As part of Better Jobs month, News10 is helping viewer Rob Meza get ready for a big interview on Friday with the California State Lottery. A career coach is putting him to the test to make sure he can handle any situation.
Here are three tips career coaches had for when you get into a tough situation during an interview:
1) When you get nervous, you may start to ramble during an interview. Career counselor Andrea Weiss said to use the S.T.A.R. approach to stay focused on the question and avoid rambling.
S.T.A.R. stands for: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Weiss explained:
"So first you make a quick statement about the situation, 'My staff was feeling overworked.' Then you state the task, 'So, I needed to come up with a way to make them feel more valued.' Then the action, 'Consequently, I sought out a new technology or a new benchmarking program.' And then you state what the result was."
2) What happens when an interviewer asks you about a program or a skill and you don't have the experience?
"In the interview itself, if you don't have the skill, the best thing to do is find a skill you have that's similar, and make the translation for the employer," Weiss explained. "Or talk about how you have the ability to learn things quickly and give them a specific example of that."
Essentially, you want to be honest, but quickly transition to talking about a skill you do have that would show the interviewer that you have the ability to learn quickly.
"First rule of thumb is never fake it," Career coach Naomi Kinert said. "If you truly don't know, better to not try to bluff your way through. Instead, pause for just a moment and say, 'That's really interesting. I'd like to give it more thought. Can we come back to that later?' Nine out of 10 times, they don't and they forget about it."
If the interviewer does remember to come back to the question later on, Kinert said you should say you'd like to still give it a bit more thought and that you'll follow up in an email shortly.
3) So, how long should your answers be?
You want to be specific and give enough information, but you don't need to go into too many details. If the interviewer has more follow-up questions, they'll ask.