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The quick and dirty guide for preparing for a job interview


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The Quick and Dirty Guide to Preparing for a Behavioural Based Job Interview

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The quick and dirty guide for preparing for a job interview

  1. 1. By Graeme Kiyoto-Ward
  2. 2. Why this guide Occasionally there are times that I provide help tothose who are needing to undertake a behaviouralbased interview. Often there is not a lot of time between when I provdethe help and the time of the interview. This pack provides a summary of the approach I takewhen helping people where there isn’t a lot of time toprepare.
  3. 3. Who is this guide for?You need this guide if you: have an upcoming behavioural based job interview. don’t have any pre-prepared materials. don’t have a lot of time to prepare. haven’t had much experience in behavioural basedinterviews.
  4. 4. What do you needYou will need: the position description or the advertisement of thejob you have applied for. pen and paper. at least an hour.
  5. 5. What will be the resultAt the end of this you will have: a way to introduce yourself. a list of why your hard skills match those of the job. a list of examples that prove you have the right softskills (the behavioural bit). some questions to ask. some information about the company. the right attitude.
  6. 6. About The Introduction Generally interviews start with some variant of thequestion “tell me about yourself.” You want to make a good first impression. The introductory question is a good place to sellyourself. How you manage introductory questions may decidehow seriously you are taken.
  7. 7. Preparing for the IntroductionTo answer the most common introduction questions youneed three things: Who you are (I am a…) What you do (I currently do…) Why they need you (I have applied for this jobbecause…)If you have these things you can probably answer 80% ofintroductory questions.
  8. 8. Practicing the Introduction Write it down. Practice, the practice again. Don’t skip this step.NOTE: If you have trouble talking aboutyourself, practice by describing someone you admireuntil you have the formula right, then describe yourself.
  9. 9. About Hard Skills Employers are looking for someone to do some specificfunction or specific tasks. This means hard skills. Hard skills are more likely learned from education ortraining, e.g. write code, balance books, etc. You need to prove you have those hard skills.
  10. 10. Prep for Hard Skills Questions Read the advertisement (or position description). Look for key hard skills they require. Write down each skill and an example : If you have no example, think about a similar experienceas an example If you have no similar experience, note down two tothree main points you have learned about the topic If you don’t have this then you have a gap
  11. 11. Practice Hard Skills Questions Practice how you would answer question that you don’thave good examples for. If you have one or two gaps be honest in the interviewif these come up. If you have too many gaps then how did you secure aninterview in the first place?
  12. 12. About Soft Skills – part one Employers are looking for people who act in certain ways asthey perform their duties. This means soft skills. Soft skills are more likely learned from experience, e.g.communicating, managing difficult customers, etc. Behavioural based interviewing is checking soft skills byasking how you dealt with similar situations in the past. This could be the main part of the interview.
  13. 13. About Soft Skills – part twoThere is a recommended approach for answering softskills question, which is. S: Describe the situation. T: Describe your assigned task. A: Describe the action you took. R: Describe the result. Provide enough detail to make the example real.
  14. 14. Prep for Soft Skills Questions Read the advertisement (or position description) tofind the key soft skills they require. Write down each skill and an example : If you have no example, think about a similar experienceas an example If you don’t have this then you have a gap Make sure each example has a Situation, Task, Actionand a Result.
  15. 15. Prep for Soft Skills Questions Watch out for soft skills questions that may not beobvious from the position description, such as: Tell me what is your greatest weaknesses Tell me about a time you made a mistake Use google to search for ‘difficult interview questions’and check for anything that would give you trouble. Ask people you have worked with for any examples ofwhat you have done that has impressed them.
  16. 16. Practice Soft Skills Questions Practice how you would talk about each example. Make sure that the Situation, Task, Action and Resultare clear in your answers. If you have a friend who can help, get them to ask youquestions.
  17. 17. About Questions to Ask If you really want a job you may be tempted not to askquestions because these would seem to be a ‘barrier’ If you don’t ask questions then the interviewer maythink that you are not interested in the job. Make sure you have some questions to ask.
  18. 18. Prep for Questions to Ask Google something like “questions to ask at a job interview.” Select a result that has a reasonable sized list. Find a question that you feel sounds good. Check you could reply if asked “why did you ask thatquestion?” Write the question down. Repeat until you have five questions.
  19. 19. Information about the Company Go and find some information about the company. Most companies have a company website, for the restthere is google. There is no excuse. If you are not interested in their company they areunlikely to be interested in you.
  20. 20. Getting the right attitude If you are good at selling yourself, that’s great. If you struggle to sell yourself it could be a problem. Redefine how you look at the situation. Think aboutwhy they need you and how you can help them.
  21. 21. Finally Make some notes and take them with you. Be on time. Don’t do any difficult or complex mental tasks in thehour prior to the interview. Definitely don’t do any task that you find unpleasant inthe hour prior to the interview.