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Prep For That Interview, What Do I Need To Do?

Kia Ora Whanau!

Alex from Costas Enterprises here, and today we are going to cover some of the basic things you should do before you go to the interview. These tips wont get you the job, but they may help you feel more confident.

Review your STARL examples and try to anticipate what you may be questioned on.

OK shameless blog posts plug here, but if you haven’t already, you may want to check out my previous STAR examples post. We have also already discussed about identifying these in another blog post (Before you apply for a job). These can be identified by looking in to the job description and identifying what skills the employer is looking for. Sometimes the employer will come out and say exactly the skills they want but other times you will need to read the language of what they are wanting to find.

Practice the delivery of your STARL examples.

You can do this by holding a mock interview with a family member or your friend. The important thing to know when going into an interview is that when you are being asked a question by one of the interviewers, the one question asked is actually two to three questions in one. For example they might ask something similar to:

“This question is about teamwork. Tell me/us a time when you were part of a good team, what was the defining factor about this team and how did you resolve any conflicts within that team?

When you are asked a question like this you may need to change your STARL example to fit this question, you need to think how you break down the question.

In this example we are told the skill is Teamwork, but is this the only skill they want you to identify? They ask to tell them a time you were part of a good team (Question 1 – This is you giving them an example), What was the defining factor about this team (Question 2 – What made this team great (this should be within the example itself)) and finally they ask how did you resolve any conflicts within the team (Question 3 – This is not only asking about teamwork but also how you resolve conflict or deal with irate team members – And before you ask, the answer “we never have any complaints or conflicts” is not going to be helpful at all so think carefully). Also in this example you may want to instead mention a time from your personal life if you can’t think of a work example.

Practice the delivery of your answer.

You need to practice taking your time to think about the answer you will give to their question, you need to make sure that you can interpret one of your STARL answers into the question they have asked. This may also mean slightly adapting your answer.

One thing you will learn is that while you’re STARL answers will be great when you explain the Situation Task Action Result and what you Learnt, if you can’t adapt these within the interview to answer the question being asked, you might as well not even try to remember them.

This only comes with practice! The more practice and experience you have with these style of interview questions, the easier it will be to adapt and respond.

The key point here is listening to the question being asked. By taking time you think about your answer before responding straight away, you will be more comfortable and confident in your response.

Remember: You want to make this interview more like a conversation, this way the employer will feel comfortable around you … this is a good thing!

Dress to impress

OK so I know I don’t really need to say this, but I’m going to cover it off anyway.

When you are going for an interview you are giving a visual representation of yourself to the employer. What does this mean? … You don’t have to be dressed as if you’re going on a first date/ wedding or a school ball but at the very least dress professionally.

Think about it simply, if you were on the opposite side of the table and someone came to you wearing a T-Shirt and Shorts, with a dirty full beard or messy hair, applying for an office role … would you hire that person?

You want to make a good first impression as it might be the last one you have to ever give.

So get a shirt/ blouse, some nice pants/ dress, get a hair-cut (or comb/ brush your hair) and if your a man, shave/ style your facial hair and finally go get kill that interview!

Believe in yourself and visualise your own success.

Ok, Ok I know it sounds a bit airy-fairy but hear me out.

Before you go into the interview, once your looking and feeling So Fresh and So Clean (Clean) you need to believe that you can give that amazing interview.

Put simply BE CONFIDENT!!

You are going in this interview to show that you will be an asset to their team/ organization because you have every skill needed to go. So go in there and not only show that you can do the job required but exceed it (you did apply for the job because your thought you were qualified right?, now is the time to act that way).

Do some research and prepare to ask a question.

So I know we have covered this already in a previous Questions blog post but this is actually really important, As mentioned in the blog post, this is not a standard “What does the job pay?” type question.

Instead it should be more of a reflection of what the job is, for example if you are applying for a Business Analyst type role within security, ask them something that is in line with what they are looking for.
“What security measures do you currently use and how do you intend to develop these to the changing technological markets?”.
By asking a question to do with the job, you are showing an interest in the role and while it might not get you the job, it will at least show them you are seriously interested and could lead to another job interview or a junior position within the same organization.

So we come to the part of the blog where I offer links to Amazon products and advise that I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you click the link and buy anything from Amazon I will get a small commission. This is a way of helping keep these blogs going so I appreciate anyone that helps me do this! These two books are only examples of what you can wear when going not only for an interview but also once you get that job. Again this wont guarantee you get the job, but it might make your interviewer favor you more if you have closed shoes as opposed to jandals/ flip-flops.

