So you got the interview

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Tips for Success

Congratulations, you got the interview. Now you need to continue to prepare for a successful interview. The following tips are suggested for each stage of the preparation process.

Planning for the Interview

  • Prepare by researching the organization before the interview;
  • Find out how the core values and mission of the organization align with your own values? (this could indicate a good fit);
  • Re-read the job description and be familiar with the requirements of the job;
  • Before you attend the interview, ask whether the interview will be a ‘Behavioural Based Interview’ so that you can prepare;
  • Do an internet search on “behavioural based interviews” – there are many resources that you can further review;
  • Practice with a mock interview by having a friend ask you some questions that involve you using a BBI approach to answer them;
  • Know the location of the interview and prepare to be there 15 minutes early.

Common Behavioural Based Interview(BBI) Questions

BBI questions serve to help the interviewers’ learn more about how you perform in common job situations. This is based on the idea that a candidate's past performance is the best predictor of future performance. Typical questions will lead you to describe  a situation where you demonstrated certain skills, the actions that you took and the outcome of those actions.

Here are some examples of common BBI questions. Notice that while some questions may be short your answer should demonstrate in detail, how you dealt with the situation.

  • Give an example of a goal that you achieved and describe how you achieved it;
  • Describe a decision that you made that wasn't popular and how you handled implementing it;
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers;
  • Tell me about something you would have done differently at work;
  • Describe a difficult work situation or project and how you handled it.

There are many other resources available online to help you to learn more about behavioural based questions. Here are some selected websites. Visit each link to learn more.

Big Interview.com 
Reference.com 
Best job interview.com 
The interview guys.com 
The balance.com 

Formula for Answering Behavioural Interview Questions

When answering a behavioural interview question, use the STAR technique. There are four steps to answering using the STAR technique: situation, task, action, and results.
(S) Situation. Describe the situation in which the event took place.
(T) Task. Describe the task you were asked to complete. If there was a particular problem or issue you were trying to solve, describe that here.
(A) Action. Explain what action you took to complete the task or solve the problem.
(R) Results. Explain the result of your actions.

On the Interview Day

  • Arrive a little early, breathe deeply, stay calm;
  • Think positively about this opportunity;
  • Smile and make eye contact;
  • Listen… ;
  • Having your resume at hand may help you with dates and other details.
  • It may help to bring a ‘cheat sheet’ but keep it brief…perhaps just single word to help you recall examples from memory;
  • When giving your answers, it is okay to pause and think before you speak as well as take small pauses while you are speaking.
  • If you don’t understand the question or need to have it repeated, ask for that;
  • When you are answering the question, keep to the point.

The end of the Interview Session

  • Prepare one or two questions in advance requesting further information. This will further demonstrate your interest and help you learn about the position/organization.
  • Avoid asking questions about compensation and benefits at this point. Save these questions for a later part of the recruitment process such as the point of a job offer.
  • Ensure that you send an email to convey your thanks to the recruiter and the team for the opportunity to interview for the role and express your continued interest in the next steps.