For a lot of people, the job application process is a representation of almost all their fears, compiled together in one gruelling process. There’s the fear of rejection most of us have a hard time facing. There’s that stage fright for the people who are required to present a demo or teach in front of a committee. And there are those who are required to answer difficult essay questions, when they aren’t even applying for a writing job.
With regards to the last one, a lot of people are wondering what the essay questions are for. There are some who think that they are being judged based on how they are at grammar, while some think that saying cliches and answering only in agreement and positive things is the way to get hired. While there is no one solution to answering these essay questions perfectly, there are some tips that you have to know to be able to pull off at least giving a decent answer, whether you are fond of writing or not.
1. Understand the question – before you could even think of a perfect pageant answer to the essay question presented to you, you have to understand first the question, and why it is being asked. Some common essay questions might include, “Cite the most important problems or concerns your field is facing today and your take on these.” or “Explain the significance of (your course or industry) to the society today.” While these seem complex questions, you have to figure out first the very essence of the question and determine what is really asked of you (the purpose of the question).
2. Arrange your thoughts – once you’ve figured out what to say, don’t just write them down and pass your application immediately. If you are sending the essay online, then you have a lot of time to polish your essay. But if you are given the essay on the spot and you have a time limit, you have to make the most of the time given to you. Make sure that before you put your thoughts down on paper, they are already arranged. You could try and create a quick outline on a separate piece of paper, or just do a mental outline for a few minutes.
3. Proofread your work – proofreading your work doesn’t only mean looking our for grammatical errors. This also means making sure that the meaning of your essay is clear to the person who will read it. Some people when they pass an essay during the job application, because of nerves or some other reason, the essay seem to not make sense at all. If you’ve done number 1 and 2, then writing down your answer would be easier. Note: don’t even worry too much about the grammatical errors you’re going to make if you are aware that it’s not really your strong point. There is no point perfecting your grammar minutes prior to the submission of your essay. What you can do instead is polish the content of your essay. Even if there are a few errors on grammar, but the presentation is clean and the content clear, you still have a good shot at impressing the hiring manager.
4. Submit on time – if you are assigned to write the essay on the spot and have been given a specific time limit, maximize that time given to you and avoid panicking. Instead, focus your attention to the essay question, and do numbers 1 to 3. Keep in mind that a decent essay submitted on time is far better than a perfected essay full of cliches and is submitted very late. Answering essay questions is not at all scary. If you opt to stay focused instead of scared, you can answer even the most difficult ones. Just always remember these tips in answering questions during the job application process and you’ll do great.