it may also be helpful to enlist the help of a friend. They may be able to catch any issues in the written assignment, and give you tips for perfecting your body language and presentation skills—helping you boost your confidence for the big day.

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How to Conduct an Effective Job Interview

  • Rebecca Knight

Don’t waste your breath with absurd questions like: What are your weaknesses?

The virtual stack of resumes in your inbox is winnowed and certain candidates have passed the phone screen. Next step: in-person interviews. How should you use the relatively brief time to get to know — and assess — a near stranger? How many people at your firm should be involved? How can you tell if a candidate will be a good fit? And finally, should you really ask questions like: “What’s your greatest weakness?”

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  • RK Rebecca Knight is a journalist who writes about all things related to the changing nature of careers and the workplace. Her essays and reported stories have been featured in The Boston Globe, Business Insider, The New York Times, BBC, and The Christian Science Monitor. She was shortlisted as a Reuters Institute Fellow at Oxford University in 2023. Earlier in her career, she spent a decade as an editor and reporter at the Financial Times in New York, London, and Boston.

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4 Corner Resources

How to Start an Interview as the Interviewer (With Sample Scripts)

April 8, 2024 | Interviewing

Female hiring manager wearing a blue blouse sitting in her own office across from a candidate holding a piece of paper about to start an interview

The interview process is often the only opportunity a candidate has to interact face-to-face with potential new coworkers. Making a good impression is essential to ensuring that candidates leave the process eager and enthusiastic about the job. 

The first few minutes of the interview will set the tone for the rest of the conversation, so you want to start strong. Follow these tips for how to start an interview as the interviewer, and use the following sample script to facilitate a positive and productive interaction. 

Instructions for Starting the Interview

1. begin with a warm greeting.

Greet the candidate by name with a warm smile and a firm handshake. Thank them for attending, and let them know your time is valuable. 

While you don’t want to waste too much time before diving into the interview, a bit of small talk can help break the ice and make the candidate feel at ease. Consider asking them about their morning, their commute to the office, or another polite topic of conversation. 

2. Introduce yourself

A good candidate already has done their homework and knows who you are. However, formally introducing yourself and other people participating in the interview is still a professional courtesy. Give your name and title and briefly explain your role at the company. Do the same for each additional interviewer, or give each person the chance to make a brief introduction. 

3. Outline the interview structure

Interviews are most effective when they follow a predetermined structure. This helps keep the conversation on track and ensures you can cover all of the important topics during the allotted time. 

Outlining a rough timeline breakdown at the start of the interview sets expectations.

Here’s an example timeline for a 40-minute interview:

  • 5 minutes: Introductions
  • 10 minutes: Candidate’s background
  • 10 minutes: Strengths and skills
  • 10 minutes: Personality and culture
  • 5 minutes: Questions from candidate

Be sure to point out that the candidate will have a chance to ask questions at the end of the interview so they can be thinking of what they want to ask. 

Additionally, suppose you’re using a format other than a traditional one-on-one interview, like a panel. In that case, it helps to explain briefly how the interview will be conducted.

4. Start with a general question

To transition into the interview and help you get to know the applicant, ask a question that prompts them to talk broadly about themself as a candidate. It can be helpful to bring up a specific detail from their resume to give them a starting point. For example, “I understand you’re currently in a sales associate position. Tell me about how you found yourself in that role.”

First Questions to Ask in a Job Interview

While you’re probably eager to hear about the candidate’s big success stories and professional ambitions, starting with a more generic question is best. This allows for a natural segue from small talk to deeper topics and gives the candidate a chance to give you their elevator pitch. 

Here are some good examples of questions to begin an interview.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Walk me through your background.
  • Why were you interested in this position?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • What skills would you bring to the role?

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Sample Script to Start an Interview

Hi, [candidate name]. It’s nice to meet you. I really appreciate you coming in today. Thanks for taking the time out of your schedule. I hope your day is going well so far.

I’m [your name], and I’m [job title] here at [company]. My job is to [give a brief explanation of your duties]. 

This interview will last about [interview length]. We’ll cover [topic #1, topic #2, topic #3]. At the end I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Let’s get started. Your resume says you’re currently a [candidate’s current job title] with [company name]. Tell me about what you do there.

