Preparation Tips for an Interview


Interviewers have a Job to Do

Over the course of an hour or so, they need to assess in relation to the other candidates if you are the person who can best fit the requirements of the role and who will best deliver in this position into the future.

They do this by asking questions. Questions are normally framed using the competencies outlined in the role descriptions. The answers to these questions should leave the interviewer knowing:

  • A short and concise overview of your career to date – highlighting the roles/projects you are most proud of.

  • Your strengths in particular those that relate to this role.

  • Satisfied that any gaps or future learning you may have can be achieved.

Your answers should not be ‘coached’ but you do need to be prepared. You are the person who knows ‘you’ the best. By being prepared and giving sufficient thought to the possible questions and how you might answer them and presenting your experience in the best way, you are giving yourself the best possible chance in comparison to the other candidates of being successful on the day.

Be Confident in your own Strengths

Think about those activities or situations where you feel confident or most at ease. Strengths may include:

  • Strategic Thinker

  • Organisational Skills

  • Effective Communicator

  • Good with People

  • Effective Team Leader/Player

  • Leadership Skills

When you are thinking about your how to display your strengths you will also be thinking of the role description/or the competencies outlined.

Example

If one of the competencies is Performance Through People:

Write down your example and summarise it into bullet points. Be clear about what you want to say - it will help you to present your answers in a confident and concise way.

An effective way to prepare your past experience examples relating to the job requirements, is to use the STAR format:


  • Situation/Task: explains the circumstances

  • Action: describes what you did

  • Result: describes the outcome of your action


Use this as the framework so that the interviewers understand the situation you are explaining:

  1. Think about a particular example

    When have I motivated others in my team to deliver high quality work and ensured good customer outcomes? Have I led by example, by being flexible, showing commitment to getting the job done?

    How did I communicate with my team in my example - can I tell the interviewers about my effective written or verbal communications? In this example did I need to manage the performance of my team - maybe by ensuring that they were empowered to do the job; or it may have been by organising the team so that I delegated responsibility to others? Did I provide feedback to the team, or did we as a team receive feedback from others?

  2. Demonstrate your Strengths

    Be able to show how your Strategic Thinking, Organisational Skills, being an Effective Communicator, your Effective Team Leader/Player Skills, and how your Leadership Skills contributed to getting the job/project delivered. This example will allow the interviewers to have a real insight into how you get the job done.

In just one example of a real situation, you have demonstrated your strengths, and demonstrated the competency of Performance Through People.