  1. Chic Simple Dress Smart Men: Wardrobes That Win in the New Workplace
  2. Chic Simple Dress Smart Women: Wardrobes That Win in the New Workplace

Thanks again for taking the time to read this post and I value all of my readers/ followers and commentators. So come and join the Whanau and subscribe so your always in the know!

Until next time, have a great day Whanau!

What are S.T.A.R Examples and how do I create one?

Kia Ora Whanau! Alex from Costas Enterprises here and hopefully I can help with the above questions!

Don’t have time to read?? You can listen to a copy of this post from my podcast the “Get a job and get healthy with Costas Enterprises” podcast on Spotify right here.

What is a STAR Example? Simply put, STAR examples are used as a base for providing answers to behavioral questions.

STAR examples stand for:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result.

A lot of jobs these days use the STAR method to answer behavioural questions, but what are behavioural questions?? Behavioural questions are a way to assess if a future employee can show that they have the skills needed to do the job.

Behavioural questions will most likely appear in a panel interview. A panel interview is when you get interviewed by a panel of up to 3 to 4 people. Each interviewer will have their own set of 7 to 8 pages of questions.

Sounds a little intimidating right? it is semi-meant to feel that way. The future employer wants to see that you can recall an example from your life about when you used this skill.

An example of a behavioural question might be something like:

“The next question we ask is going to cover flexibility within the workforce. Can you tell us a time when you were required to switch between different roles? What did you do? Did you have any obstacles? What were these and how did you overcome these and what was the result?”

Each question on the interviewer’s page will sound quite long and will usually cover either 1 to 2 skills that the employer is trying to determine you have.

So … wait where does the STAR part come into it??

The STAR system is your way of actually answering these questions.

You need to create your own STAR examples for skills that you have identified that you have (remember we covered identifying skills a little bit in a previous post titled Before you apply for a job.), that the employer is looking for.

So you have a list of skills you know that the employer may ask you about, so now you have to look at creating your STAR examples.

Let’s break down what each letter means and how you would answer the above behavioural question.

S – Situation – When being asked a question the situation is you advising the interviewer about a time when you used the skill they are trying to find. To make this easier you might even almost semi-repeat the question back to the employer just adding a sentence. For example “A situation when I demonstrated flexibility within the workforce was …”

T – Task – This follows directly on from the above Situation. Think of this as the continuation of the situation. for example ste start of your answer may look more like “A situation when I demonstrated flexibility within the workforce was when I was tasked with working on two projects at the same time, these projects came with the following obstacles….”

A – Action – The Action is what it sounds like, this is the actions that you took to show you have the skill the employer is trying to find. For Example: “While I was working on project A, I was managing my time by adding all incoming requests into my calendar, when I was tasked with project B an obstacle appeared which was that I now had less time to dedicate to project A. The action I took was that I had a meeting with both project managers and explained that I would be willing to work on both projects however they have to provide me with X,Y and Z in order for me to meet the result”

R – Result – This is the Result of the Actions above. The result is your way of proving to the employer that you have the skills to do the job. For example “The result of this meeting was that I had informed both managers that I was only one person and that if they needed me to meet their deadlines I would need them to provide me with all of the data so I can maximise my time by using my time-management, communication skills I was able to be more flexible and adaptable in the workplace and now I am tasked with more responsibility.”

Extra Tip!!! Do Not Finish Reading Yet!!

I advise that add an L to the end of your STAR examples. Effectively making them STARL.

I have found that if you tell the employer the Result and then what you Learnt from the experience you are not only showing that you have the skill(s) needed but also that you actually thought about your answer.

L – Learnt – This is what you have learnt from the experience. There are a couple of reasons why you need to add this so just go with me on this …

  1. By saying what you learnt from the experience you are re-enforcing that you have the skill needed for the job and that you have actually thought about it
  2. The other advantage of adding what you learnt is to capture your audience. What I mean by this is you are kind of shocking/ waking up the interview panel a little and making sure they take note of what you are saying.

But I can only use STARL examples from work right?

NO! your examples do not have to be just from your work experience, these can be personal experiences as well and most times these can show your honesty and openness (two more identifiable skills) so don’t be afraid if you can’t show a work example for the question.

That’s all for this post but keep your eyes open and click that subscribe to be notified everytime a new post becomes available.

Please bear with me while I add more content but I hope it’s not too long between posts for everyone.

Note: The link below does go to and I am a Amazon Affiliate so, if you click through and buy something from them I do get a commision, however I will only do this for products that I actually have used, read or watched and would actually recommend. Now the reason I chose this product is because we are talking about STAR’s so why not offer the cutest Star Wars character around “The Child” .. aka Baby Yoda!!

I love to hear your feedback so feel free to leave me a message or a comment.

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