Example Interview Introduction

“Hello, Mirabel. Thank you so much for meeting with us today. We’re excited to chat with you. Did you have any trouble finding the office?

My name is Keith Sommers, and I am Mead Corporation’s VP of Operations. I oversee the development department, as well as our finance and marketing teams.

Two other interviewers are joining us: Kathy Hix, our head of HR, and Michael Hernandez, our web development manager. If you were to join our team, Mike would be your direct manager. 

This is a panel-style interview, so each of us will take turns asking questions and might follow up on one another’s questions. The interview is divided into three main topics: technical skills, prior experience, and work style. We’ll spend about 10 to 15 minutes on each topic. At the end, you’ll have about 5 minutes to ask any of us questions. 

Ready to get started? Back-end programming knowledge is one of the main criteria we’re looking for for this role. What skills do you have in this area?”

Tips for a Strong Start to an Interview

Allow ample time.

Don’t try to conduct an interview when you’re rushed. Avoid scheduling your next meeting back to back with the interview’s end time; instead, build in a buffer to gather your thoughts, jot down notes, and complete candidate scoring . If the conversation runs long, this will also give you a few minutes of flex time. 

Check the space

Before the candidate arrives, prepare the interview space. Make sure the room you plan on using isn’t double-booked and is clean and presentable. Check that there are enough chairs, that it’s not too hot or too cold, and that you have water available for yourself and the candidate. 

Review the candidate’s resume

You’ve presumably already seen the candidate’s resume, but it’s a good idea to review it again just before your conversation. This will ensure that the correct details are fresh in your mind and will remind you of any questions you want to ask this particular candidate. 

Communicate important details

Head off any anxiety by addressing topics about which the applicant will likely have questions. For example, if it’s a Zoom interview, let them know whether it’s being recorded and if so, how the recording will be used.

Keep it positive

Maintain a warm tone even if the interview isn’t going well. Remember, for a strong employer brand, you want all candidates (even the ones you don’t hire) to leave the experience with a positive impression. Interviewing is stressful, and you’ll make the experience a smoother one for everyone involved if you keep a professional and enthusiastic demeanor. 

Starting an interview strong as the interviewer fosters a constructive dialogue and helps you build rapport with potential future team members. With an inviting greeting, clear communication, and a tone of respect, you’ll create an environment where you can have a meaningful conversation and make an accurate hiring decision. 

Related: How to End the Interview as the Hiring Manager

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Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the President of 4 Corner Resources, the staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. 4 Corner is a member of the American Staffing Association and TechServe Alliance, and the top-rated staffing company in Central Florida. Recent awards and recognition include being named to Forbes’ Best Recruiting Firms in America, The Seminole 100, and The Golden 100. Pete also founded ze ngig , to offer comprehensive career advice, tools, and resources for students and professionals. He hosts two podcasts, Hire Calling and Finding Career Zen, and is blazing new trails in recruitment marketing with the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technology. C onnect with Pete on LinkedIn

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Is It Normal to Get a Job Interview Assignment?

person thinking on computer

Applying for jobs takes a lot of time—to network, research companies,browse job postings, pull together your materials, prepare for interviews, and follow up. And then there’s also the mental aspect of psyching yourself up before each stage and then waiting to hear back .

Which is why you’re not all that excited when the hiring manager asks if you could complete a take-home assignment as well. It feels like a lot to invest even more time and effort into a job that you haven’t even landed yet.

But before you see it as just one more hoop to jump through, you should know that it’s not just for the company’s benefit. It helps you, too.

how to start an interview assignment

How Interview Assignments Help You

As an applicant, two of your biggest concerns are showing you can do the job, and beating out the competition. A take-home assignment gives you the opportunity to do both.

The hiring manager’s picked a task to weed out anyone who exaggerated on their application . So, think of this as an opportunity for you strut your stuff.

Anyone can say they’re detail-oriented, or that they think outside the box, or that they know how to code, but an interview assignment gives you the chance to demonstrate it. It really is worth taking your time to show that you’re (literally) up to the task. Turning in a perfect edit test or some ideas for how you’d take an initiative in a fresh direction can be just the thing to distinguish you from other candidates.

