You may be perusing these blogs and thinking, “but I’m not a competitive athlete, how do issues related to assessment apply to me?” So let’s discuss a performance setting that might strike a little closer to home – interviewing. Practically all of us will have to interview at some point in our lives: for our first job, for college, for graduate school, or for a promotion. And, as interviews involve preparation and execution, we can place them firmly and securely in the performance realm. Now, I want to take these two aspects of an interviewing performance and break them down a bit further.

            Preparation – there are numerous websites offering interviewing advice. One I found offers tips for what to do prior, during, and following the interview (Farlow, 2011). This site has many useful tips, but what I want to point out is what the structure of this site implies. Execution – you have one shot (the “during”).

            Let me make this a bit more personal. I interviewed today for a graduate program…and tomorrow I help interview candidates for the program I am currently attending (what a role reversal, I know). But after I sat there in my suit jacket sweating, thinking feverishly, and trying not to look half as nervous as I felt, one thought ran through my mind as I left – in one of the most important interviews of my life, I have been judged on one interaction. One. And it is impossible to display every positive character trait, explain every aspect of what drives you, and divulge every reason you are a unique and valuable candidate. In other words, any type of assessment – such as an interview – provides one snapshot of an individual. What I want to remember as I help interview candidates tomorrow is this: I have insight into that candidate and know them as they appear in that moment, but that gives me no right to evaluate or judge them as a person. That would take much more time and many more assessments (in number and type). In fact, I will probably never “know” them – for people are fascinating and dynamic and constantly change. Assessment provides insight and knowledge and guides our approach; but it does not provide infallible truth. We should strive to know a client today, but we must continually strive to know a client tomorrow. 


Farlow, K. (2011, August 11). Graduate school interview tips. Retrieved from sing/grad/handouts/graduate_school_interview_tips.html