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Interview Series

Interview experiences – Tip No. 2

Hi all, sorry – we know it’s been a while since our last update! We’ve both been busy applying for jobs and scheduling interviews. In the meantime, we’ve put together Interview Tip No. 2…

Be an expert when it comes to your resume, cover letter, and work/volunteer history.
You really need to know your past experience well, so be sure you can explain every job and duty you’ve outlined! Apart from the standard “tell me about yourself”, a type of question that’s been popping up more and more for both Meg and myself, is the behavioural question. Behavioral questions are common in interviews, and for well articulated responses – knowing specific details of past experiences preparing beforehand, and being able to articulate what you have learned, how you have improved, or how you excelled in specific situations, is crucial to showing a dynamic character and the exhibiting potential for growth.

Regardless of if you’re just starting out in the interview process or have experience giving interviews, prepping beforehand is a must. This could include going over your past experiences, checking out the organization’s website, or browsing through sample behavioural questions online. However I must admit that I’ve lately been in situations (frantically searching for, and applying for jobs), that cause me to have to schedule an interview without enough time for preparing. If you’re in a similar situation and pressed for time, you do not have to try to answer as many sample interview questions as possible!

Why, you ask?
Well, an example of a specific situation you have dealt with previously can often lead to answers to multiple interview questions. For instance, that time you had that horrible retail job folding clothes and listening to people complain about the long queue for the fitting rooms? Use that experience to highlight your ability to organize, prioritize (remember, customers first!), manage time efficiently (help customers AND get through your folding duties), and developing ability to deal with stressful situations (um…irate customers?!).

If you need help understanding how best to approach setting up the situation for your interviewers to understand the problem and how you efficiently dealt with it, try remembering the STAR format – Situation, Task, Action, and Result.  Again, run through ALL your work experiences and the different types of situations you had to deal with in different workplaces. Prepare multiple scenarios and ensure that you can recount your experiences in detail during the interview. The fact that you can articulate what is written on paper and give detailed answers regarding your work history also assures the interviewer of your honesty and the accuracy of your application.

Have any of you used the STAR process before? Or had any unique behavioural questions you can share?

-Kay

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