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Reflection Paper on Interview Experience

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Published: Mar 13, 2024

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example of interview reflection paper

example of interview reflection paper

Guide on How to Write a Reflection Paper with Free Tips and Example

example of interview reflection paper

A reflection paper is a very common type of paper among college students. Almost any subject you enroll in requires you to express your opinion on certain matters. In this article, we will explain how to write a reflection paper and provide examples and useful tips to make the essay writing process easier.

Reflection papers should have an academic tone yet be personal and subjective. In this paper, you should analyze and reflect upon how an experience, academic task, article, or lecture shaped your perception and thoughts on a subject.

Here is what you need to know about writing an effective critical reflection paper. Stick around until the end of our guide to get some useful writing tips from the writing team at EssayPro — a research paper writing service

What Is a Reflection Paper

A reflection paper is a type of paper that requires you to write your opinion on a topic, supporting it with your observations and personal experiences. As opposed to presenting your reader with the views of other academics and writers, in this essay, you get an opportunity to write your point of view—and the best part is that there is no wrong answer. It is YOUR opinion, and it is your job to express your thoughts in a manner that will be understandable and clear for all readers that will read your paper. The topic range is endless. Here are some examples: whether or not you think aliens exist, your favorite TV show, or your opinion on the outcome of WWII. You can write about pretty much anything.

There are three types of reflection paper; depending on which one you end up with, the tone you write with can be slightly different. The first type is the educational reflective paper. Here your job is to write feedback about a book, movie, or seminar you attended—in a manner that teaches the reader about it. The second is the professional paper. Usually, it is written by people who study or work in education or psychology. For example, it can be a reflection of someone’s behavior. And the last is the personal type, which explores your thoughts and feelings about an individual subject.

However, reflection paper writing will stop eventually with one very important final paper to write - your resume. This is where you will need to reflect on your entire life leading up to that moment. To learn how to list education on resume perfectly, follow the link on our dissertation writing services .

Unlock the potential of your thoughts with EssayPro . Order a reflection paper and explore a range of other academic services tailored to your needs. Dive deep into your experiences, analyze them with expert guidance, and turn your insights into an impactful reflection paper.

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Free Reflection Paper Example

Now that we went over all of the essentials about a reflection paper and how to approach it, we would like to show you some examples that will definitely help you with getting started on your paper.

Reflection Paper Format

Reflection papers typically do not follow any specific format. Since it is your opinion, professors usually let you handle them in any comfortable way. It is best to write your thoughts freely, without guideline constraints. If a personal reflection paper was assigned to you, the format of your paper might depend on the criteria set by your professor. College reflection papers (also known as reflection essays) can typically range from about 400-800 words in length.

Here’s how we can suggest you format your reflection paper:

common reflection paper format

How to Start a Reflection Paper

The first thing to do when beginning to work on a reflection essay is to read your article thoroughly while taking notes. Whether you are reflecting on, for example, an activity, book/newspaper, or academic essay, you want to highlight key ideas and concepts.

You can start writing your reflection paper by summarizing the main concept of your notes to see if your essay includes all the information needed for your readers. It is helpful to add charts, diagrams, and lists to deliver your ideas to the audience in a better fashion.

After you have finished reading your article, it’s time to brainstorm. We’ve got a simple brainstorming technique for writing reflection papers. Just answer some of the basic questions below:

  • How did the article affect you?
  • How does this article catch the reader’s attention (or does it all)?
  • Has the article changed your mind about something? If so, explain how.
  • Has the article left you with any questions?
  • Were there any unaddressed critical issues that didn’t appear in the article?
  • Does the article relate to anything from your past reading experiences?
  • Does the article agree with any of your past reading experiences?

Here are some reflection paper topic examples for you to keep in mind before preparing to write your own:

  • How my views on rap music have changed over time
  • My reflection and interpretation of Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • Why my theory about the size of the universe has changed over time
  • How my observations for clinical psychological studies have developed in the last year

The result of your brainstorming should be a written outline of the contents of your future paper. Do not skip this step, as it will ensure that your essay will have a proper flow and appropriate organization.

Another good way to organize your ideas is to write them down in a 3-column chart or table.

how to write a reflection paper

Do you want your task look awesome?

If you would like your reflection paper to look professional, feel free to check out one of our articles on how to format MLA, APA or Chicago style

Writing a Reflection Paper Outline

Reflection paper should contain few key elements:


Your introduction should specify what you’re reflecting upon. Make sure that your thesis informs your reader about your general position, or opinion, toward your subject.

  • State what you are analyzing: a passage, a lecture, an academic article, an experience, etc...)
  • Briefly summarize the work.
  • Write a thesis statement stating how your subject has affected you.

One way you can start your thesis is to write:

Example: “After reading/experiencing (your chosen topic), I gained the knowledge of…”

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs should examine your ideas and experiences in context to your topic. Make sure each new body paragraph starts with a topic sentence.

Your reflection may include quotes and passages if you are writing about a book or an academic paper. They give your reader a point of reference to fully understand your feedback. Feel free to describe what you saw, what you heard, and how you felt.

Example: “I saw many people participating in our weight experiment. The atmosphere felt nervous yet inspiring. I was amazed by the excitement of the event.”

As with any conclusion, you should summarize what you’ve learned from the experience. Next, tell the reader how your newfound knowledge has affected your understanding of the subject in general. Finally, describe the feeling and overall lesson you had from the reading or experience.

There are a few good ways to conclude a reflection paper:

  • Tie all the ideas from your body paragraphs together, and generalize the major insights you’ve experienced.
  • Restate your thesis and summarize the content of your paper.

We have a separate blog post dedicated to writing a great conclusion. Be sure to check it out for an in-depth look at how to make a good final impression on your reader.

Need a hand? Get help from our writers. Edit, proofread or buy essay .

How to Write a Reflection Paper: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: create a main theme.

After you choose your topic, write a short summary about what you have learned about your experience with that topic. Then, let readers know how you feel about your case — and be honest. Chances are that your readers will likely be able to relate to your opinion or at least the way you form your perspective, which will help them better understand your reflection.

For example: After watching a TEDx episode on Wim Hof, I was able to reevaluate my preconceived notions about the negative effects of cold exposure.

Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas and Experiences You’ve Had Related to Your Topic

You can write down specific quotes, predispositions you have, things that influenced you, or anything memorable. Be personal and explain, in simple words, how you felt.

For example: • A lot of people think that even a small amount of carbohydrates will make people gain weight • A specific moment when I struggled with an excess weight where I avoided carbohydrates entirely • The consequences of my actions that gave rise to my research • The evidence and studies of nutritional science that claim carbohydrates alone are to blame for making people obese • My new experience with having a healthy diet with a well-balanced intake of nutrients • The influence of other people’s perceptions on the harm of carbohydrates, and the role their influence has had on me • New ideas I’ve created as a result of my shift in perspective

Step 3: Analyze How and Why These Ideas and Experiences Have Affected Your Interpretation of Your Theme

Pick an idea or experience you had from the last step, and analyze it further. Then, write your reasoning for agreeing or disagreeing with it.

For example, Idea: I was raised to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight.

Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of research to overcome my beliefs finally. Afterward, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key to a healthy lifestyle.

For example: Idea: I was brought up to think that carbohydrates make people gain weight. Analysis: Most people think that if they eat any carbohydrates, such as bread, cereal, and sugar, they will gain weight. I believe in this misconception to such a great extent that I avoided carbohydrates entirely. As a result, my blood glucose levels were very low. I needed to do a lot of my own research to finally overcome my beliefs. After, I adopted the philosophy of “everything in moderation” as a key for having a healthy lifestyle.

Step 4: Make Connections Between Your Observations, Experiences, and Opinions

Try to connect your ideas and insights to form a cohesive picture for your theme. You can also try to recognize and break down your assumptions, which you may challenge in the future.

