Mix the past tense with a little bit of the present and a tiny bit of the future, welcome to this week's edition of Talk.
Modern interview formats demand a more modern approach. Today I will be helping you to identify with the past. Questions that ask you to prove that you have the necessary skill set to complete a particular task are challenging to answer so let me show you a good way to practice.
Typically CBI interview questions are broken down into parts, and these are:
Commitment to a position
Communication - Verbal/ Oral / Written
Let us take communication as an example question. The question may sound something like this;" Tell me a time where your communication skills proved crucial to an outcome?"
Here you are going to have to refer to a particular example so here are a few tips on how to refer to the past.
- I can recall a particular time when I had to ......
- I faced this scenario when I .......
- If I had to give you an example, it would be when I had to ......
- When I was working as a ....................... I encountered this exact scenario.
- There was an occasion when I had to .....................
- When I used to work for ............... I had to ................ and this would be a good example.
There are many other ways that you can refer to the past; I have only listed a few. We can add an introduction to these forms such as:
Imagine only choosing to answer all the questions with the same format; it would sound very strange. In my opinion, you should vary your format to hold the attention of the interviewer.
Your interviewer only has a limited amount of time to ask you questions, so depending on the question that you are asked to answer, four paragraphs could act as a guideline to prevent you from talking too much.
Spending too much time answering a question will only steal time from answering another. This will in turn only reduce your chances of success.
There is a methodology used to answer these types of questions, and this is referred to as S.T.A.R. This stands for; Situation, Task, Action and Result.
Since I have shown you how to relate to a situation, I will now turn my attention to; Task. A task is obligatory, and so it is an obligation since this task is not optional to complete. This being the case, we use specific sentence constructions to make reference to this requirement.
I had to
I needed to
I was required to
I was told to
My line manager asked me to
My client wanted me to
I would now like to; Action if I may, and I have shown a select few forms below. Remember your approach is a key selling point and is one of the main reasons that an employer would be interested in giving you the position versus your competitors.
I cannot provide you with actions since they vary considerably, but I can tell you that it is not wise to always refer to yourself and use the word; "I". A team, depending on the position that you are applying for can also be of value so to mix things up a little bit you could make reference to; "We, my team, they, my team, our department, my colleagues".
Finally, let us take a look at; "result", critical in every way. Since you are now adding value to your example, the result must be shown to be favourable, exciting and conclusive where possible. A few examples have been indicated below;
The outcome was very positive.
My team managed to beat the deadline.
The client was pleased.
My client was satisfied with the result.
Our team was successful.
The result was of significant benefit to our department.
At this point, two topics need to be mentioned, voice tone and speed of speech. If you are grammatically correct in every way but your voice tone does not show that you have the want, need or personality that could contribute to an organisation then your efforts will be wasted.
Equally, if you speak at the wrong pace, you may indicate that this quality is reflected in the way that you complete tasks or talk to clients on the phone. Nothing wrong with having a sense of urgency but there is a time and a place to apply, and it is clearly not in an interview.
If you have enjoyed today's post, please share it with others and if you are interested in this subject and need to practice in a simulated environment just visit our website. You will find course information under "Interview Course."
Thank you for joining us and hope to post again soon. www.one2oneacademy.com - "work smarter, not harder!"
DEAR MANDI, LET ME SAY YOU A BIG "THANK YOU" FOR YOUR HELP WITH PREPARING ME TO IELTS EXAM. THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE AND SUPPORT. EVEN WHEN MY HOME WORKS WERE DIFFICULT AND I HAD NO TIME,- I ALWAYS TRIED TO COMPLETE EVERYTHING IN TIME BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO DISAPPOINT YOU. YOU HELPED ME TO BE MORE CONFIDENT IN EACH PART OF THE EXAM, ESPECIALLY IN SPEAKING. IN THE BOTTOM LINE - ALL MY GOAL WERE REACHED! I HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT TIME YOU VISIT IN ISRAEL.
I TOOK A LESSON WITH SANJ IN ORDER TO PREPARE TO A TELEPHONE INTERVIEW I WAS ABOUT TO HAVE. SANJ GAVE SOME VERY GOOD TIPS FOR THE INTERVIEW AND A BRIEF LESSON TO IMPROVE MY GRAMMAR AND SPEAKING SKILLS. HE ALSO HELPED ME TO FORMULATE BETTER ANSWERS TO COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS – ALL OF THESE IN ONLY ONE HOUR! THE PREPARATION DEFINITELY HELPED ME TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT AND TO SPEAK MORE FLUENTLY DURING THE INTERVIEW, AND EVENTUALLY TO GET THE JOB!
I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT YOU HELPED ME GROW IN MORE THAN ONE DIMENSION. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION WITH ME IN THE CLASSES – I DIDN’T REALIZE HOW MUCH I HAD LEARNED UNTIL I GOT SUCH A NICE GRADE IN PTE ACADEMIC EXAM. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PERSONAL CONCERN FOR ME – YOUR EMOTIONAL SUPPORT WAS INDEED PRICELESS. I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO BE MANDI’S STUDENT AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO TAKE HER EXAM PREPARATION CLASSES.