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Interview Hack The Cheat Sheet

Posted by MichealHAlexander on October 22nd, 2019

Have you ever bombed an interview because you couldn’t think of a life story to answer a certain question?

Questions like “tell me a time when you demonstrated leadership” or “give me an example of how you’ve shown integrity” fall under the Behavioural Based interview questions style and can sometimes be tricky if you aren’t prepared for them.

Or maybe you haven’t landed an interview yet and are worried this may happen to you in the future.

Whatever the case may be for you, I’ve got something that will help you avoid that situation.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a Cheat Sheet that I used for interviews and for practicing answering interview questions.

It’s just how it sounds; a one page sheet typed up with notes I’ve created to help me remember certain things or to remind me of the answers I want to give for certain interview questions.

Story time…

Near the end of my fire recruitment journey, I had an interview with a department that ended up offering me a job.

How that happened was this: I came in prepared and brought something with me that other candidates didn’t have (a cheat sheet). Firefighter Interview Questions

Now I know you’re sitting there thinking “well Tom, fire departments don’t let you bring in answers to questions that you can read from”. Sure, you might be right. Departments like Toronto, Hamilton, Vancouver or other big city departments may not let you bring in anything other than yourself, but there are SOME departments that may not have these rules.

Let me explain.

When I went into this one interview, I had with me my portfolio and cheat sheet. After the panel finished their intro I asked them if I can pull out a sheet I have typed up for reference. All 4 of them looked at each other, shrugged their shoulders and said “sure”! And just like that I had with me ANY note I had written down, right there in front of me to have as reference. To give you an idea, this cheat sheet can have anything ranging from department research (to help you answer “tell us what you know about our department”), or prewritten stories for those sometimes tricky Behavioural questions, or even answers for any questions that have stumped you in the past.

So why wouldn’t you have this added to your arsenal?

A week later, I received the phone call I’ve been waiting for 6.5 years, A JOB OFFER. The HR representative on the phone mentioned the cheat sheet I brought in and how it really impressed them, mentioning how prepared I was and that they had never seen a candidate bring something like that in before.

Now to put this into perspective. They offered 8 positions out of the 50 candidates interviewing. Out of the 50 candidates, only ONE person brought in a cheat sheet (me).

Now I’m not trying to brag by any means, I’m simply stating that WHY NOT try and bring in a cheat sheet. The worst that can happen is they say no. Obviously if a departments interview invite states to not bring anything in, then you don’t. But you get my point. Firefighter Exam

So I hope this gives you an added advantage to your “interview game” and you use it to your advantage.

Also See: Cheat Sheet, Interview Questions, Typed Up, 50 Candidates, Sheet, Me, Interview

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