There are some subjects for reflection papers that are most commonly written about. They include:

  • Book – Start by writing some information about the author’s biography and summarize the plot—without revealing the ending to keep your readers interested. Make sure to include the names of the characters, the main themes, and any issues mentioned in the book. Finally, express your thoughts and reflect on the book itself.
  • Course – Including the course name and description is a good place to start. Then, you can write about the course flow, explain why you took this course, and tell readers what you learned from it. Since it is a reflection paper, express your opinion, supporting it with examples from the course.
  • Project – The structure for a reflection paper about a project has identical guidelines to that of a course. One of the things you might want to add would be the pros and cons of the course. Also, mention some changes you might want to see, and evaluate how relevant the skills you acquired are to real life.
  • Interview – First, introduce the person and briefly mention the discussion. Touch on the main points, controversies, and your opinion of that person.

Writing Tips

Everyone has their style of writing a reflective essay – and that's the beauty of it; you have plenty of leeway with this type of paper – but there are still a few tips everyone should incorporate.

Before you start your piece, read some examples of other papers; they will likely help you better understand what they are and how to approach yours. When picking your subject, try to write about something unusual and memorable — it is more likely to capture your readers' attention. Never write the whole essay at once. Space out the time slots when you work on your reflection paper to at least a day apart. This will allow your brain to generate new thoughts and reflections.

  • Short and Sweet – Most reflection papers are between 250 and 750 words. Don't go off on tangents. Only include relevant information.
  • Clear and Concise – Make your paper as clear and concise as possible. Use a strong thesis statement so your essay can follow it with the same strength.
  • Maintain the Right Tone – Use a professional and academic tone—even though the writing is personal.
  • Cite Your Sources – Try to cite authoritative sources and experts to back up your personal opinions.
  • Proofreading – Not only should you proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, but you should proofread to focus on your organization as well. Answer the question presented in the introduction.

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How To Tackle the HBS Post-Interview Reflection

Oct 5, 2023

example of interview reflection paper

After spending months fine-tuning your MBA application essays, you’ve finally received that long-awaited interview invitation — only to discover that now you need to write more essays!

Though not all schools utilize interview essays – essays that are required only of candidates invited to interview – they have become increasingly popular in recent years. With more and more competitive candidates applying every year, elite MBA programs are always looking for new ways to distinguish the “admits” from the “dings.” 

Though they may seem small and relatively unimportant at first, MBA interview essays are an important element of your overall application and should be carefully crafted. That’s why we’re sharing our top tips on how to approach and write your own Harvard Business School Post-Interview Reflection . By following these tips, you can ensure you stand out and land a spot at your dream school. 

Harvard’s post-interview reflection is perhaps the most well-known example of an MBA interview essay. Now with a suggested word limit, this open-ended question must be answered by all candidates that are selected to interview at HBS . 

As part of the application process, you will be required to complete a Post-Interview Reflection. Here are a few details:

  • The Post-Interview Reflection is not intended to be another formal essay. Think of it instead as a reflection after a meeting.
  • We will be much more generous in our reaction to typos and grammatical errors than we will be with pre-packaged responses. Reflections that give any indication that they were produced before you had the interview will raise a flag for us.
  • We do not expect you to solicit or receive any outside assistance with this exercise.
  • Your Post-Interview Reflection is due within 24 hours of the conclusion of your interview. Let the interview soak in a little bit…no need to start writing your reflection right at the conclusion of your interview.
  • There is a word guidance of 300-450 words for the Post-Interview Reflection.

How to approach your answer

Since you only have 24 hours after your interview to prepare the essay, you might be tempted to write out your answer in advance and then make small adjustments later on. 

I personally love HBS’ admissions process because the school is incredibly clear and transparent about its expectations. For your essay, they couldn’t make it clearer that a pre-packaged answer will hurt your application: 

“ We will be much more generous in our reaction to typos and grammatical errors than we will be with pre-packaged responses. Reflections that give any indication that they were produced before you had the interview will raise a flag for us. ”

That’s because the Post-Interview Reflection (PIR) works best when it’s just that – a reflection on how your interview with the school actually went . 

Though we’re sure you diligently prepared for your big day , interviews have a way of going a little differently than expected. 

Last year, for example, our client Nathalia’s interview was so focused on her new international job that she only later realized she’d never told her interviewer her reasons for wanting to attend Harvard. In her PIR, she was able to address this topic, as well as a few other points mentioned in the interview that she wanted to further expand/clarify upon. 

This approach helped Nathalia get into HBS. 

As such, the best strategy for your PIR is to do your best on interview day and then calmly assess your performance afterward. After reflecting, you should consider including the following elements in your PIR: 

  • A brief thank you for the opportunity to interview
  • Any points you feel are relevant but were not able to discuss in the interview
  • Any “mistakes” you’d like to correct or additional points you’d like to add
  • How you feel you can contribute to the HBS community (if you were not able to mention this)
  • Anything you learned about HBS during the interview or during your campus visit (if you interviewed in Cambridge)
  • A closing paragraph that reinforces why you are so passionate about attending HBS. 

Essentially, after reading your PIR, the admissions committee at HBS should be convinced that you deeply reflected on your interview and your place in the HBS community, demonstrating you are exactly the type of candidate they are looking for!

Finally, though the HBS admissions committee states that they are more understanding of spelling and grammar errors, try to run your essay through software like Grammarly to avoid any unnecessary mistakes. 

Effectively Tell your Story During your Interview

One of the most common mistakes we see in MBA interviews is that candidates fail to tell compelling, well-constructed stories about their profiles while also nailing the basics. 

Striking this balance between sharing STAR-format examples that show off your background while also presenting strong answers to questions like “Why do you want an MBA?” is a challenging task that requires significant thought and preparation. 

Because of this, it’s no surprise that, on average, 50% of interviewed applicants walk away without an offer .   

This is why our interview preparation process here at Ellin Lolis Consulting is known as the best in the industry. We offer customized 1:1 support that ensures you’re able to turn your application’s strengths into compelling answers that show fit and sell your profile in any type of interview. That’s why 98.9% of our complete consulting clients get into at least one of their target schools. 

Not only can you take advantage of our development process through multiple sessions – you can also benefit from a single session! If your budget is tight, our interview experts can focus your session on a single aspect of the preparation process, from workshopping your answers to providing mock interviews. 

MBA Interview Prep

Forget simulation platforms or long lists of tips – our 1:1 preparation focuses on playing to your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses to turn you into an interview expert . Hire our interview services here. VIP packages that allow you to work directly with Ellin sell out quickly, so make sure you sign up today !

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Reflective Interview Report

In this reflective report, I will outline and explore the experiences that I encountered during our team’s mock interview. Our team comprised of three members and each had the opportunity to be interviewed, interview another member, and be an observer. Additionally, I will examine how the experiences obtained from three roles; interviewer, observer, and interviewee. Finally, I will recommend how various players can improve their strategies in the future.

In the preparation for the interview, I had to develop active listening to deduce important information from the setup. Additionally, I had to communicate with the members to express myself. Moreover, attentiveness was essential to pick up nonverbal communication characters from the other parties.


I was being interviewed for the position of HR administrators in the Olympic Delivery Authority. I was prepared for the question posed by the interviewer since I was able to give an appropriate response without much difficulty. Moreover, I was in a position to expound in areas questioned. This is attributed to the fact that I had studied possible questions that could be asked in the interview in advance and I had developed some answers. However, the questioning was quite intensive as the interviewer did not feel that I gave sufficient response to some of his questions.

On the question of my greatest strength, I was adequately prepared to answer since I am self-aware. The answer given was appropriate and convincing as I highlighted my strength and gave supporting examples i.e. that I have been successful in my current sales job, having always exceed my sales targets and keeping deadlines. Further, the strengths I gave to the interviewer are essential and in line with the position, I was being interviewed for, hence indicating that I could meet the organization’s goals. Therefore, this sold my abilities to the recruiting personnel. Generally, the answer I gave regarding my strength was supported by a corresponding illustration of how I have utilized that ability in the past and the outcomes.