Additionally, these tests are reflective of the kinds of projects you could expect in your new role. So, if it’s incredibly hard, you have to get a mentor’s help, and it takes you all weekend to complete something you feel good about, it could be an indication that this role isn't going to be the best fit on your end—which is a valuable lesson for you to learn before you sign on.

Unfortunately, not every assignment is above board. I should know: I got tasked with a major project to have my work stolen .

This misuse of the interview assignment is not normal, but it does happen. So, don’t ignore a gut feeling you’re being asked to work for free. One thing you can do if you think you’re being taken advantage of is to ask someone in the field whether this seems like a reasonable task. (You can also follow these strategies to protect your ideas.)

More often than not though, this assignment is there to confirm you really could do the job. So, take it as the opportunity it is, and hit it out the park.

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Big Interview Help Center

Completing an Assignment

1. start your assignment.

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3. Assignment Code

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9. Submit Assignment

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Updated on: 16/08/2023

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Why Take-Home Assignments are the Biggest Mistake for Hiring Managers

how to start an interview assignment

There’s no “right” way to hire.

Some companies are comfortable having a 30-minute conversation and pulling the trigger, while others might want a couple of steps and additional interviewers involved in the process to ensure they’re getting multiple opinions on who to hire. 

And while some employers make it a point to stay on top of the latest industry trends like the ones found in our 2023 Salary Guide , others fall short and — time and time again — make the same mistakes.

Why the take-home assignment interview is a big mistake

Different interview processes work for different companies. But there is one interview mistake I’ve seen across various industries — for both contract and full-time hires — that creates a major bottleneck in the interview process, and that is the take-home assignment .

Take-home assignments can be called something different depending on what the role is.

  • For a marketing position, it might be a case study .
  • For a software development position, it might be a coding test .
  • For a client-facing role, it might be a presentation .

Regardless of the name, the outcome is often the same: candidates you were excited about drop out of the interview process, and you find yourself back at square one again and again. 

From my experience in staffing, I strongly advise my clients against incorporating a take-home assignment into their interview process. 

Why You Shouldn’t Assign a Take-Home Assignment

No one likes to do take-home assignments for free..

When asking candidates to do an assignment during the interview process, it’s often the work that they will be doing once they get hired, so it’s essentially asking them to work for free.

For candidates, time is money, and it’s time that can be spent working for their clients who are paying them. 

This interview mistake doesn’t respect people’s personal time.

Imagine you’re working 9-5 and looking for a new job. You also have two kids who need to be picked up from school, fed, bathed, and put to bed every night.

You are so overloaded in your job that you sometimes have to work after hours. When would you have the time to also fit in doing an assignment that can take anywhere from 2-10 hours?

Candidates often cannot prioritize doing additional work because it will take time away from something else they need to get done. The longer it will take a candidate to find the time to complete the take-home assignment, the more likely their interest in the job opportunity will wane. 

Other companies aren’t making this interview mistake.

As much as you want to vet candidates for the right skill level, it’s important to be competitive with how other companies are hiring, so you don’t lose out on top talent.

Creatives often get hired based on their portfolios—without an interview. Developers get hired off of a single Zoom interview.

Higher-level roles get hired after multiple rounds of interviews, which function as conversations with various stakeholders at a company, without being asked to do homework for an interview other than preparing.

If you ask a candidate to do an assignment before engaging them in the next step of an interview process, they might say they are happy to do it, but the truth is they will usually wait to start it until completing any other interviews they have lined up in hopes of getting a decision from another employer sooner.

This interview mistake fails to filter out people who aren’t serious about the role.

Many companies think these assignments will show how much a candidate wants to work at their company.

I strongly caution against this logic. The post-COVID job market is more competitive than ever, as companies with once-traditional mindsets around employees working onsite have adapted to now offer fully remote roles.

This means that candidates now have access to nationwide job opportunities and are getting job offers faster than ever before.

If seeing how serious someone is about a role at your specific company is important to you, gauging how much they researched the company before the interview is a great way to find that out.

