It’s Interview Time: With Credit to Dr. Hank Flick

Most of his Mississippi State University students remember Dr. Hank Flick’s Small Group Communication class and his infamous norm violations. Some of these stories are larger than life—just as he was.

If you are a former student of Dr. Flick, you are welcome to share your norm violation in the comments; I think we’d all enjoy reliving some of those over-the-top experiments.

I took Dr. Flick’s Interviewing Skills class. We were graded as interviewers and interviewees. One interviewing technique he taught served me well through the years. It was the PAR approach:

P Problem

A Action

R Results

This acronym structures your answers to interview questions with specificity. Use it to answer interview questions by citing specific problems you encountered, the decisive action you took, and the results you achieved.

The benefits from using PAR to structure your responses include:

  • Stickier answers for the interviewer
  • Insight into your personal experiences that relate to the job
  • A technique for framing your answers to prevent rambling 
  • A more organized response to questions

And just like Hank Flick, it’s not simply PAR for the course.


To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.

Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 

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