Preparing for an interview with Lovewell Blake
By: Helen Busfield, HR Team Date: 6 February 2018
Firstly, thank you to everyone for taking the time to apply for the trainee positions we have here at Lovewell Blake, and congratulations to those who have secured a place at our upcoming assessment centre.
Alongside a series of other activities, the assessment centre will include a formal interview. We want you to do the best you can so have put together the following – to hopefully help you in your interview.
Demonstrating your competency
A common type of interview style is the ‘competency based’ interview. These types of questions are designed for you to give practical examples of how you might deal with a particular type of situation. The job involves challenges, the interviewer is trying to figure out how you will handle them.
The STAR technique
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.
Using the STAR acronym will help you structure your answers, allowing you to demonstrate your actions and achievements in a given situation, rather than giving generalised answers. You are also able to keep your answer concise, and end on a positive note.
How do you use STAR?
S – Situation
Think of it as ‘setting the scene’. Provide the interviewer with a bit of background about the question, and give them some context. This situation can be from work experience, a volunteer position, or any other relevant event. For example, if the question is asking you to describe a situation where you had to deal with a difficult person, explain how you came to meet that person and what made them difficult to deal with.
T – Task
Build on the background you’ve given, and outline your responsibility in that situation. Perhaps you were working on a group project, or resolved a conflict.
A – Action
Now that you have given the context of your story, you need to explain what you did. Focusing on your individual actions, rather than others involved in the situation. This is the most important section of the STAR approach as it is where you will need to demonstrate and highlight the skills and personal attributes that the question is testing.
R – Result
What was the outcome of the situation? Make your ending quantifiable, emphasising what you accomplished or learned from the situation.
A few other tips
The key to a good interview is all in the preparation. Prepare your outfit before the day of the interview. Dressing smart will increase your professional image and confidence at interview. Work out where you are going and how you are getting there, so you arrive 5-10 minutes early. Finally, be aware of your body language, your non-verbal communication is as important as verbal communication.