Good job interview preparation includes anticipating what questions the interviewer may ask. In my job coaching service, I examine the job advertisement and documentation, and draft a set of possible interview questions that link to the vacancy. I coach my clients to structure good answers to these questions and talk about what other questions might be asked.

As all interviewers and interview panels have different preferences, it is impossible to predict exactly what will be asked in an interview. However, it is likely that candidates will be asked to talk about experience and past behaviours. The best candidates will be able to relate this to the job that they are applying for.

I suggest to my clients that they use a ‘CARLA’ approach as part of their interview preparation.

Think of 5-10 of your best achievements – make sure these are relevant to the role you are applying for, and are at the right level of complexity. For each of these achievements write down –

What was CHALLENGING or COMPLEX (strategically and operationally) about this project?

What ACTIONS did you take? Why?

What RESULTS (s) did you achieve? Was it the expected result?

What did you LEARN from this experience?

How can you APPLY what you have learnt to add value to the advertised role?

If you are using this interview preparation approach, it is best to have a CARLA for all the capabilities/criteria that you can identify (from the job documentation) that the employer is seeking. For example, for ‘Team Skills’, your achievement may be CHALLENGING/COMPLEX for any number of reasons – e.g. multidisciplinary team, everyone new to the team, need to produce an outcome in a short timeframe, project linked to a key organisational initiative, matrix structure, new or multiple changes to leadership, shared leadership, resource shortages, redundancies and downsizing of a team, large team, team dispersed across a number of locations, intercultural communication, history of conflict, team brought together from a several divisions, …………

When discussion ACTIONS, consider what factors were significant in the achievements of this team. You need to be ready to discuss what your role was in the team, what strengths you bought to the team, and show a good understanding of what makes an effective team. The factors that you may consider discussing include:

• How was clarity about how the team project fitted with strategic or business goals, and a team vision established?

• Was there a shared understanding of expected outcomes?

• How was awareness of team dynamics, different styles, strengths and weaknesses displayed?

• What strategies were adopted to enhance working together? – planning, prioritising, roles and responsibilities, work allocation, helping others, sharing knowledge

• What communication channels were most effective?

• Was there a focus on collaboration and cooperation?

• What conflict arose and what productive conflict management strategies were utilised?

• Were stress management and celebration of successes relevant?

• How were Values, Code of Conduct, and flexible work practices managed?

• What was the role of respect, tolerance, non – discriminatory work practices, trust and confidence?

• How did team members (and you) display initiative, a solutions focus, resilience and a receptiveness to change?

• How did the team manage setbacks? risks? health and safety issues?

• How did the team monitor and evaluate their effectiveness?


Contact me at   or 0403766812

Send me your draft resume, and details of any job/s that you are interested in.  Tell me if you need to work on your application (covering letter, resume or selection criteria) or if you need interview practice. I can provide a no obligation free quote.

My specialty is coaching people for job interviews. I enjoy assisting people to win jobs – and would love to hear from you.