A colleague asked for advice prior to an interview for a training and development job. She was selected for the interview phase in part because of her eLearning experience. Here is a summary of my advice:

  1. Prepare to ask questions so you understand what the job entails. This will enable you to position your expertise, e.g. “Can you describe a typical day and explain the types of tasks I will be doing?” Usually there are tactical tasks (day to day duties) and strategic tasks (long range general goals) such as helping to develop a distance education curriculum.
  2. Translate your training and development experiences into eLearning. If you have been a classroom trainer reflect on how you organize the course and how you plan activities to engage students. The same techniques can be translated to eLearning. Scan Bill Horton’s book: eLearning by Design for cross over language, e.g. instructional design, learning objectives, testing, and levels of learner engagement.
  3. Memorize stories. Turn your work experience into a number of stories that you are ready to communicate with passion, e.g. how you organized a Webinar slide show in two days, including committee member “buy-in.” Many non-profit institutions are concerned that you know how to work collaboratively within a consensus culture. Have stories ready that show you understand how to work with a team and how to enable collaborative decision-making.
  4. Stories need to reflect basic business skills.
    • Understanding how to work with different people
    • Reading people’s  behavioral style and adjusting yours to work collaboratively
    • Stress ability to work with team and reach consensus
    • Respect for others’ opinions — you know the skills of being a good listener
    • Team and leadership communication — you know how to lead a meeting, build an agenda, summarize after meeting action items
    • Speaking and writing skills enable you to communicate professionally
  5. Why this job fits. Have a concise story as to why this particular job fits into your career goals.