Businesswomen at Table


Part I – Preparing for Your Interview

These posts will follow

Part II – The Interview

Part III – You ask the Questions

Part IV – Finishing up

Before you can become an engaged, productive employee – the main focus of this Blog – one needs to get hired, so here’s a little practical help for those trying to do just that!


In addition to your resume(s), you should have a document that bullet points your most important career accomplishments, WITH bullet pointed detail (the story) that will fulfill the components of the STAR MODEL.  This document we will call “Your Accomplishments List.”

Why Bullet Points?  To keep your list concise and make it easier to remember and focus on key points only.

The “Star Model” is centerpiece of the “Behavioral” Method of Interviewing.   This interviewing technique is considered the most progressive and the most effective candidate screening tool – if the interviewer has been trained effectively in using it.

Typically your resume doesn’t have the kind of detail needed to satisfy this interview model and as a result you may not have that detail at the tip of your tongue.  This can hurt your confidence during an interview when these types of questions are asked.

The STAR Model 

THINK……… Situation or Task, Action taken, Result.

Situation or Task:  What is this “story about.”  What had to be accomplished?

Action:  What did the candidate do?  Was it a team effort, what was this candidate’s actual contribution?

Result:  What was the outcome?  Failure/Success.  What, if anything, was learned either way?


Preparing For & Responding To Questions

Going over your work history, job by job, as listed on your resume is the best way to jar your memory to create your Accomplishments List.  Review your accomplishments & the detail before your interviews.  Focus on those accomplishments that will be most relevant to the upcoming interview.

Whenever you respond to a question or relate an accomplishment, be sure to use the STAR model.   A good interviewer will be using the STAR model or something similar and ask follow-up questions to make sure that they have the full picture of a candidate’s behavior, actions, and outcome in dealing with various professional/work challenges.

Creating this “Accomplishments” document is a very worthwhile exercise that will contribute to improving your interview performance.   Sometimes we forget what we’ve accomplished or the details of these efforts, what the interviewer is looking for, gets fuzzy.   This exercise will put those accomplishments and the details up front in your mind and boost your confidence level.  The Career Accomplishments document and your Resume should always be kept up to date – whether you are in a job search or not.

Your pre-interview “Due Diligence”

You will do your research on the company, (and if possible, even the department in which you might be working) its recent successes, challenges, important products, and important customers.  Networking contacts can be very helpful here and of course Internet sites and social media as well.


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