About the question of how my greatest strength will facilitate my performance in the HR administration position, I was able to express how my strength will interplay with my roles and duties in the named position. However, I was not sufficiently prepared for this matter, as can be shown by the kind of response given. Although the interviewer had sought to know how my already named strength would facilitate my performance, I gave another strength that had not been indicated in the previous question. Therefore, the answer given was not convincing, as I did not correctly emphasize how my strengths would interplay or facilitate me to perform duties as an HR administrator. Moreover, the response indicates that I was not passably informed of the roles and duties of the position entailed.

Subsequently, I performed well in the question on myself. I gave a brief overview of myself which included all relevant information that the interview required i.e. age, education qualification, and skills, and abilities. I was sufficiently prepared and well informed on the issues that should be addressed in this question. Conversely, I did not give other information that could be relevant that pertains to this question. Also, the rejoin was quite effective since I focused mainly on explaining the current capabilities rather than long winding past that is not relevant to the position. Indeed, the response highlights the character and abilities that correlate with the position being advertised. The weakness highlighted is very damaging to the prospects of getting the job offer; therefore, to improve this in the future, I will need to state a weakness that does little or no damage to my commitments or abilities. Therefore this was a very inappropriate answer to the question. Never the less I was able to portray to the interviewer how I can handle and deal with my limitation.

Importantly, I gave convincing and well-balanced answers to my motivation and how I manage stress in the workplace. Moreover, in response to how I evaluate success, I was able to indicate that I valued the attainment of the organization’s goals plus other colleagues, which are an effective and a winning response. Finally, I outlined the skills and knowledge that I acquired while doing my dissertation topic.

In the future, I need to give prompt answers to questions that interviewers will place. Moreover, there is a need for cohesion and flow in the response that is required. Importantly, most questions asked are related to one another, hence, keenness is essential to give the right responses. Generally, the answer given to the questioning about one’s weakness should not be damaging one.

As an observer, I was able to identify and analyze the interview process, the applicant, and the interviewee. However, since the interview had a timeframe, there was a tendency of both the applicant and the interviewer to rush over the question without sufficiently addressing them. Moreover, the interviewer did not raise questions arising from the responses the interviewee was giving i.e. explain more, or how are u able to achieve that. The applicants gave their responses to the question regarding their strengths by highlighting attributes that would facilitate them to perform the duties of the job they were interviewing for, as a means to increase their chances of selection. The interviewer should be in the position to question the candidate if they feel that a response given is not sufficient enough. Besides, the interviewee should raise queries or seek an explanation if a matter is not comprehensive to them.

The interviewer was composed and relayed his questions eloquently to the candidate. Also, the interviewer was keen and observed the applicant’s non-verbal communication skills by keeping eye contact. Further, the applicants were given sufficient duration to give responses to questions. Moreover, the questions asked were clear and straightforward to the candidates. Importantly, the interviewer portrayed active listening through active listening behavior i.e. nodding. Generally, the interviewer did not exhibit signs of being impressed or displeasure during the interview which is important. The interviewer did seem to be flexible to adjust his structure question to evaluate the matters arising during the interview (Cummings & Worley, 2009, p.127). The questions used in the interview were closed-ended that required brief answers, open-ended and hypothetical questions that entailed the applicant to explain.

Also noted is the intonation used by the interviewee, it was apparent that the candidate used different voice tones when he was certain and confident about the answer to the question. At the same time, the candidates could indicate a lack of prompt responses by their tones and volume of their voices. Moreover, such information could be deduced from the nonverbal communication expressions of the interviewee. One candidate did not appear to concentrate but was rather distracted which was indicated in his responses. However, the participants were dressed professionally which indicated their seriousness of the interview.

The interviewees showed much confidence in how they used space, facial expressions, and mannerisms. The interviewers managed to keep ease during the interview and created a rapport with the candidate. Also, they had the necessary material to record the proceedings of the interview for later analysis and inference. In the future, the candidate should improve their eye contact with the interviewer. Moreover, the interviewer should encourage the candidate to express himself freely.


The interview was led through a set of structured questions that all the applicants were required to respond to (Lussier, 2008, p.240). The structured approach is essential so as each dimension of the interview is evaluated separately then the overall score is determined. Additionally, it helps to compare the performance of each candidate against each other. The questions that are achievement-anchored were meant to gauge the individual applicant’s knowledge and achievement. However, the probe questions did not include other follow up questions. Moreover, the interview was conducted in a quiet and conducive atmosphere to promote concentration and avoid external disturbance. The applicant was required to enter the interview room and introduce themselves and later I questioned them.

The approach was essential to ensure that I was able to inquire most of the required information regarding the applicants with only a few questions. Therefore the questions encompassed all spheres of the candidates i.e. motivations and strengths and weaknesses. However, some respondents gave very brief responses that did not give sufficient information regarding the applicant. Additionally, the clarity of some answers was not good while others did not give supporting examples for their claims. None of the structured questions asked gave me a clear picture of the candidate’s knowledge of the company or the sector. Moreover, by inquiring about the candidates’ dissertation topic I was able to comprehend the suitability of the interviewee to apply their skills in the real world. In asking the strength of the applicant I sort to analyze the strengths that could match with the requirement of the jobs advertised.

As the interviewer, I dealt way with any presumptions and biases regarding the applicant to sufficiently interview him for proper selection. Besides, the questions I used were all clear and not ambiguous to the applicants to ensure that there was clear communication between the parties. Further, the questions were brief to ensure clarity to the candidate being interviewed. The open-ended questions facilitated the candidate to give and elaborate on the issues raised in the interview room. Moreover, I lay more emphasis on recognizing what the interviewers did to attain success rather than their ideas on how to attain success. Also, candidates were given sufficient duration to answer their questions. I observed that the interviewee was prepared with answers to some questions but unprepared to tackle some others.

I was successful in obtaining the required information by also observing the candidates get more information from their non-verbal communication behaviors. This included body gestures and posture. Gladly, I was able to maintain a rapport with the interviewee throughout the interview. Importantly, as the interviewer, I was able to conceal any signs of displeasure or impression from the candidates.

In the future, I will incorporate sufficient analysis of candidates by questioning not only matters that are set out in the interviewing lists of questions, but also other queries that can give more information. Additionally, sufficient duration to conduct the interview must be incorporated to avoid rushing and omitting crucial information. For a successful interview, the interviewer should be aware of all the information said as well as how the information is said (Nankervis, et al., p.104).

As an interviewee, I was able to prepare for most of the questions asked in the interview. However, I gave a relatively poor response to a question on how my strength would help me in the job. Further, the weakness I mentioned is too damaging to my prospects of selection. Generally, I managed to answer all the questions posed with enough supporting examples.

During the interview, I observed that the interview had good listening skills and he could create a rapport with the interviewee. Moreover, the applicant showed confidence in their body language. The applicant did not indicate that there were properly informed of the roles entailed in the job. More importantly, the questions I used were well structured and facilitate proper analysis of the candidate. Further, the questions were brief to ensure clarity to the candidate being interviewed.

Feedback sheet from Mock Interviews

Notes for job candidates.

Please tick box (5 = Excellent; 4 = Good; 3 = Average/Fair; 2 = needs improvement; 1 = poor) .

Reference List

Cummings, T. G. & Worley, C. G., 2009. Organization Development and Change. OH: Cengage Learning.

Lussier, R. N., 2008. Management Fundamentals: Concepts, Application, Skills Development. OH: Cengage Learning.

Nankervis, A. et al. 2009. Effective Recruitment and Selection Practices 5e. Sydney: CCH Australia Limited.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, March 4). Reflective Interview Report. https://studycorgi.com/reflective-interview-report/

"Reflective Interview Report." StudyCorgi , 4 Mar. 2021, studycorgi.com/reflective-interview-report/.

StudyCorgi . (2021) 'Reflective Interview Report'. 4 March.

1. StudyCorgi . "Reflective Interview Report." March 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/reflective-interview-report/.


StudyCorgi . "Reflective Interview Report." March 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/reflective-interview-report/.

