In our recent webinar on 10 Tips to Maximize Your Job Hunt Success, career development author and guru, Peter Fiske give an excellent tip on acing interviews that I’d like to highlight.
Peter’s assertion is that one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a job interview is to construct and rehearse some key stories about yourself and your accomplishments.
This makes a lot of sense to me. Communicating your key achievements in an interview clearly, comprehensively, and with the right tone (not too boastful, not too shy) is a powerful way to convince someone you are the right person for the job.
So ahead of the interview, think of the questions you are likely to be asked and prepare and rehearse – in front of the mirror, a friend or your dog – your stories so that if they come up in the interview, you are ready to deliver.
But how do you know what you are likely to be asked? Well, you can never be sure, but there are the top 4 story-prompting questions that Peter says he uses in the interviews he conducts:
- Tell me about a time in which you had to demonstrate leadership
- Tell me about a situation in which you disagreed with your advisor. How did you deal with it?
- What is most important to you about the work you do?
- Tell me something about yourself that I don’t already know (what comes to mind first)?
The STAR Approach
For questions like the first two, where you are preparing for a question about a specific situation, Peter recommends the STAR Approach, which entails structuring the answer like this:
Situation / Task: Describe the situation you encountered. Give the background and its relation to you.
Action : Describe what YOU did to address the situation or solve the problem
Result: Describe the result of your actions
Armed with well-structured answers to these, and any other key questions you think might come up, you’ll be in great shape for any interview.
What questions have you been asked (or do you ask) in interviews that you’d advise people to prepare answers for?