How to get the most out of our interview questions and your answers


So you’ve gone through the administrative process and got an interview with VA. Congratulations!

As you prepare for your interview with us, you can think about how you would answer any questions we might ask you. As you prepare, keep in mind that how you answer a question is just as important as the answer you provide.

VA uses a performance-based interview process (PBI), which asks candidates to describe what they would have done in a specific situation. This differs from the more traditional interview model you may be used to – we don’t ask you to describe what you would do in a situation, but to derive your answer from a particular time in your career that best exemplifies your situation. success.

Recognize your emotional intelligence

To make the best impression in a PBI, it helps to have in-depth and comprehensive answers that offer insight not only of your accomplishments or shortcomings, but also of how you achieved your successes and responded to your failures. .

These types of responses depend on your emotional intelligence or your ability to recognize the motivations behind your behavior and imbue your responses with a sense of self-awareness and empathy that PBIs are designed to elicit.

When considering your potential responses, take the time to pay attention to the interactions around you. Listen to what others are saying to you through their words, body language, and facial expressions. Observing how people use and react to emotions can help you refine your own emotional intelligence.

Up to the task

As you prepare for your PBI, let’s introduce another acronym to the mix: PAR. PAR is a device to help you remember how you want to answer a performance-based question. This means:

As we mentioned above, PBI questions rely on an element of storytelling to effectively judge an answer. Remember, you are not talking about a hypothetical situation. Rather, you are using your vast experience to answer the question.

However, as you respond, you may be tempted to go beyond what is warranted when trying to explain a situation. Using the acronym PAR reminds you to focus your answer on the “problem” you encountered, the “action” you took, and the “results” you encountered.

If you can get your answers “up to PAR”, you are on your way to a successful interview.

Not modest, but honest

As you approach your interview, combining emotional intelligence with your PAR responses will help you structure your responses and present yourself in the best possible way to your interviewer. You will be able to tell your story in a clear and concise way that says a lot about who you are as a candidate and why you are the best person for the job.

When answering your questions, don’t be modest. This is your interview, and you have earned the chance to brag about your skills and accomplishments. But don’t forget to be honest in your answers too. Don’t embellish your answers; be upfront about your mistakes even if you are promoting your successes.

Working at VA

When you interview with us, tell your story and give your interviewer a clear picture of what you are bringing to the table.


Comments are closed.