Hiring Managers Should Avoid the Take-Home Assignment

Making the common interview mistake of requiring a take-home assignment most often results in the assignment not getting completed and the candidate pursuing a different employment opportunity that doesn’t require an additional assignment. 

It’s understandable that a hiring manager would want to test a person’s skill before offering them a job. The good news is that there are ways to do this that don’t involve asking a candidate to do extra work.

Ways to Avoid Making this Interview Mistake

Ask to see sample work from potential candidates..

Copywriters and designers have portfolios, developers have GitHubs, and high-level individuals can often pull sample proposals and plans they’ve put together in the past to exhibit their work.

If you have questions about how much they did themselves, what went into the decisions they made, or other related questions, the interview is the perfect place to dive in and find out. 

Ask your job candidate to do a test in real-time on the interview.

Some hiring managers prefer not to do this because candidates might feel “put on the spot” and not perform their best.

However, I can’t think of a single employer I have worked with who didn’t care equally about the candidate getting to the right answer, as they did about how they got to the right answer and what that showed about their thought process.

Doing a test or exercise together, and being able to speak with the candidate during it, is a great way to understand their logic.

Ask your job candidate scenario-based questions.

If you have a concern about how a candidate would handle a situation—whether it’s technical, about communication, or how they work with a team—ask specific, pointed questions to find out your answers. 

Requesting references is a great way to avoid this interview mistake.

It is completely acceptable to extend an offer pending reference checks so you’re able to get background information from someone who worked with this person before and can vouch for the candidate’s expertise.

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The Final Word On Take-Home Assignments for Hiring Managers

Hiring is a gamble. It’s normal to have a degree of trepidation about extending an offer to someone without a guarantee that they’ll be able to perform at the level you expect. But the best way to see if someone can do the job is to trust your gut and give them the chance to prove you right. 

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  • Contact Mondo today for all your hiring needs
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2024 Salary Guide: Tech, Creative & Digital Marketing

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Digital Marketing Manager for Mondo National Staffing Agency | AI Drafted & Human Crafted

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Opinion | Reaction to Joe Biden’s ABC News interview: the good, the bad, and the (potentially) ugly

Columnists, correspondents and pundits mostly agreed on one thing: Biden’s interview with George Stephanopoulos offered little reassurance

how to start an interview assignment

There were two general reactions from Democrats (and some media) in the days following President Joe Biden’s abysmal performance in the June 27 presidential debate against Donald Trump.

The first was full-fledged panic and appeals for Biden to drop out of the race. That included editorials and commentary from some of the most noted newspapers and newsmakers in the country.

The other was a more measured approach, one that chalked it all up to Biden having a bad night. But along with that thinking were calls for Biden to become more visible. CNN’s Jake Tapper suggested that Biden have a no-constraints, no-time-limit press conference where he could show his strength, stamina and acumen.

Instead, Biden’s first major moment — and first on TV — to address everything was an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos , which aired last Friday night.

About the debate, Biden said he had a “bad night.” He said he was sick. He went after Trump. He vowed to keep fighting, saying that only the “Lord Almighty” would get him to drop out of the race.

He certainly performed better than he did in the debate, but not so much so that he erased the doubts about him and calmed the nerves of his detractors.

USA Today columnist Chris Brennan wrote , “Biden needed a game changer. This wasn’t it.”

Vox senior correspondent Eric Levitz wrote , “Biden appeared too frail to defeat Donald Trump and too delusional to end his campaign. … Biden’s remarks indicated that his party may be heading toward a worst-case scenario, one in which the president is largely incompetent as a campaigner but not so consistently and flagrantly inept that his incapacity to win reelection becomes undeniable, even to himself.”

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote , “Biden’s prime-time interview with Stephanopoulos will do nothing to reassure people worried about a Biden defeat. Stephanopoulos hectored him with nonstop and repetitive questions about his mental acuity for the full 22-minute session, which undoubtedly made Biden defensive. But the president seemed to be in denial about the magnitude of the problem facing him, unwilling even to acknowledge the obvious truth that he has lost a step over the past 3½ years.”

