Have you ever walked out of an interview knowing you nailed it? Has the reverse also happened where you agonized over your responses hours, or even days later, wishing you had answered a question differently?
How you prepare for your interview can make or break your important meeting.
I created the worksheet below to accomplish two things: To cement your personal brand, and to help you pull out as much detail as possible on recent roles to answer any interview question with textured, specific, and fulsome answers. The detail you provide in your responses can move your interview from ‘good’ to ‘great’ in the eyes of a hiring manager, and can really help with your poise and confidence during the meeting.
You owe it to yourself to make your next interview as painless as possible. Try this framework out; I’m confident it will make a difference. You are about to really impress a hiring manager!
Step One:Fill out the worksheet 2-3 days prior to your interview. You will prepare detail for your most recent 3 contracts, or last 5 years of work experience – whichever you deem to be the best overview of your experience.
Step Two:Use all the detail you organized to answer sample interview questions using the STAR interview technique (more details below). Remember, most candidates struggle to provide specific examples of their experience during an interview. After taking the time to layout your recent experience in the worksheet, your answers will flow.
Interview Prep Worksheet
PART I: Your Personal Brand/”Tell Me About Yourself”
Here you will perfect your 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ and your brand/value proposition for a client. Every interview, (and every dinner party!) starts with some form of this question. Determine what yours is and you can add it to your header on Linkedin.
What I am:
What I’m great at:
Who I help:
What I want:
“I am a career Business Analyst with a passion for helping business teams re-imagine their legacy applications into the cloud. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your project and sharing how I can help.”
PART II: Detailed Experience Worksheet
Complete this for your most recent 3 contracts, or last 5 years of work experience – whichever you deem to be the best overview of your experience.
What is the nature of the project that you were working on? (Why was it needed by the business?)
Describe your responsibilities/breakdown your day. How much time do you spend on what activities each week(%)?
What size team are you working with? (your internal team, vendors, roles, size of user-base)
Who were you liaising with (business units? other developers? vendors?)
What major challenges did you encounter on the project? What was your role in handling the challenge?
What successes (small/large) did you achieve?
What tools/technology did you use in your role or were present in the technology environment? (versions?)
What was the Result? (specifics around how you made money, saved money, or changed a business process that did both)
PART III: STAR Interview Technique
Reference your worksheet to provide detailed answers to interview questions using the STAR interview format:
Situation:The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge and situation in which you found yourself.
Task:The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to achieve from the situation.
Action:What did you do? The interviewer will be looking for information on what you did, why you did it and what were the alternatives.
Results:What was the outcome of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet your objectives. What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?
PART IV: Sample Interview Questions
These are the top 5 most common interview questions for you to practice against.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date and can you relate that to the job you are applying to?
What drives you, personally and professionally? What are you passionate about?
How would you deal with an underperforming team member that you are responsible for?
Tell me of a time when things did not go as planned that you had to deal with a very upset person. What happened? Why? What did you do?
What are you looking for? Describe the ideal job description for you.