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Human Resources

                        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 which 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 coming up with previous experiences and examples relating to the requirements of the position.
  • Come up with 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 list of 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 which 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 help 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 prior to your interview. This will ensure a prompt starting time.
  • Dress- Dress for success. Ultimately, we are interested in you and what you have to say, but recommend you wear professional or business attire.
  • What to Expect- Interviews will typically consist of 5-15 questions that are a mixture of 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- At times we utilize Microsoft TEAMS to conduct interviews. We recommend you download the app on your tablet or your computer, create a user ID and test prior to your interview to ensure a positive experience.