Even someone very close to Biden — his former press secretary, Jen Psaki — gave Biden a mixed review. On her Sunday MSNBC show, Psaki said, “In many ways, people watching saw what they wanted to see. Because for some he looked better than he did at the debate he did, he was more clear, he seemed much better prepared to make his case and make the case against Trump. But there were also some moments and not just one that did not go well.”

The number of people who watched the interview on TV was 8.1 million. That’s not bad for a Friday night, but nowhere near the 51 million that watched the debate. Then again, there’s no telling how many watched through other means — social media, websites, and so on.

And for those who didn’t see the interview but have read about it, the message was pretty much all the same. As NPR’s Domenico Montanaro wrote , “Biden may have calmed some nerves among some political allies with the interview, but he didn’t show the facility and coherence that Democrats would have wanted to see. His thoughts were, at times, scattered and less than clear.”

So now what?

Will Biden continue on in the race? Will there be more calls for him to step aside? Will he listen to anyone outside of his inner circle, which seems to be encouraging him to plow ahead?

On Psaki’s MSNBC show, New York Times reporter Peter Baker noted that this is a big week in Washington as lawmakers return from the holiday break. And there could be a gathering storm of Democratic leaders — whose major focus is to keep Trump out of the White House — urging Biden to walk away.

Newspapers and networks have turned on a steady stream of stories quoting more and more saying Biden should not run.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff from California told moderator Kristen Welker, “Given Biden’s incredible record and given Trump’s terrible record he should be mopping the floor with Donald Trump. It should not be even close, and the reason it is close is the president’s age.”

Schiff suggests that Biden’s age is an issue, but also did bring up something many Democratic voters want to focus on: Trump’s candidacy. Why are we talking about Biden when we should be talking about Trump , they ask. In fact, it’s surely something that Biden is asking.

In his Post column, Milbank put it well: “Biden’s frustration is understandable. He has amassed an impressive record of achievement. The presidential race should be about that, and about Trump’s lies, and the unique threat he poses to American democracy.”

However, Milbank smartly added, “Biden aides blame the news media for carping on his gaffes since the debate. Democrats’ tendency to panic is also blamed. But the problem is real. The country is talking about Biden’s mental capacity instead of the singular menace of Trump returning to power. And if this keeps up, that is exactly what will happen. It’s not at all clear that Biden can change that storyline without doing what a man standing behind Biden onstage at his Wisconsin rally Friday afternoon recommended with the poster he held up: ‘Pass the torch, Joe.’”

As far as the ABC News interview, and the future, Schiff said on “Meet the Press,” “The interview didn’t put concerns to rest. No single interview was going to do that. And what I do think the president needs to decide is, can he put those concerns aside? Can he demonstrate to the American people that what happened on the debate stage was an aberration, that he can and will beat Donald Trump? Given this Supreme Court decision now essentially making any future Trump a dictator and a king, it’s all the more important. But here’s the thing, I think: If the president takes the time to consult people and has an open mind about this, he will do what Joe Biden always does, which is he will make the right decision. He’ll make the decision in the best interests of the country. That’s what he has always done, and I’m confident that’s what he will do here.”

We shouldn’t be surprised, but Stephanopoulos did a solid job interviewing Biden, hitting all the notes in the 22-minute sit-down.

The Washington Post’s Will Sommer wrote , “The newsman gently but firmly prodded Biden on his motivations for staying in the race after last week’s halting and unfocused debate performance.”

The New York Times’ Kenneth P. Vogel tweeted , “Very good interview by @gstephanopoulos — persistent & tough, but not mean. His toughest questions were delivered with empathy.”

But that doesn’t mean Stephanopoulos lobbed up a bunch of softballs. In fact, in one particularly insightful question, Stephanopoulos asked, “If you stay in, and Trump is elected, and everything you’re warning about comes to pass, how will you feel in January?”

(For the record, Biden said, “I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the good as job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about.”)

Stephanopoulos also pushed Biden, asking him if he felt more frail, and had suffered more “lapses” and if he had seen a doctor.

The New York Times’ Michael M. Grynbaum wrote , “The president arrived at the ABC interview on Friday tanned and tieless, his top two shirt buttons undone, making every effort to project youth and vitality. Yet a viewer could not help but imagine the mop-haired Mr. Stephanopoulos in the role of an adult son, guiding an elderly parent toward a conclusion that may be difficult, and deeply painful, to accept.”

