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Interviewing Tips

Preparing for an interview involves some work, but it is well worth the effort! The information provided below is just a starting point, but the Internet and our libraries are wonderful resources for gathering more detailed information.

It is important to read through the posting carefully and determine the requirements of the job. Next, think about tasks you have performed, problems you solved, ideas you have implemented in the past that would show the panel you are qualified to do the work described.

At the City of Burnaby, we use a combination of technical, situational and behavioural interviewing questions. Our questions are specifically created to obtain the most information possible about significant skills, knowledge and abilities necessary for that particular position.

Technical Interviewing Questions

This type of question reflects the day-to-day technical work that is required.

Example Question

Please tell us what WHMIS stands for and its purpose?

Situational or Hypothetical Interviewing Questions

This technique, which is deemed more traditional in nature, focuses on a hypothetical situation and what the candidate would do in that particular setting.

Example Question

As a cashier, what would you do if your cash was not balancing?

Behavioural Interviewing Questions

This technique allows the candidate to select from their repertoire of experiences a particular situation that would demonstrate their ability in having successfully resolved the issue at hand – or at a minimum, learned from their mistakes. The best way to describe the situation is in using the STAR Technique outlined below.

Example Question

Please describe a work situation when your example served as a model for others.

STAR Technique

Situation Describe the specific situation in enough detail to provide the panel with insight to the task and environment you needed to accomplish.
Task Describe the specific responsibilities or duties you did in that situation. Remember: It’s all about you!
 Action Describe all the steps that were involved in making the decisions and following through with them. 
 Result Describe the end result. How is the person certain it ended in a positive or negative way? Would you do anything differently the next time? 

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