How to prepare for the Interview to paint yourself into the position you want.

Really?!  What animal would I be? Argh!  Who thinks these up?  Did they run out of questions?  Is the interview going so badly I’m now the subject of their entertainment?

If you’ve ever been asked a question that seems so irrelevant that you wanted to stand up and walk, listen up – there’s a way to recapture the interview and get it back on track.  You have the power!

Indeed, there are questions for every type of job but research reveals that great interview questions are ones that ask you about prior behaviors and actions.  We all know them as behavior based interview questions.

The golden opportunity in these types of questions are the ability for you, the job candidate, to get to tell a story that highlights your skills in action. But wait!  You don’t have to wait for someone to ask you one of these questions.  You can craft every reply, to any interview question, into a behavior based interview answer.

What’s the secret?  Answer every question with a format to guide you.

Many interview training programs advocate using the standard STAR approach (Describe the Situation, technique you are familiar with, the action you utilized, and the results that were experienced) but that doesn’t paint you into the new position.

I’ve altered the standard formulas to include THE key piece of information every interviewer wants to hear to envision you in the new role – what each experience taught you.  I call this formula: SCORE:  it provides with how to Start, share the Challenge you overcame, explain all the Output of action, the Results, and what the Experience taught you.

How is SCORE different than other formulas?  Once you implement this, you will always know how to start and finish every interview answer – on top of what to include in the middle.  This is a key area that reduces anxiety, drives up confidence, and allows the job candidate to feel more in control during the interview.

So, instead of jumping into an answer and rushing to finish, start by really grabbing the attention of your listener by putting them with you in the situation.  Start by describing where you were when you learned of the challenge you will be referencing.  Then when you describe the Challenge, you’re describing the whole situation –  this allows your listener to realize you understand your part in the bigger picture and it allows them to appreciate your situation within the problem more accurately.  Then, instead of describing techniques, you describe all the Output of action – much more powerful and sums up groups of techniques quickly as well as allows your listener to appreciate that you understand everyone’s actions, not just yours (if interested, follow up questions by interviewer will seek out techniques). Results speak for themselves and acknowledging that you realize cause and effect.  The kicker in this formula is next.  Share what that Experience taught you and what you bring to the table now because of it.  This is what they are hiring, your experiences – so don’t leave this to chance.  They are hiring what you are bring to them now – so tell them!

Don’t leave it up to the interviewer to imagine how you will use your skills – walk them into why you will succeed in the job. You have the power!  So, how do you actually do this? Happy to share these techniques anytime!


 

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Interviews fall short if you don’t learn how to be relevant, both in understanding your own success and how it aligns with the job you want (and what the company wants from you).

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