Over the years we have interviewed hundreds of candidates from young people just out of school, through to executives and it does not matter what level of worker you are or what stage your career is at, if you can be an experiential interviewee you have a greater chance of success.
So what do we mean by the term ‘Experiential Interviewee’?
Most people at interview tend to concentrate on answering the questions asked and tend not to elaborate too much. Some candidates are good at elaboration but their answers are all very general. The type of person who says ‘ yes, I managed all of that side of the business. Saved them loads of money and changed the whole way they managed that area’. Many words but does not really tell me anything specific. It is so very general. It could be applied to any type of work, to any candidate and could be any part of any business.
Generalised statements tend to leave the interviewer with a feeling of uncertainty. Words roll off the tongue so easily, but how do I know that you actually did these things? What level of hyperbole are you utilizing? Sure I can ring your manager and ask specifically about these statements, but already I have uncertain feelings about what you are saying – too easy to say it and far too general.
In comparison, is the candidate who can tell me directly about their experiences. They start with ‘when I worked at’… so immediately I can place their statements into context. I know when and where they work and completed this task. They tell me what they had to do. It might be a responsibility or a duty or task. Perhaps it is some innovative action on their part, either way, I know what the situation was – what had to be achieved. Then they tell me what they actually did. There is a difference between what has to be done and what was done.
Saying ‘I had to reconcile the accounts’ is actually quite different to saying ‘I reconciled the accounts and what steps I took to perform that task’.
Finally, I am told what the result was of their actions. ‘Because I did that …..’ These achievements result from the experiential examples given. The interviewee actually experienced this situation – they have told me when it happened and where, they have told me what they were supposed to do, then they informed me how they actually did it and finally they have told me the outcome.
Examples like this are so strong in an interview situation it is hard to ignore them and their relevance to the role you are recruiting. Just remember STAR: Situation; Task; Action; Result; and you will be an experiential interviewee. Call us on 1300 923 000 if you would like help to improve your interview skills.
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