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Interviewing Tips

Below are a few helpful suggestions in preparing for your interview with the City.  

Behavioral/Competency Based Interviewing

  • Our interviews include behavioral-competency-based questions that ask about past situations or challenges you’ve faced and how you’ve handled them. These types of questions provide us with a standardized interviewing process and assist with predicting a candidate’s success with the City of Cape Coral.
  • Our recommendation is to do an internet search for behavioral-based interviews to gain a better understanding of the process so you are well prepared for your interview day.

SAR (STAR) Answer Format

The SAR (STAR) method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral interview question by discussing the specific situation/task, action, and result of what you're describing. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Situation/Task-Describe the situation/task in which the event took place and/or you were asked to complete.
  • Action- Explain what action(s) you took to complete the task or solve the situation.
  • Results- Explain the results of your actions. Try to focus on how your actions resulted in a success for the company.

Tips for Answering Behavioral/Competency-Based Questions

  • Do your homework—Review the job description, as this will assist you in identifying previous experiences and examples related to the position's requirements.
  • Create a list of competencies, attributes, and skills. Behavioral interview questions will give you the chance to showcase your talent, abilities, and achievements.
  • Create a list of past experiences- Create a list of your past experiences and successes, highlighting the competencies, skills, and attributes you come up with. You will want to keep your answers as focused as possible.
  • Focus on the good and the not-so-good—Don't forget to come up with some examples or scenarios that may have been challenging, yet you pulled through successfully. These types of examples showcase your problem-solving skills and ability to handle challenges professionally. You might also be asked to discuss your areas for improvement.
  • Use the SAR (STAR) method- When coming up with examples, write down the Situation or Task you had to resolve, the Action(s) you took, and the Results of the situation. Use specifics, such as people, places, scale, and scope, and quantify as much as possible.
  • Look at past performance documents and appraisals—To assist with interviewing, look back at past performance appraisals and notes to identify achievements and situations that will help you come up with examples for this type of interview.

Interview Day

  • Location- Detailed instructions will be sent to you via email and/or text.
  • Arrival—We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before your interview to ensure a prompt starting time.
  • Dress- Dress for success. Ultimately, we are interested in you and what you say, but we recommend you wear professional or business attire.
  • What to Expect—Interviews typically consist of 5-15 questions that mix competency, technical, and traditional questions.
  • Duration- Interviews typically last 30-60 minutes (depending on the position). Please allow for additional time if there are any additional tests or assessments.
  • Video Interviews—We sometimes utilize Microsoft TEAMS to conduct interviews. We recommend you download the app on your tablet or computer, create a user ID, and test prior to your interview to ensure a positive experience.