Quiet Quitting, Part 2: Interview Preparation TipsSep 16, 2022
If you have quietly quit and are just going through the motions at work, you may want to start using your extra time to start searching for a new job. This could be the perfect opportunity to find something you like better and take a big step forward in your career. Last week, we talked about how to get your resume and your LinkedIn profile updated as you prepare for your job search (click here to read Part 1).
Today, we want to focus on your interview preparation with some behavioral and hypothetical examples to practice. Here are the key items to consider:
Item #5—Behavioral Examples
We already know the vast number of companies place a lot of value on behavioral interview answers. I would generally recommend spending a couple of weeks focused on this part of your prep—around eight hours overall.
Start by having your updated resume open. Look at your responsibilities and accomplishments. Start to think about 5-10 examples you might want to bring up in the behavioral interview. Give a simple title to each example, so you can remember it easily.
Next, you will want to focus in on the “whats.” Within each example, walk through what you did to contribute to that project. Think high level, your “whats” should be a phrase or sentence, nothing more. Go through each example and write down your “whats.” Spend about an hour on this step.
From there, you move onto your “hows.” Take another hour and go through the details and steps of each project. Think about how you were able to accomplish each what. Typically, there should be about three or four “hows” to support each what.
Now that you have your “whats” and “hows” outlined, you can start to practice your behavioral interview answers by utilizing the S.T.A.R. method (Situation. Task. Actions. Results.). Provide a brief introduction of the situation and task by stating your role in the company and a few key details about the project. What was your task and what was the timeline?
Then, define your results. What was the biggest result of you taking on this project/program/initiative? Embed as many numbers as you can into your results to show real data. Lastly, you will want to talk about repeatability. How did this project contribute to the overall organization?
Now, you can put all the information together and start practicing your full examples.
Item #6—Hypothetical Examples
Let’s talk about some high-level items to prepare for hypothetical (open-ended) questions. These are often the most difficult to prepare for because you don’t always know the exact hypothetical situation an interviewer will present. We’ll dedicate another couple weeks (eight hours or so) to this preparation and we’ll use the C.F.A.S. method (Clarifying Questions. Frameworks. Assumptions. Solution.).
Start with your frameworks. These are ideas or concepts that you can focus on when asked a hypothetical question. They can help you organize your answers. Begin with your strengths. List out your greatest strengths in a Google Doc.
Another important step here is to look at job descriptions within companies you may be interested in joining. Look at the desired skills and job requirements. Identify the key themes within these jobs. Write them down and use these keywords as a basis for your frameworks. Look for ways to match up your personal skills and strengths with key themes identified in the job descriptions.
Clarifying questions should come next. Use your frameworks to establish key structures behind your clarifying questions. Think about the questions you would typically ask when given a new project or initiative. Look at the job descriptions and imagine what questions you would ask for those job responsibilities.
Next, move onto the assumptions. What are some assumptions you might make with a new or existing client? What if it’s an internal project to improve a system within your company? Pre-build some assumptions based on these job descriptions and imagine what you might face when working in these positions. Pre-planning your assumptions can help remove some anxiety during the interview because you’ve thought about these concepts.
Lastly, practicing solutions. This is where utilizing practice questions can be helpful. You want to focus on how much depth you can give to a certain framework concept. For example, maybe you can talk in depth about scalability or risk. You should be able to provide good depth to any and all framework concepts. For this section, I strongly recommend practicing with another person.
Item #7—Practice Plan
You are now about six weeks into this process. You have your resume and LinkedIn profile updated. You’ve planned out your behavioral and hypothetical interview approaches. Now, it’s time to practice as much as possible. Reach out to your friends, family and former/current colleagues to find someone who will help you practice your interviews.
You’ll want to be flexible with your timing here as you are working around other people’s calendars. Again, take the time that you need to fully prepare. Ideally, you can set up 3-4 practice sessions a week and you’ll be well ahead of the game.
Item #8—Networking & Applying
At this point, you’ve spent a couple months getting yourself ready to start looking for a new job. It’s time to start networking and applying for roles. Find second connections on LinkedIn and send them private notes. Send them links to interesting articles and don’t ask for anything, just give. You should be messaging as many as five people per day. Just give, give, give and don’t ask for anything in return. This outreach will ultimately come back to you.
You can also apply for jobs online. Use your updated resume, but change out the summary section. Look at the specific job responsibilities in the online listing and use those in your summary. Align yourself with the position as much as possible. Just make sure you have those skills and responsibilities!
To view my full video on this topic and get access to more resources to help with your preparation plan, watch below.