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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 Write a Reflection Paper: Definition, Outline, Steps & Examples

Reflection paper

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Reflection paper is an opportunity to look at a topic, concept or event and analyze it. It can involve personal introspection, observations of a particular situation or event, and even critical analysis of other works. Students should share their emotions, opinions, and reflections, exploring how the subject matter has impacted their thinking and personal growth. Unlike other types of essays, a reflection paper is usually written in the first person. 

Whether your teacher assigns an  internship reflection paper or any other type of a reflection paper, don't write about the image in the mirror. On the contrary,  study your thoughts on a given topic. Most students first encounter this type of writing when describing how they spent summer.  However, this type of academic writing can cover much more. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about this type of academic piece!

What Is a Reflection Paper: A Detailed Definition

Reflection paper refers to a type of academic writing where you should analyze your personal life, and explore specific ideas of how your changes, development, or growth turned out.  Consider this piece like diary entries. Except that others will be reading them. So it should have consistency, reasonable structure, and be easy to understand. In this respect, this work is very similar to any other academic assignment. Simply put, a reflective paper is a critique of life experiences. And with proper guidance, it is not very difficult to compose. Moreover, there are different types of reflection papers . After all, you can reflect on different things, not only your own experience. These types are:

  • Educational reflection paper In this type of work you must write feedback about a book, movie, or seminar you attended.
  • Professional paper It is usually written by people who study or work in education or psychology.
  • Personal paper It goes without saying that this type is all about your own feelings and thoughts on a particular topic.

Reflection Paper Format: Which One to Choose

Reflection paper format can vary slightly depending on who your audience is. It is not uncommon that your paper format will be assigned specifically by your professor. However, some essential structural elements are typical for MLA, APA, or Chicago style formatting. These include introduction, body, and conclusion. You can find more information on paper formats in our blog. As always, paper writers for hire at StudyCrumb are at your hand 24/7.

How to Start a Reflection Paper: Guidelines

Here, we will explain how to begin a reflection paper. Working on how to start a body paragraph , review criteria for evaluation. This first step will help you concentrate on what is required. In the beginning, summarize brief information with no spoilers. Then professionally explain what thoughts you (if it is a personal paper) or a writer (if educational or professional paper) touch upon. But still, remember that essays should be written in first person and focus on "you."

Reflection Paper Outline

The best reflection paper outline consists of an introduction that attracts attention. After introduction, the plan includes the main body and, finally, conclusions. Adherence to this structure will allow you to clearly express your thinking. The detailed description of each part is right below.

Reflection Paper Introduction: Start With Hook

Reflection paper introduction starts with a hook. Find a way to intrigue your reader and make them interested in your assignment before they even read it. Also, you should briefly and informatively describe the background and thesis statement. Make it clear and concise, so neither you nor your reader would get confused later. Don't forget to state what it is you're writing about: an article, a personal experience, a book, or something else.

Number of Body Paragraphs in a Reflective Paper

Reflective paper body paragraphs explain how your thinking has changed according to something. Don't only share changes but also provide examples as supporting details. For example, if you discuss how to become more optimistic, describe what led to this change. Examples serve as supporting structure of your assignment. They are similar to evidence in, say, an argumentative essay.  Keep in mind that your work doesn't have to be disengaged and aloof. It is your own experience you're sharing, after all.

How to End a Reflection Paper

In the short reflection paper conclusion, you summarize the thesis and personal experience. It's fascinating that in this academic work, you can reflect forward or backward on your experience. In the first case, you share what role the essay plays in your future. In the second case, you focus more on the past. You acknowledge the impact that the essay's story has on your life. Reflect on how you changed bit by bit, or, maybe, grew as a person. Perhaps, you have witnessed something so fascinating it changed your outlook on certain aspects of your life. This is how to write conclusion in research paper in the best way possible.

How to Write Reflection Paper: Full Step-By-Step Guide

Writing reflection paper could be initiated by the teacher at college. Or we can even do it by ourselves to challenge our evaluation skills and see how we have changed. In any case, it's not an issue anymore since we've prepared a super handy guide. Just follow it step by step, and you will be amazed at the result.

Step 1. Answer the Main Questions Before Writing a Reflection Paper

A reflection paper means you should provide your thoughts on the specific topic and cover some responses. So before writing, research the information you want to apply and note every idea. If you're writing an educational or professional paper ask yourself several questions, for example:

  • What was my viewpoint before reading this book?
  • How do I consider this situation now?
  • What does this book teach me?

If your goal is to reflect on personal experience, you can start with asking questions like:

  • What was your viewpoint before the experience?
  • How did this experience change your viewpoint?

The more details you imagine, the better you can answer these questions. 

Step 2. Identify the Main Theme of Your Reflection Paper

Reflection papers' suggested topics can be varied. Generally, it could be divided into four main categories to discuss:

  • Articles or books.
  • Social events.
  • Persons or famous individuals.
  • Personal experiences.

In any case, it's good to show your own attitude to a topic, and that it affects yourself. It is also suited to write about your own negative experiences and mistakes. You need to show how you overcame some obstacle, or maybe you're still dealing with the consequences of your choices. Consider what you learnt through this experience, and how it makes you who you are now.

Step 3. Summarize the Material for Reflection Paper

At this step of reflective paper, you can wait for inspiration and brainstorm. Don't be afraid of a blank sheet. Carefully read the topic suggested for the essay. Think about associations, comparisons, facts that immediately come to mind. If the teacher recommended particular literature, find it. If not, check the previous topic's background. Remember how to quote a quote that you liked, but be sure to indicate its author and source. Think of relevant examples or look for statistics, and analyze them. Just start drafting a summary of everything you know regarding this topic. And keep in mind, that main task is to describe your own thoughts and feelings.

Step 4. Analyze Main Aspects of Reflection Paper

A whole reflection paper's meaning lies in putting theory and your experience together. So fill in different ideas in your piece step by step until you realize there's enough material. If you may find some particular quotes, you should focus on your viewpoint and feelings. Who knows, maybe there is some relatable literature (or video material) that can highlight your idea and make it sound more engaging?

The Best Tips on Writing a Reflection Paper

We prepared tips on writing reflection paper to help you find evidence that your work was excellently done! Some, of course, go without saying. Edit your piece for some time after writing, when you cooled down a bit. Pay attention to whether your readers would be interested in this material. Write about things that not only are interesting for you, but have a sufficient amount of literature to read about. Below you will find more tips on various types of writing!

Tips on Writing a Critical Reflection Paper

Role of a critical reflection paper is to change your opinion about a particular subject, thus changing your behaviour. You may ask yourself how your experience could have been improved and what you have to do in order to achieve that. It could be one of the most challenging tasks if you choose the wrong topic. Usually, such works are written at the subject's culmination. This requires intensive, clear, evaluative, and critical context thinking.

  • Describe experience in detail.
  • Study topic of work well.
  • Provide an in-depth analysis.
  • Tell readers how this experience changed you.
  • Find out how it will affect your future.

Tips on Writing a Course Reflection Paper

Course reflection paper is basically a personal experience of how a course at your college (or university) has affected you. It requires description and title of course, first of all. 

  • Clearly write information you discussed, how class went, and reasons you attended it.
  • Identify basic concepts, theories and instructions studied. Then interpret them using real-life examples.
  • Evaluate relevance and usefulness of course.

How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Book

A reflection paper on a book introduces relevant author's and piece's information. Focus on main characters. Explain what problems are revealed in work, their consequences, and their effectiveness. Share your experience or an example from your personal life. 

How to Write a Reflection Paper on a Project

Main point of a reflection paper on a project is to share your journey during a process. It has the same structure and approach as previous works. Tell all about the obstacles that you needed to overcome. Explain what it took to overcome them. Share your thoughts! Compare your experience with what could have been if there were another approach. But the main task here is to support the pros or cons of the path you've taken. Suggest changes and recognize complexity or relevance to the real world.

How to Write a Reflection Paper on an Interview

A reflection paper on an interview requires a conclusion already in your introduction.

