Situational Interview Tips
Interviews are a crucial part of the hiring process, focusing on a deep dive into a candidate’s background and how it aligns with the business needs of a future employer. It’s no secret that methods and techniques for interviews are evolving. In order to compete in such a fierce job market, candidates need to go above and beyond to shine. Situational interview questions are often part of the process, so how does one stand out against the competition? With a few tips and preparation, I promise, you will nail your next interview.
When going through the selection process with a company, there are essentially two goals: ensuring role alignment, and predicting future success within the organization. To showcase your talent, be ready to speak to examples of achievement in your past work history. Start by taking a hard look at your resume, and list out your achievements, projects you’ve worked on, and lessons learned. Don’t be afraid to write out this list and refer to it while rehearsing for the interview.
How do you know your answers and results are what the hiring manager is looking for? The secret lies within job descriptions. Look up the job posting - what are the required skills for the role? What daily tasks will this person be performing? Think about how that relates to your past experience as well as your professional goals. Pull out key buzz words from the description and use this to your advantage! See the word “commitment” a lot? Use it during your interview!
Here’s an example: Let’s say one of the listed responsibilities includes driving customer commitment and engagement. Be ready to demonstrate how you’ve improved customer relations and built accounts in the past. The hiring manager wants to know how you can contribute and be successful – share those examples. However, ensure you are mindful of keeping any previous employer proprietary knowledge confidential.
Another overlooked resource out there for interview preparation is Glassdoor. Yes, it is well known site for attracting employees to share their reviews of a company and experiences. However, there is also an Interview section where people (whether hired or not), can offer tips and advice on how their selection process. You can sometimes find sample interview questions that can help guide you as well. Take a look!
So, you’ve studied the job description, have solid examples of how you can rock the position. Now it’s time to practice your delivery. Sure, we all get nervous during an interview. But you have more power than you think – just use the STAR Method! A handy acronym to remember to deliver the whole story.
Here’s the breakdown:
- S (Situation) – This is where you set the stage. Describe the project, or background to achievement. Provide those relevant details that will bring the story full circle in the end.
- T (Task) – Describe the challenge at hand, and what your role was in guiding towards resolution.
- A (Action) – This is the meat and potatoes. Think about what action you took towards solving a problem, achieving a goal.
- R (Result) – State the outcome. Don’t be afraid to brag a little.
Interviews can always go a number of ways, but the overall goals and strategy remain the same. Competition is fierce in the job market, and being prepared is essential to stand above the rest. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend, trusted colleague, or your bathroom mirror to practice your STAR delivery – and get feedback. You have the power to drive your professional career, and ability to realize your goals. It’s as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect” – or at least practice helps you be more comfortable with the interview process.