Grynbaum added, “It is too soon to say if their 22-minute encounter on Friday, taped in the library of a Wisconsin middle school and broadcast by ABC in prime time, will count among the most consequential interviews in presidential history. But it carried some of the highest stakes.”

And, overall, Stephanopoulos was up to the challenge.

A controversial interview

The Stephanopoulos interview is getting most of the attention, but Biden actually did another interview that turned out way more controversial — at least in media circles.

Last Wednesday, Biden was interviewed by Andrea Lawful-Sanders, host at Black talk radio station WURD in Philadelphia. On Saturday, Lawful-Sanders appeared on CNN’s “The Source” and revealed to host Victor Blackwell that she asked four questions that had been given to her by Biden’s team.

“The questions were sent to me for approval; I approved of them,” Lawful-Sanders said on the air.

Blackwell followed up to confirm the Biden camp had sent the questions, and Lawful-Sanders said, “I got several questions. Eight of them. And the four that were chosen were the ones that I approved.”

On Sunday, Sara M. Lomax, president and CEO at WURD Radio, put out a statement saying that the station and Lawful-Sanders had agreed to part ways.

Lomax wrote, “On July 3, the first post-debate interview with President Joe Biden was arranged and negotiated independently by WURD Radio host Andrea Lawful-Sanders without knowledge, consultation or collaboration with WURD management. The interview featured pre-determined questions provided by the White House, which violates our practice of remaining an independent media outlet accountable to our listeners. As a result, Ms. Lawful-Sanders and WURD Radio have mutually agreed to part ways, effective immediately.”

Lomax wrote that WURD has built up trust with audiences over 20 years, adding, “This is something we take very seriously. Agreeing to a predetermined set of questions jeopardizes that trust and is not a practice that WURD Radio engages in or endorses as a matter of practice or official policy.”

Lomax also wrote, “WURD Radio is not a mouthpiece for the Biden or any other Administration. Internally, we will commit to reviewing our policies, procedures, and practices to reinforce WURD’s independence and trust with our listeners. But mainstream media should do its own introspection to explore how they have lost the trust of so many Americans, Black Americans chief among them. This experience will strengthen WURD as we seek to grow from this incident.”

Lawful-Sanders posted a one-minute video on Facebook , saying she had tendered her resignation and that it had been accepted. She went on to thank the station and her listeners.

A story to note

how to start an interview assignment

President Joe Biden, walking with First Lady Jill Biden, on the White House lawn on Sunday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer, Tyler Pager and Josh Dawsey had an interesting read over the weekend about the presidential debate and what has gone wrong for Biden since then: “Biden thought he had it under control. Then it got worse.”

The Post wrote, “This story, about one of the most consequential weeks of modern presidential politics, is based on interviews with more than three dozen aides, advisers, lawmakers, governors and other Biden allies, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Together they paint a picture of the Biden team’s failure over the past nine days to contain a crisis that is tarnishing his legacy and threatens his presidency.”

There’s a lot to digest, so read the story. But I did want to point out this passage: “For years, top supporters had been wary of his candidacy, but they respected him too much to intervene. They were proud of his accomplishments. Incumbents tend to be reelected. Biden beat Trump before. They pushed aside the obvious. None of it was a state secret. Biden, 81, had been losing his train of thought in public for years as president. His voice, once bombastic, meandered to mumble. The ‘fingertip politician’ energy of the Barack Obama years had gone stiff and wooden. It was getting worse.”

Marquee Sports Network, which televises Chicago Cubs games, did something cool on Sunday. It had an all-female announcing team, with Beth Mowins doing play-by-play, Elise Menaker as analyst and Taylor McGregor working as the field reporter.

Mowins has been doing selected Cubs games since 2021. She also calls lots of college sports, especially football and basketball, for ESPN. Menaker is a former college softball player who has done pregame and postgame shows for the Cubs. She also did analysis on a Cubs TV broadcast in 2022 and served as the main game analyst on a Cubs radio broadcast in 2023.