  • Introduce the person.
  • Then emphasize known points of view, focusing on arguments.
  • Later, express what you like or dislike about this idea.

It is always a good idea to brainstorm and research certain interview questions you're planning on discussing with a person. Create an outline of how you want your interview to go. Also, don't digress from a standard 5-paragraph structure, keep your essay simple. You may need a guide on how to write a response paper as well. There is a blog with detailed steps on our website.

Reflection Paper Example

Before we've explained all fundamental basics to you. Now let's look at a reflection paper example. In this file, you'll find a visual structure model and way of thinking expressed.


Reflection Paper: Main Takeaways

A reflection paper is your flow of thoughts in an organized manner concerning any research paper topics . Format is similar to any other academic work. Start with a strong introduction, develop the main body, and end with conclusions. With the help of our article, you can write this piece only in 4 steps.


Our academic assistants are up for the task! Just pick a twitter to your liking, send them your paper requirements and they'll write your reflection paper for you!

Frequently Asked Questions About Reflection Paper

1. how long should a reflection paper be.

A reflection paper must be between 300 and 750 words. Still, it always depends on your previous research and original task requirements. The main task is to cover all essential questions in the narrative flow. So don't stick directly to the work's volume.

2. Do reflection papers need a cover sheet or title page?

A cover sheet or title page isn't necessary for reflection papers. But your teacher may directly require this page. Then you should include a front-page and format it accordingly.

3. Do I need to use citations and references with a reflection paper?

No, usually, you don't have to cite in your reflection paper. It should be only your personal experience and viewpoint. But in some cases, your teacher may require you to quote a certain number of sources. It's necessary that the previous research was completed, so check it beforehand.

4. What is the difference between a reflection paper and a reaction paper?

The research paper definition differs from reaction paper. Basically, the main point is in-depth of discussion. In the first case, you must fully describe how something affected you. While in the second one, it is just asked to provide a simple observation.


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.


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How to Write a Powerful HBS Post-Interview Reflection

An HBS admit outlines her top tips for writing a compelling post-interview reflection that makes your application stand out.

Siri G.

By  Siri G.

Posted March 12, 2024

example of interview reflection paper

Featuring John K. , Matt K. , and Alice S.

How to Get into a Top 10 MBA Program

Wednesday, april 10.

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POV: You just finished your HBS interview and now have 24 hours to submit a reflection essay.

First, if you made it to the interview stage in your HBS application process—congrats! You’re almost there. Here are some tips that helped me approach the post-interview reflection essay.

Tip #1: Brain Dump

Keep a few sheets of clean paper with you when you head to your interview. As soon as you leave the room or end the call, take 15 to 20 minutes to jot down any thoughts and initial reactions you can recall from the interview. HBS does not allow applicants to record their interviews, and you don’t want to forget any critical details. Brain dumping ensures that you capture as much as possible from the experience.

Some prompts to consider include:

  • What comments did your interviewer(s) make about your application?
  • What resume experiences did they address?
  • What questions did they ask, and what were your responses?
  • What are your initial reactions?
  • Do you think you answered each question fully?
  • What key moments do you keep replaying in your head?
  • Are there any questions you wish they asked?
  • Above all else, do you feel like you left it all out there?

Tip #2: Recharge

After you’ve captured initial notes, it’s important to get some space. This allows you to process what happened and truly reflect on the experience. Eat a snack, call your mom, touch grass—do whatever it takes for you to release any remaining nerves and reset your focus for the day.

I’m a verbal processor, so I find that talking it out helps me pick up on moments I may have missed initially. This is where a coach helps immensely. Your coach knows your application inside out—they can be a sounding board for any key experiences you want to cover in your reflection that you haven’t had a chance to explain in your interview.

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Tip #3: Get to Work

Make your way back an hour or two later and draft an outline, pulling details from your brain dump to address in your essay.

While the structure and format of your reflection can vary depending on your interview and overall candidacy, consider identifying two or three experiences that you want to revisit, emphasize, or expand on in your essay. Your reflection should be additive; avoid bringing up new or unrelated topics. Also, it’s not advised to go back on anything you said in the interview. Instead, consider what you wish you could add if you had more time.

Remember to be as specific as possible in your reflections. Don’t draft your essay before your interview. In fact, you should make clear connections to the exact conversations you’ve had with your interviewer. Where possible, make it personal so it feels truly reflective of that moment in time.

A powerful way to conclude your reflection is to tie your thoughts back to HBS and emphasize your commitment to the program. This will look different for everyone, but anchoring your reflection on themes you highlighted in your application builds a cohesive case to admissions on why they should admit you.

Tip #4: Don’t get sloppy

I highly recommend you build a solid draft of your essay before going to bed for the day. Then, in the morning, you can come back with fresh ideas on how to elevate your reflection and polish your writing. Swap any bland wording with expressive verbiage to make your message more powerful.

The admissions committee recognizes this essay was drafted in 24 hours and therefore may not be as polished as your other essays. At the same time, this is your last opportunity to bring it home—HBS is giving you the final word, make it count.

These are just a few tips for HBS applicants out there crafting their post-interview reflection. If you want more guidance or need a coach on deck, schedule a free intro call with me .

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Successful Life: Interview Reflection Essay

This essay is written to reflect on an interview conducted on Stephen King, a 68-year-old male patient. King had been a doctor in the Australian army for more than thirty years. Due to the high level of competency and brilliance that he exhibited on his work, he managed to go to several expeditions. This included peacekeeping missions in Africa and the Middle East. As a result, he managed to get a great deal of experience both for his career and life.

An interview was conducted on King on the topic, what makes a person successful in life and the views and advice he had for the individuals of the younger generation. To gather all the required information for the exercise, a mix of communication skills were employed. This included verbal and non-verbal skills. These skills were essential as they established a serine communication channel between the interviewer and the respondent. This in turn leads to the development of a strong bond between the two individuals (Creswell, 2005). As a result, the level of understanding between the two individuals increases (Sherman, 2009). This thus increases the chances of the interviewer to collect the relevant data that was required for the exercise (Trochim, 2008).

Analysis of Communication Skills

In the course of this interview, several communication skills were used. The interview was conducted on the back yard of the home, where a small garden was present. This place was quiet, peaceful, had clean air, nice breeze and had beautiful plants that created a beautiful surrounding. Being a lover of nature, this environment made King to be relaxed and comfortable all through the interview. Due to the ill health of the respondent, it was therefore wise to look for a bench in the garden and conduct the interview while we were seated. The respondent and I sat at an angle with each other on the same bench. This gave us the chance to have direct contact with each other and at the same time, the interviewer could look around and reflect on issues so that he comes up with the correct response to the question that I had posed to him (Creswell, 2009).

This sitting arrangement was also serine as it gave us the chance to take breaks during our conversation. These pauses were necessary especially for King who is an elderly person and requires time to reflect on what he is talking about in order to remain within the context of the interview (Blank and McCartney, 1989). In addition, i was keen on the gestures and facial expressions that were being made by the respondent. At times, I kept quiet and observed the respondent while he was talking. This gave him the opportunity for continuity and hence he fully expressed himself and the views on the topic of discussion. All these formed part of my non-verbal behaviours that I used in the study. All of these were successful apart from the idea of taking a walk in the garden.

A major communication skill that i used in the course of the interview was attending behaviour. With this skill, the respondent felt important since he received my full attention. This skill was also essential on my part since it increased my listening and understanding skills (Finlay, 2002). I was able to fully follow and comprehend what the respondent was talking about and managed. For this skill to be successful, I had to consider a number of factors. First, I ensured that there is a good distance between us during the interview. This distance was essential since it made it possible for us to pause during the conversion. This in turn ensured that each party had the chance to speak. On top of that, I maintained constant eye contact with the respondent. This gave him the impression that I was following what he was talking about. Finally, I ensured that I was well-dressed, groomed, and maintained desirable character all through the interview. All these factors ensured that we were comfortable with each other.

