Interviewing

A Three-Step Process for Answering Interview Questions

Three step process for answering interview questionsThe late J. Michael Farr developed this simple and brilliant process.  His many books on the self-directed job search have sold over three million copies.

Step 1:  Understand what is really being asked.  Most questions are designed to find out about your self-management skills and personality, but interviewers are rarely this blunt.  The employer’s real question is often one or more of the following:

  • Can I depend on you?
  • Are you easy to get along with?
  • Are you a good worker?
  • Do you have the experience and training to do the job if hired?
  • Are you likely to stay on the job for a reasonable period of time and be productive?

Ultimately, if you don’t convince the employer that you will stay and be a good worker, it won’t matter if you have the best credentials, they won’t hire you.

Step 2:  Answer the question briefly.  Present the facts of your particular work experience and present them as advantages.

Step 3:  Answer the real concern by presenting your related skills.  Base your answer on the key skills you have that support the job, and give examples to support these skills.

Follow Michael Farr’s three-step process and use the S.T.A.R. Method when answering behavioral questions and you’ll rarely be at a loss for answering questions at an interview.

The S.T.A.R. Method to answer behavioral interview questions such as:

  • Tell me about a time when…
  • What do you do when…
  • Have you ever…
  • Give me an example of…
  • Describe a…

Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.

Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.

Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.

Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.

And three more things…prepare, prepare, prepare.


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How to respond to the most common interview opener

The most common question used to begin a job interview is some variation of Tell me Google+ (2)about yourself." To make a good impression, answer by providing pertinent, career-related information and leaving out personal and social details. Discuss your education, work background and key accomplishments while keeping your answer brief.

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Supplement a great resume with an even better interview

By being prepared to build on the qualities your resume indicates with real-life stories Google+ (2) that show you putting those traits in action, you can enjoy better success at job interviews. Look for gaps or points of need that a company may have, and address ways you can assist with them during an interview.

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Don't leave home without it: 6 interview must-haves

If you don't have a list of references and multiple copies of your resume, you aren't Google+ (2)prepared for your job interview, writes Laura McMullen. You should take the items in a folder that contains a pen and paper for note-taking. Intangible items that you can't forget on interview day include knowledge of the company, the questions you plan to ask and any evidence or achievements you have that back up your previous job performance.

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How having a plan can help you land the job

If you go into an interview with a solid plan of what you can achieve within your first Google+ (2)30, 60 and 90 days on the job, you're much more likely to get hired, writes Peggy McKee. Such a plan removes a lot of the risk associated with hiring a new employee. "When it comes to hiring, bosses never want a coin toss -- they want a clear winner," writes McKee.

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How to move through a multistage interview like a champ

Job seekers should adopt a different strategy for each step of a multistage interview Google+ (2)
process, Megan Santos writes. For the prescreening interview, be ready to rattle off the qualities that will make you a valuable employee. During the in-house interview, ask questions and focus on your body language.

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