Interview Preparation – Questions and Considerations

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As a recruiter, I get a lot of questions about how to prepare for an interview, as is expected! And because there are so many pieces to consider before meeting with your next boss for the first time, I’ve created a series of blogs on this topic.

With more and more emphasis being made on verbal communication, because of the need to conduct video interviews, ensuring you have well thought out responses to the questions asked will be imperative. 

Most employers will use behavior-based questions, the idea being that past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. No matter the format of interview, it’s best to prepare by considering your work history, including the successes, challenges, learnings, and teams you worked in.

Here are some typical behavior-based questions that are used often:

For these questions, I suggest you consider the response to this question for the 3 most recent/relevant roles listed on your resume:

  1. Please describe for me your previous position at XYZ company.
  2. I’d like you to explain your responsibilities in that role.
  3. Describe the challenges you faced.
  4. What accomplishments did you have while working there?

The intent of these questions is to assess your integrity and humility, as well as your learning capacity. Prepare yourself with multiple examples for each.  

  1. Tell me about a recent time you made a mistake.  
  2. Share with me your most significant accomplishment.

These last three questions are varying ways that hiring teams try to learn how you handle difficult situations. They are considering putting your name on their brand and they need to assess how well you will treat their customers and team members.

  1. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a frustrated customer.  
  2. Tell me of a time you had to deliver news to a client who you were sure wasn’t going to take it well.
  3. Tell me of a time you had to deal with conflict in your workplace?

One of the most important aspects to interviewing is your ability to communicate clearly, and you can do this best with organized thoughts. Here is a tool you can practice to help organize your thoughts when responding to questions in an interview:

S-T-A-R-

  • Situation/Task – Describe the situation you were in, or the task you were working at
  • Action – Describe the action you took
  • Results – Describe the results

Remember 

Being prepared for the interview is something you work through from the moment you apply, to the time you thank the hiring team as you leave the interview. Thinking through these things is only one portion of the interview preparedness process. You’ll find I’ve written two other interview preparedness blogs; Getting into the Right Mindset, and The Actual Interview. I hope this information is helpful, please take what adds value and leave the rest.

Best of luck!

*I support job seekers who are legally entitled to work in Canada and who are willing to commit long term to their new employer. I focus on supporting Saskatchewan – people and companies. If you are interested in finding work within Saskatchewan or are looking for quality people to hire in Saskatchewan, please reach out to me at dawn@sourcingpeople.ca.

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