Questioning is also another communication skill that I employed in the course of the interview. Through questioning, I was able to get more information about the things that the respondent was talking about. For instance, I was able to know that he embraced modern technology and advised the current generation to use it to improve the world through coming up with better health practices, environmental management and effective and efficient production processes. However, I had to be keen while questioning him. In addition, the questions that I posed also had to be relevant to the topic of discussion.

I also had to build rapport to ensure that the interview was effective and efficient. Rapport building is a method that is used to increase the responsiveness of an individual through the development of trust and respect in the course of a conversation (Senge, 2004). To achieve this, I had to be polite to the respondent, maintain my integrity and apply professional ethics. Once the respondent was comfortable with me and the idea of being interviewed, I was able to collect relevant information from the interview (Orlich, 2009).

However, the respondent was not comfortable with the idea of me taking notes or using a tape recorder to record the conversation that we were having. Despite the fact the he knew the information that he provided was confidential, he did not want to be quoted in any way. After probing him for a while, I discovered that he had been misquoted several years ago and this almost made him lose his job.

Self-Awareness Discussion

In the course of the interview, I felt delighted to have a chance to interview Stephen King, a citizen who has put his life on the line to ensure that many lives are safe from danger. From the conversation that we had, I learned a lot about the various aspects of life. My main strength in the course of the interview was my ability to probe the respondent to get more information. As a result, I managed to gather a lot of information from the conversation that we had. However, my major weakness was remembering the details of the information that I had received. King was not comfortable with me taking notes and he did not want me to use a tape recorder to record the interview. I therefore had to rely on active listening to remember details of the conversation that we had.

Analysis of the interview using the circular transactional model of communication

In the process of the interview, there was effective communication between King and me. We both sent and received messages via the communication channel. I thought about a question, posed it to King whom then listened to it, understood it and the responded appropriately. From his response, I was able to pose another question and the process went on and on.

This essay has been used to show the use of various communication skills to collect relevant information in the course of an interview. It is therefore important for an interviewer to have a sound knowledge and skills of various communication methods in order to be effective and efficient in his work.

Blank, G. and McCartney, J. (1989). New technology in sociology: practical applications in research and work. London: Transaction Publishers.

Creswell, J.W. (2005). Affirmation of personal values buffers neuroendocrine and psychological stress responses. Psychological Science , 16 , p. 846-851.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Finlay, L. (2002). Negotiating the swamp: The opportunity and challenge of in research practice. Qualitative Research , 2(2): 209–30.

Orlich, D., Harder, R., Callahan, R., Trevisan, M., & Brown, A. (2009). Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Better Instruction. New York: Wadsworth Publishing.

Senge, P. (2004). Excerpt Spirituality in Business and Life: Asking the Right Questions. New York: Digital Publishers.

Sherman, D. (2009). Psychological vulnerability and stress: The effects of self-affirmation on sympathetic nervous system responses to naturalistic stressors. Health Psychology , 28 , p. 554-562.

Trochim, W., and Donnelly, J. (2008). The research methods knowledge base . Mason, OH: Cengage.

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Samples Of Harvard Business School Post-Interview Reflections

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If you managed to get an admissions interview with Harvard Business School, you now have 24 hours to create something that is unique in MBA admissions: the post-interview reflection. Every MBA applicant who gets an interview is required to submit a written reflection through Harvard’s online application system.

These post-meeting memos take many forms, from brief ‘thank you’ notes to fairly long missives that go into deeper biographical detail. The longest reflection published in 2020-2021 edition of The Harbus’ MBA Admissions & Interview Guide stands at 1,295 words, while the shortest is a mere 228 words long. The guide includes 23 different post-interview reflections along with dozens upon dozens of interview questions with analysis. Available for $66.63 via download here , the guide is written by current HBS students, culled from successful applicants to Harvard Business School who enrolled in the MBA program and are now immersed in HBS culture. “We were in your shoes not long ago and we understand the nuances of preparing for the HBS interview, from first-hand experience,” write the guide’s editors.

In almost every case, the students who have written successful post-interview reflections express unbridled enthusiasm if not awe at what they discovered during their visit to campus. And many candidates make clear their intentions to contribute to the HBS community. “Whether I am the President of a club, a member of a team, or the person who dresses up in (a) costume making a fool of myself to spread the word about a cause, I’ll be the one shamelessly all in,” concluded one applicant.


example of interview reflection paper

The newly updated 2020-2021 Harbus MBA Admissions & Interview Guide

Some vividly (and always enthusiastically) describe their interactions with other MBA students while on the 40-acre campus. “During the day, I came across several interviewees that worked at venture capital firms. When I gave them my elevator pitch for (the address changing service that I’ve been working on), they expressed interest and wanted to learn more about the business model and potential market size,” wrote one candidate. “I had never approached a VC with ideas before and quickly realized the tremendous opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs at HBS.”

Others reflect on the diversity of the students they bumped into while on the expansive grounds of the Harvard Business School. “When I attended a class today, I saw the rainbow of flags scattered across the room and heard the sound of many accents,” wrote a female applicant who worked in private equity. “The level of diversity was unlike anything I have witnessed.”

How should you think about this requirement of the admissions process at HBS? With permission from The Harbus , we’re publishing four of the 23 sample reflections from the latest Admissions Guide. We hope they whet your appetite to buy the complete guide and gain access to the full collection of interview questions and reflections. The post-admission interview memos have been written by both men and women, candidates in a variety of fields from private equity to technology, by both domestic and international applicants.


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January 22, 2024

Seven Important Tips for Your HBS Post-Interview Reflection

example of interview reflection paper

Congratulations! You’ve just completed another step on the road to acceptance to Harvard Business School (HBS) – your interview . Now, you have 24 hours to send HBS your Post-Interview Reflection…so let’s get started!

When it comes to this part of the process, there’s really one major thing you need to do – reflect! 

How to reflect efficiently and effectively

As soon as possible after your interview , sit down and think about everything that happened during your meeting. Try to complete the first three tips on the following list immediately after your interview.     

1. Think about any of your responses that might not have been as clear as you wanted them to be.

Make note of any answers you gave in which you didn’t hit the nail on the head or your logic or story was a little fuzzy. Was the point you were trying to make relevant and important? If not, let it go. If it was, consider how you could clarify the point in your Reflection essay.     

2. Analyze any responses you gave that you feel were incomplete.

Jot down any points you would have liked to have made if you’d thought of them      during the interview. What should you have included?

3. Take note of the responses you feel you did a great job on.

Take a moment to appreciate the answers you gave that were on point — where your thought process was organized, you were articulate, and you conveyed your response clearly. Give yourself a pat on the back! But then move on – there’s no need to be redundant or circle back to these responses.

4. Choose the elements you want to focus on in your Reflection.

Most of the content of your Reflection should come from what you identified in the first two tips on this list. Focus on the points that relate to what you most want HBS to learn and remember about you.     

Because you don’t want your Post-Interview Reflection to be only about clarifications and adding things you forgot to mention in your interview, make sure to also weave in and close with a reference to something in the interview you feel you aced – but do so in a way that is additive or enhances meaning, rather than being redundant.       

Also, don’t shy away from reflecting on the interaction itself. Think about what you learned during or from the interview experience. For example, did the interviewer question you on a topic from a perspective you hadn’t considered before? Did you gain insight from being thoughtfully challenged on an answer? Showing that you are always learning and thinking – always open to reevaluating experiences and ideas – can only help your case.

5. In terms of tone, think of your Reflection as a one-on-one conversation with another person, or as HBS advises, “Think of it… as an email you might write to a colleague or supervisor after a meeting.”

While the email metaphor connotes dialogue and conversation, it does not imply – or permit – a lack of professionalism. Write your Reflection as you would a business email: you can use the first (“I”) and second (“you”) person in your writing. Keep it cordial, and be sure that it is well written, grammatically correct, and professional. 

6. Be succinct.

Don’t repeat any information that was conveyed in your application. The HBS adcom already has that on file and has reviewed it. And don’t repeat what you said in the interview. They’ve heard that information already, too. 

