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Acing the interview: 5 tips to put you in pole position

Phil Mather, HR Manager
  • Podiatry Career

You’ve done it. You’ve spent a bit of time brushing up on your CV, you’ve made sure the recruiter can’t ignore you, and then you get the all-important phone call. They want you in for an interview. Suddenly, alarm bells go off. How are you going to sell yourself? Which questions should you research? How much preparation is needed?

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered for any and all types of podiatry positions with these top interview tips. From basic research to prepping for the big questions, come show time, you’ll be cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Let the STAR method set you up for success

We’ll let you in on a little interview secret, most of the time you’ll find that recruiters use what’s called the STAR method to ask questions. The acronym STAR stands for Situation, Task, Actions and Results. It helps to memorise this method because it’s the perfect platform to showcase your experience. It’s also a good way to structure your answers. Nail this, and your interviewer will be suitably impressed. Here’s how STAR works.

S or situation is all about the setup. This is where you set the context of the challenge or problem at hand. It’s the who, what, when and where of your answer. If we’re putting it into a podiatry context, it might sound something like: “A patient came into our clinic with an ache in their heel. This had been going on for weeks without diagnoses.”

The T or Task section of STAR is all about the role you played in this scenario. It also gives you a chance to explain your thinking and how you set about solving the problem. i.e. “My task was to assess each patient as they came in, and if I couldn’t diagnose the patient, I then referred them to a senior podiatrist.”

The A in STAR stands for Actions. This is about the steps you took to solve the problem. It again gives you the chance to explain what you did, and why you did it. The important part here is to explain your reasoning in-depth as it’s a good insight into your problem-solving skills. In the case of our podiatry situation, it could sound something like: “I noticed that the patient was using a particular type of shoe that didn’t provide proper support, which I then noted and mentioned to my manager.”

The R or Result is exactly that – it’s the outcome you landed on as a result of the actions you took. Be sure to highlight the positives here and any other quantifiable metrics you have to hand. Also mention if there was a positive outcome for the company, savings on resources, or increased productivity – as this proves the value of your work.

Tell your story

We all have our own story to tell. It’s what makes us unique and sets us apart from every other candidate out there. So when it comes time to tell your personal story during your interview, don’t be afraid to spend a little extra time getting it right. Try to think of a relevant, personal and engaging story that describes who you are. Done right, a story that comes from an honest and genuine place can put you ahead of the pack. It shows you’re not just a professional, you’re a person. Often interviewers will want to know why you chose podiatry. It would be worthwhile having a clear story about what attracted you to the profession and why you enjoy it.

Research, research, research

Research is a powerful tool. Not only can it save you from embarrassing ‘I don’t knows’ but it’s also a great chance for you to get the inside word on what makes the company tick. Walking into your interview armed with in-depth research is also a great way to keep those pre-interview jitters at bay, while giving you every chance to provide the best answers possible. For example, if you’ve already done your research on Dimple (and we know you have), you’d already know it’s aged care podiatry rather than a clinical setting. This saves a lot of time on both parts, and also makes you look pretty switched on.

Here they come – the ‘expected’ questions.

Every job interview has them. They’re the tried and true questions that almost seem like a mandatory for recruiters to ask. And while we don’t think they’re going away anytime soon, you can prepare for the inevitable ‘strengths and weaknesses’ queries when they eventually get asked. It’s all about formulating your answers, turning your cons into pros and framing it in the right way. Remember, acknowledging your weaknesses isn’t a weakness if you show concrete examples of how you’re trying to better yourself. So practice, practice, practice. Come interview time you’ll be quick off the mark and appear more confident.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

The very last thing you can do to show the interviewer that you’re interested in the role is asking a few questions for yourself. Not only does this flip the script a little, but coming prepared with a few questions of your own shows great intent and eagerness to any recruiter. So if you’re wondering about salary, perks, or have a particular question about the day to day, then we say go for it. It may be a case of now or never, so don’t be afraid – it shows you’ve thought through the role and are pro-active in your approach.

Take a deep breath, you’ve got this

Even though job interviews can be a little stressful, going for your next podiatry role can be a little easier with a touch of preparation. Just remember, you have the power to ask questions, do your research to ease the pre-interview jitters, make sure you have a personal story or two up your sleeve that’s relevant to your role, and always be prepared for those ‘expected’ questions. Last but not least, be sure to take a few deep breaths. We’re sure you’ll do just fine.

Ready for your next podiatry role? Have a look at the roles we’re recruiting for here.
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