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How to ace behavioural job interview questions
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1) Take a blank piece of paper and write down between 10-20 examples from your education, work experience, community work, charity etc of where you added value in a positive way.

2) Now using the STAR format write out the Situation, Task, Action, Result

Example 1

"Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it."

Situation

My role as project manager was to ensure that projects are completed on time and on budget.

Task

My last role involved combining three office spaces into one. With a tight deadline of 90 and dealing with multiple contractors from different companies I knew it was going to be a struggle to complete the job in time. I set the goal of having everything completed within 80 days to give us 10 days at the end to make final corrections.

Action

By dividing all the different contractors into three main teams and having three project managers controlling the three teams I was able to create a more efficient and effective work timetable and ensure that downtime was kept to a minimum.

Result

As a result of this more efficient working time we completed the job on time and reduced costs by 15%. This new way of dividing contractors into smaller teams has now been implemented into standard work procedure and seen a reduction in overall costs.

Example 2

(Question is asked to a student or graduate)

"Tell me about a time during school when you displayed good leadership skills."

(Situation) "As a senior member of the debating team, (Task) I noticed that the team performance and moral was being deteriorated due to fighting between two members of the team. (Action) I decided to speak one on one with each individual away from the groups in order to create an environment where they could trust me and open up to me with the issues. (Result) After speaking with both individuals I was able to convince them to meet face to face and sort out the issues with me as the mediator as opposed to getting teachers involved. As a result the two individuals were able to sort out their differences, shake hands and our team was able to function again as a complete team working together.

As you can see from both examples, the key to interviewing success is simply preparing for the questions and having a mental outline to follow when responding to each question. Preparing stories or examples that illustrate how you solved the problem or how you performed in an outstanding way will help you respond to any behavioural question that comes your way.

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Top 5 cover letter mistakes

If you're going to take the extra time to write a cover letter that you include along with your resume, you might as well write it properly! We talked to a few recruiters and found out that they frequently find mistakes so annoying that cause them to immediately discard some applications all together. Here's a sample of some of the mistakes they mentioned:

Letter addressed to the wrong person or company: It doesn't annoy hiring managers that you're probably applying for other jobs, but it does annoy them when you don't take the time to check that your cover letter is addressed properly. Sending it to the wrong person or company will get your application deleted immediately.

Spelling and/or grammar mistakes: You're probably tired of being told to check and re-check your work, but it is extremely important! When spelling or grammar errors show up on your cover letter, the person reading it is going to think that you either don't know how to write properly or that you didn't bother to check it over. Either way, it's bad news for you.

It's too long: Cover letters should be short and to the point. They should provide some basic information about how you are specifically qualified for the job in question. That's pretty much it. Anything longer than a few paragraphs starts to look more like an essay, and it's an immediate turn-off.

No contact details: It happens quite frequently - people forget to include their name, let alone a way to contact them. While your details may be on your resume, no one wants to take extra time to fish for information that should have been provided for them right away.

No cover letter: This is the worst mistake of all. You're competing against dozens of other applicants who have instantly shown that they took more time to apply than you.

At the end of the day, you just want to give yourself the best chance possible to be called for an interview. Think about what a potential employer wants to know most about you, and try to convert this into a cover letter.

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Popular questions
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What should I include in my Australian resume?

A well written and properly presented Australian resume can be your ticket to finding an Australian job. The Australian job market is different to job markets around the world and it is important that your resume is presented in the "Australian way"

Responsibilities, achievements and duties need to be written clearly and backed up with supporting evidence. If these are not present, it is assumed you do not have any experience at all

Use British English ONLY in your Australian Resume - words such as "specialise" and "realise" need to be spelled with an "s" not a "z"

Ensure you tailor EVERY application to suit the job for which you are applying. If you are going to stand out from the crowd, you have to make sure that your application is outstanding

No picture is necessary on your Australian Resume

Do not include personal information such as marital status, date of birth, number of children, occupation of spouse, gender, religious affiliation, colour or race on your resume. It is true that in certain countries (South Africa, for example) personal information is included and is required, however it is not necessary or needed on your Australian Resume

Spend as much time as possible ensuring you address EXACTLY what the Australian employer wants. For example, if the job advertisement lists certain duties for the job, make sure you incorporate these duties into your current resume. If the job requires excellent customer service skills, provide examples about how you have provided excellent customer service

Get the edge on other job seekers and save yourself enormous amounts of time and stress by ensuring your resume ticks all the right boxes.

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