7. Be sure to express your thanks for their time and continued consideration.

Your social IQ is on display. They’ve invested time in reviewing and considering your application and in meeting with you. Say, “Thank you.”

Make your Reflection meaningful!

Using the seven tips we just presented will make writing your Post-Interview Reflection a much easier and more meaningful experience. And the result will be a more effective, compelling statement that puts the final, lasting shine on your application.       


After a successful career in business publishing, Cindy Tokumitsu worked with Accepted for more than 20 years. Although she no longer works directly with applicants, every year her clients were accepted to top MBA, law, and med programs. She is a pioneer in the niche area of EMBA application consulting. Want an admissions expert to help you get accepted? Click here to get in touch!

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How to Write a Reflection Paper

Last Updated: March 27, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alicia Cook . Alicia Cook is a Professional Writer based in Newark, New Jersey. With over 12 years of experience, Alicia specializes in poetry and uses her platform to advocate for families affected by addiction and to fight for breaking the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University. Alicia is a bestselling poet with Andrews McMeel Publishing and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the NY Post, CNN, USA Today, the HuffPost, the LA Times, American Songwriter Magazine, and Bustle. She was named by Teen Vogue as one of the 10 social media poets to know and her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,800,248 times.

Reflection papers allow you to communicate with your instructor about how a specific article, lesson, lecture, or experience shapes your understanding of class-related material. Reflection papers are personal and subjective [1] X Research source , but they must still maintain a somewhat academic tone and must still be thoroughly and cohesively organized. Here's what you need to know about writing an effective reflection.

Things You Should Know

  • Write an introduction that outlines the expectations you had and provide a thesis statement in the last sentence.
  • State your conclusions in the body paragraphs of the paper. Explain how you arrived at your conclusions using logic and concrete details.
  • Conclude the paper with a concise summary of your overall experience.

Sample Outline and Paper

example of interview reflection paper


Step 1 Identify the main themes.

  • These sentences should be both descriptive yet straight to the point.

Step 2 Jot down material that stands out in your mind.

  • For lectures or readings, you can write down specific quotations or summarize passages.
  • For experiences, make a note of specific portions of your experience. You could even write a small summary or story of an event that happened during the experience that stands out. Images, sounds, or other sensory portions of your experience work, as well.

Alicia Cook

  • In the first column, list the main points or key experiences. These points can include anything that the author or speaker treated with importance as well as any specific details you found to be important. Divide each point into its own separate row.
  • In the second column, list your personal response to the points you brought up in the first column. Mention how your subjective values, experiences, and beliefs influence your response.
  • In the third and last column, describe how much of your personal response to share in your reflection paper.

Step 4 Ask yourself questions to guide your response.

  • Does the reading, lecture, or experience challenge you socially, culturally, emotionally, or theologically? If so, where and how? Why does it bother you or catch your attention?
  • Has the reading, lecture, or experience changed your way of thinking? Did it conflict with beliefs you held previously, and what evidence did it provide you with in order to change your thought process on the topic?
  • Does the reading, lecture, or experience leave you with any questions? Were these questions ones you had previously or ones you developed only after finishing?
  • Did the author, speaker, or those involved in the experience fail to address any important issues? Could a certain fact or idea have dramatically changed the impact or conclusion of the reading, lecture, or experience?
  • How do the issues or ideas brought up in this reading, lecture, or experience mesh with past experiences or readings? Do the ideas contradict or support each other?

Organizing a Reflection Paper

Step 1 Keep it short and sweet.

  • Verify whether or not your instructor specified a word count for the paper instead of merely following this average.
  • If your instructor demands a word count outside of this range, meet your instructor's requirements.

Step 2 Introduce your expectations.

  • For a reading or lecture, indicate what you expected based on the title, abstract, or introduction.
  • For an experience, indicate what you expected based on prior knowledge provided by similar experiences or information from others.

Step 3 Develop a thesis statement.

  • This is essentially a brief explanation of whether or not your expectations were met.
  • A thesis provides focus and cohesion for your reflection paper.
  • You could structure a reflection thesis along the following lines: “From this reading/experience, I learned...”

Step 4 Explain your conclusions in the body.

  • Your conclusions must be explained. You should provide details on how you arrived at those conclusions using logic and concrete details.
  • The focus of the paper is not a summary of the text, but you still need to draw concrete, specific details from the text or experience in order to provide context for your conclusions.
  • Write a separate paragraph for each conclusion or idea you developed.
  • Each paragraph should have its own topic sentence. This topic sentence should clearly identify your major points, conclusions, or understandings.

Step 5 Conclude with a summary.

  • The conclusions or understandings explained in your body paragraphs should support your overall conclusion. One or two may conflict, but the majority should support your final conclusion.

As You Write

Step 1 Reveal information wisely.

  • If you feel uncomfortable about a personal issue that affects the conclusions you reached, it is wisest not to include personal details about it.
  • If a certain issue is unavoidable but you feel uncomfortable revealing your personal experiences or feelings regarding it, write about the issue in more general terms. Identify the issue itself and indicate concerns you have professionally or academically.

Step 2 Maintain a professional or academic tone.

  • Avoid dragging someone else down in your writing. If a particular person made the experience you are reflecting on difficult, unpleasant, or uncomfortable, you must still maintain a level of detachment as you describe that person's influence. Instead of stating something like, “Bob was such a rude jerk,” say something more along the lines of, “One man was abrupt and spoke harshly, making me feel as though I was not welcome there.” Describe the actions, not the person, and frame those actions within the context of how they influenced your conclusions.
  • A reflection paper is one of the few pieces of academic writing in which you can get away with using the first person pronoun “I.” That said, you should still relate your subjective feelings and opinions using specific evidence to explain them. [8] X Research source
  • Avoid slang and always use correct spelling and grammar. Internet abbreviations like “LOL” or “OMG” are fine to use personally among friends and family, but this is still an academic paper, so you need to treat it with the grammatical respect it deserves. Do not treat it as a personal journal entry.
  • Check and double-check your spelling and grammar after you finish your paper.

Step 3 Review your reflection paper at the sentence level.

  • Keep your sentences focused. Avoid squeezing multiple ideas into one sentence.
  • Avoid sentence fragments. Make sure that each sentence has a subject and a verb.
  • Vary your sentence length. Include both simple sentences with a single subject and verb and complex sentences with multiple clauses. Doing so makes your paper sound more conversational and natural, and prevents the writing from becoming too wooden. [9] X Research source

Step 4 Use transitions.

  • Common transitional phrases include "for example," "for instance," "as a result," "an opposite view is," and "a different perspective is."

Step 5 Relate relevant classroom information to the experience or reading.

  • For instance, if reflecting on a piece of literary criticism, you could mention how your beliefs and ideas about the literary theory addressed in the article relate to what your instructor taught you about it or how it applies to prose and poetry read in class.
  • As another example, if reflecting on a new social experience for a sociology class, you could relate that experience to specific ideas or social patterns discussed in class.

Expert Q&A

Alicia Cook

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  • ↑ https://www.csuohio.edu/writing-center/reflection-papers
  • ↑ https://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/assignments/reflectionpaper
  • ↑ Alicia Cook. Professional Writer. Expert Interview. 11 December 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.trentu.ca/academicskills/how-guides/how-write-university/how-approach-any-assignment/how-write-reflection-paper
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/conclusions/
  • ↑ https://www.anu.edu.au/students/academic-skills/writing-assessment/reflective-writing/reflective-essays
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/scholarlyvoice/sentencestructure

About This Article

Alicia Cook

To write a reflection paper, start with an introduction where you state any expectations you had for the reading, lesson, or experience you're reflecting on. At the end of your intro, include a thesis statement that explains how your views have changed. In the body of your essay, explain the conclusions you reached after the reading, lesson, or experience and discuss how you arrived at them. Finally, finish your paper with a succinct conclusion that explains what you've learned. To learn how to brainstorm for your paper, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Mock Interview – Personal Reflection

Mock Interview Personal Reflection

Interviews are one of the most interesting ways to get to know how a person deals with stressful situations and also about the job. Doing this mock interview was actually much harder than I was expecting. When I first read the assignment, I just thought this would not be a big deal and I would not be nervous. To my surprise, it was much more nerve wracking and intimidating than my initial thoughts.