On air, Mowins said , “I think it’s just one of those cool moments that I’ve had the opportunity to be part of in some other sports. And to be here with true pros, I think that’s the most important thing. We’ve worked our way up through the ranks and hopefully have earned the respect of not only one another, but our peers and our co-workers. And to have earned the opportunity to be in this chair now, today, you just hope you’re at your best in the big moment.”

Media tidbits

  • Big breaking news Sunday night in the media/entertainment industry. The Los Angeles Times’ Meg James and Samantha Masunaga with: “Paramount’s board approves bid by David Ellison’s Skydance Media in sweeping Hollywood deal.”
  • And from The New York Times’ Benjamin Mullin and Lauren Hirsch reported: “Paramount Takes Major Step to Finalizing Merger With Skydance.”
  • And one more from The Wall Street Journal’s Jessica Toonkel: “Paramount Global Agrees to Skydance Deal.”
  • The New York Times’ Michael D. Shear and Michael M. Grynbaum with “ ‘Goodest Job’ or ‘Good as Job’? The White House Wants a Word.”
  • For Politico, Rachel Janfaza with “Trump Dominates TikTok. This Pro-Biden Influencer Explains Why.”
  • Fox News’ Sean Hannity will interview Donald Trump tonight on his show at 9 p.m. Eastern.
  • For The New York Times Magazine, Taffy Brodesser-Akner with “The Kidnapping I Can’t Escape.”
  • “CBS News Sunday Morning” and correspondent Lee Cowan with “Hoppin’ clams! ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ turns 25.”

More resources for journalists

  • Vote Watch 2024 : Ready yourself and your newsroom this Thursday.
  • Applications for Leadership Academy for Diversity in Media close tomorrow!
  • Will Work for Impact brings investigations to life.

Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at [email protected] .

The Poynter Report is our daily media newsletter. To have it delivered to your inbox Monday-Friday, sign up here .

how to start an interview assignment

Opinion | ‘Morning Joe’ becomes Angry Joe as the Biden debate continues

President Joe Biden gave a surprise phone interview to Joe Scarborough’s MSNBC show and didn’t hold back, goading Democrat ‘elites’ to run against him

how to start an interview assignment

Biden, the border and the ultimate hands-on workshop

A major policy shift brought reporters face-to-face with immigration realities

how to start an interview assignment

Comparing economic performance for Latinos under Trump, Biden

The presidential candidates are heavily courting Latino voters in a year in which their support may be more up for grabs than at any point in 20 years

how to start an interview assignment

The assignment: Build AI tools for journalists – and make ethics job one

A recent Poynter Summit on AI, Ethics and Journalism challenged leaders to dream big and solve ethical challenges

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  1. Writing an Interview Paper: Formatting Guide, Samples and Writing Tips

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    Interviewing for a new job requires you to prove your skills, qualifications and personality aligns with what a company wants. Many hiring managers now look for ways to assess a candidate's technical abilities before giving them a job offer.In this article, we discuss what a job interview assignment is, the do's and don'ts of completing a job interview assignment and examples of job interview ...

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  5. Writing an Interview Paper: Formatting Guide, Samples and Writing Tips

    Check what a narrative interview paper structure looks like when you reach out to several people: Introduction. Paragraph #1 - the first interviewee's perspective. Paragraph #2 - the second interviewee's opinion. Paragraph #3 - the third interviewee's thoughts. Conclusion.

  6. Job Interview Assignment Examples and Tips for Success

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    1. Think about your essay's purpose. The first step is to think about your essay's purpose. This consideration can help you determine what questions to ask during the interview, how to conduct it and how to write the resulting essay. For example, you may want to write an interview essay as an informative, factual piece for others to educate ...

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    Find out more about the assignment. If the request you receive in the job interview to complete an assignment appears excessive, ask why it is requested. You can ask what they intend to do with the work you produce from the assignment. Ask them how many candidates will complete the task and are they all the same tasks.

  11. Do You Need to Do the Interview Assignment?

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    Review your work. Make sure you take the time to review your work before you submit, and if applicable, practice your presentation or proposal. During this stage in the process, it may also be helpful to enlist the help of a friend. They may be able to catch any issues in the written assignment, and give you tips for perfecting your body ...

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