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Star at interviews

Published on Saturday, 25 Oct 2014

Preparation is the key to success in an interview. The better prepared you are, the more relaxed and comfortable you will be. Gather information about the company and try to relate your experience to the specific duties of the job opportunity available.

Prepare questions about the position and the company. These can include:“Do you have a detailed job description?”; “Why is the position available?”; “What training and induction will be given?”; and “What prospects are there for professional development?”

It’s also a good idea to prepare for questions you might be asked in an interview. The STAR (situation, task, action, result) technique allows you to answer such questions by linking a real-life example from your past to a competency required in the job. 

This involves describing a situation you were in – for example, a colleague was struggling with performance; the task you decided to do – discussing how you could help; the action you took – giving examples of how you improved your own performance; and the result – your colleague’s performance improved dramatically.

Practice answering sample interview questions using this technique. Go back through your job history and identify several detailed examples you can use to answer questions in this way. Make sure you select at least one example for every competency the job requires. 

It is worth noting that the point most people forget to expand on is the result of the action they took. Naturally, it is better to use an anecdote with a positive outcome, but if this is not possible, explain what you learnt from the situation and how you would do it differently next time.


Christine Wright is managing director of Hays in Asia

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