I did the higher education mock interview for practice. Most of the questions I have answered time and time again, but there was one that threw me off a little bit. He asked about an experience with my most difficult student. Since I have not had experience in higher education before, I did not know what to say. I ended up talking about working with high school students when I substitute taught in between jobs. I think in a real interview they would not have liked that answer, but it was the best I could do. The mock interview made me nervous and I walked away with self-doubt, which I tend to do in a lot of interviews. I expect perfection from myself in every interview, so when I stumbled a little in the mock interview I was embarrassed. Otherwise, I thought the interview went well and I kept good eye contact and a smile on my face. I have a very warm personality, so I think I was able to keep that through out the interview even if I stumbled a little.

This exercise reminded me of my interviews with the many positions I’ve applied for in higher education. One in particular stands out to me, because the “leader” of the interview committee of six people made me so uncomfortable I felt like a complete loser after it was over. She asked me what my goals were long term and also short term. I mentioned I wanted to learn all I can about this position and use it to move into the study abroad department or student affairs. I said my long-term goal was to be the Dean of Students and she actually scoffed and then laughed at me. I was absolutely mortified. What on earth did I say that deserved the response of laughing at me? I walked out and just bawled when I got to my car. I decided on my way home that if I ever had the privilege of being on an interview committee or interviewing someone one-on-one, I will never make someone feel small or unworthy of the role. The point of an interview, to me, is to get a feel for how they would fit into the department, but most importantly share what the job is about and what the responsibilities will entail. The interview will always have standard questions, that really help keep a constant base line for interviewees answers. I tend to enjoy interviews, because I get to share a small sliver of my story and my passion with a group of people.

This mock interview was enlightening to me, because I was surprised with myself that I was actually nervous. I never thought I would get uncomfortable talking to a computer screen. All in all, it was great practice and helped me find points of weakness that I could improve upon. I want to keep practicing so when it is my time to shine, I do actually shine and go through it calm and collected.

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    Your reflection may include quotes and passages if you are writing about a book or an academic paper. They give your reader a point of reference to fully understand your feedback. Feel free to describe what you saw, what you heard, and how you felt. Example: "I saw many people participating in our weight experiment.

  4. How To Write a Reflection Paper (Components and Examples)

    A reflection paper is an introspective piece of writing that shares your thoughts and/or reactions to an experience or topic. There are two main types of reflection papers: experiential and reading (or textual). Starting a reflection paper begins by asking questions and noting your ideas or thoughts on the subject matter.

  5. How To Write an Interview Paper in APA Format in 10 Steps

    Center and bold the word "Abstract" at the top of the page. On the line below, without indenting, write a summary of your paper. In a single paragraph limited to 250 words, discuss the subject, the thesis, the purpose and necessity of the interview, the interviewees and the potential implications of your findings. 10.

  6. How To Tackle the HBS Post-Interview Reflection

    Harvard's post-interview reflection is perhaps the most well-known example of an MBA interview essay. Now with a suggested word limit, this open-ended question must be answered by all candidates that are selected to interview at HBS. As part of the application process, you will be required to complete a Post-Interview Reflection.

  7. Reflective Interview Report

    Words: 2341 Pages: 7. In this reflective report, I will outline and explore the experiences that I encountered during our team's mock interview. Our team comprised of three members and each had the opportunity to be interviewed, interview another member, and be an observer. Additionally, I will examine how the experiences obtained from three ...

  8. How to Write a Reflection Paper in 5 Steps (plus Template and Sample

    Use these 5 tips to write a thoughtful and insightful reflection paper. 1. Answer key questions. To write a reflection paper, you need to be able to observe your own thoughts and reactions to the material you've been given. A good way to start is by answering a series of key questions. For example:

  9. Write an A+ Interview Paper Using Our Tips and Examples

    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.

  10. Writing a Reflection Paper: Definition, Steps & Examples

    A reflection paper is your flow of thoughts in an organized manner concerning any research paper topics. Format is similar to any other academic work. Start with a strong introduction, develop the main body, and end with conclusions. With the help of our article, you can write this piece only in 4 steps.

  11. How to Write a Powerful HBS Post-Interview Reflection

    Tip #1: Brain Dump. Keep a few sheets of clean paper with you when you head to your interview. As soon as you leave the room or end the call, take 15 to 20 minutes to jot down any thoughts and initial reactions you can recall from the interview. HBS does not allow applicants to record their interviews, and you don't want to forget any ...

  12. Successful Life: Interview Reflection

    This essay is written to reflect on an interview conducted on Stephen King, a 68-year-old male patient. King had been a doctor in the Australian army for more than thirty years. Due to the high level of competency and brilliance that he exhibited on his work, he managed to go to several expeditions. This included peacekeeping missions in Africa ...

  13. How to Write a Reflection Paper (With Steps and Examples)

    Here are steps you can follow: 1. Understand and summarize the material. It's important that you review the material before writing the reflection paper. You can review similar texts and authorities to help you understand the content of the text. Some reflection papers may require you to review a particular event.

  14. PDF Interview reflection paper

    Interview reflection paper Recently, a number of international students who come to study abroad seem to be increasing. Most of them aim for an achievement in educational institutions. It has been increasingly more difficult for international graduate students to understand the academic expectations in terms of academic writing.

  15. Samples Of Harvard Business School Post-Interview Reflections

    The longest reflection published in 2020-2021 edition of The Harbus' MBA Admissions & Interview Guide stands at 1,295 words, while the shortest is a mere 228 words long. The guide includes 23 different post-interview reflections along with dozens upon dozens of interview questions with analysis.

  16. How to Write a Reflection Paper: Full Guide with a Free Example

    Here are some reflection paper topic examples for you to keep in mind before preparing to write your own: ... Interview — First, introduce the person, and briefly mention what the interview was ...

  17. Seven Important Tips for Your HBS Post-Interview Reflection

    Keep it cordial, and be sure that it is well written, grammatically correct, and professional. 6. Be succinct. Don't repeat any information that was conveyed in your application. The HBS adcom already has that on file and has reviewed it. And don't repeat what you said in the interview.

  18. Reflective Writing: University Interview Experience Free Essay Example

    Views. 8582. This reflective essay on my university interview adopts the Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988) to structure the events surrounding the interview and subsequent reflection. Developed by Graham Gibbs, this cycle provides a framework to analyze and learn from experiences. The narrative will explore my expectations, the interview process ...

  19. A Guide to Writing a Genuine HBS Post-Interview Reflection

    The reflection is not a formal essay, but more like an email.The free format may be refreshing to some, whereas others may worry at the thought of having an unrestrained open space to reflect.Take Notes Post Your InterviewImmediately after your interview you want to jot down key takeaways from your experience. Recall the questions you were ...

  20. How to Write a Reflection Paper: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

    1. Keep it short and sweet. A typical reflection paper is between 300 and 700 words long. Verify whether or not your instructor specified a word count for the paper instead of merely following this average. If your instructor demands a word count outside of this range, meet your instructor's requirements. 2.

  21. How To Write an Interview Essay (With Example Questions)

    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 ...

  22. PDF Reflecting on Your Interview

    Now that your interview is over, it is wise to think about what went well and what areas you could improve. If nothing else, your interview should be a learning experience for you - a chance to practice and improve your ... Microsoft Word - Reflection Author: jeni Created Date: 7/9/2009 9:37:59 AM ...

  23. Mock Interview

    The point of an interview, to me, is to get a feel for how they would fit into the department, but most importantly share what the job is about and what the responsibilities will entail. The interview will always have standard questions, that really help keep a constant base line for interviewees answers. I tend to enjoy interviews, because I ...