What does an interviewer’s scoring sheet look like?
Have you ever wondered how interviewers make a decision on which candidate to choose? In most competency based interviews it is simply a numbers game. Each question you are asked is testing whether or not you have a particular competency required to do the job. Each answer you give will earn marks for how well you convince the interviewer you have that particular competency.
Proof – not random waffle – will give you interview points
For instance let’s take an interviewer’s favourite: “Tell me about a time when you contributed to the success of a team” Using the STAR based approach to answer the question you will outline a story that tells the interviewer of a particular SPECIFIC time (do not talk hypothetically – give them a real example) where you showed that you have excellent team working skills. You will tell them about the Situation or Task, the Action you took and the Result. The more convincing you can make your story and the more it shows you demonstrating the competency they are asking you about, the higher you will score on their marking sheet. In this example our candidate Joe Bloggs did a pretty good job and scored 8.5/10.
Sorry Joe – Low proof = low points
So far, so good but consider the next question – “Tell me about a time when you showed initiative to complete a task”For this question Joe’s answer was less than convincing and even though Joe may be very capable of showing initiative in his job he has not given the interviewers much proof to convince them that he can. No interviewer with any level of experience is going to believe a candidate who gushes “I am excellent at showing initiative – I do it every day in my job – all my colleagues admire my level of initiative” – they will want proof via real life examples and if a candidate can’t give them sufficient proof they will get a low score – 4.0 in Joe’s case.
Now Joe is running to catch up on the other two questions but he has lost a lot of ground with the answer to the Initiative question. It will be really difficult to recoup those lost marks.
When all the candidates have been interviewed and all the individual scores have been added up it is the candidate with the highest overall score who will get the job offer. With a overall score of 26/40 chances are Joe won’t get the job offer.
Anticipate the questions, prepare your detailed answers using STAR and watch your scores soar!
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