How To Ace Your Interview

Further to our last article ‘How To Prepare For Your Interview‘, here are our top tips on how to ace your interview.

1. Take your time – It’s okay to take a moment before answering the question. Take a breath, or a sip of water, or simply pause. This will give you time to calm any nerves and think of an anecdote that appropriately answers the question. If you are uncertain of the question, you may ask them to repeat it. 

2. Be positive – Often, behavioural interview questions require you to focus on a problem or a failure at work. Describe the problem or issue you faced, but don’t focus too much on the negative. Quickly shift to describing how you solved the problem and the positive results.

3. Follow the STAR Technique

(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 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. For example, if your actions resulted in completing a task, resolving a conflict, improving your company’s sales record, etc. Try to focus on how your actions resulted in success. 

In a behavioural job interview, the interviewer asks questions about your past work experiences to find out if you have the skills needed for the job. Behavioural interview questions focus on how you handled various work situations in the past. Your response will reveal your skills, abilities, and personality. Your response and example should always remain relevant to the question. 

The logic behind this interview tactic is that your behaviour in the past reflects and predicts how you will behave in the future. The interviewer isn’t necessarily asking yes or no questions and is instead seeking a response to questions with specific examples of how you have previously handled situations in the workplace. 

Your answers should be in the form of a brief anecdote that illustrates your strengths and skills as a worker. Provide background on the situation, the specific actions you took, and the results.

4. Practice – Practice answering some of the following behavioural interview questions, using the STAR technique to provide complete answers: 

  • Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem. 
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and tell me how you achieved it. 
  • Give an example of a goal you didn’t meet and how you handled it. 
  • Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it. 
  • Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure. 
  • How do you handle a challenge? 
  • Have you been in a situation where you didn’t have enough work to do? 
  • Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it? 
  • Describe a decision you made that was unpopular and how you handled implementing it. 
  • Did you ever make a risky decision? Why? How did you handle it? 
  • Did you ever postpone making a decision? Why? 
  • Have you ever dealt with company policy you weren’t in agreement with? How? 
  • Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty? If so, how? 
  • When you worked on multiple projects how did you prioritise? 
  • How did you handle meeting a tight deadline? 
  • Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them. 
  • Did you ever not meet your goals? Why? 
  • What do you do when your schedule is interrupted? Give an example of how you handle it. 
  • Have you had to convince a team to work on a project they weren’t thrilled about? How did you do it? 
  • Give an example of how you’ve worked on a team. 
  • Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How? 
  • What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker? 
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers. 
  • Do you listen? Give an example of when you did or when you didn’t listen. 
  • Tell me about a time where you disagreed with a manager or colleague and how you handled the situation. 
  • Tell me about a time when you encountered a difficult customer and how you handled the situation.  

After the Interview 

Call your Recruitment Consultant to give feedback on how your interview went. Remember to contact your references and remind them to expect a call! 

Good luck!