Preparation guide: Applying to the Canadian Coast Guard College
The following tips will help improve how you present yourself during the interview. They are also best practices for future interviews you take part in.
Preparing for the interview
- The evaluation committee will give you the questions ahead of time. Use this time to prepare your answers. Try to identify personal examples show the essential and non-essential qualifications.
- Review any links provided to identify information that can support your answers.
- Break down the questions to think about the information that you want to include.
- As you prepare your answers, remember the job you are applying for.
- Make point-form notes of the key points you want to make for each question. You can use these notes as prompts during the interview.
- Draw on personal experiences as examples. Remember to relate them to the competency in question.
- For example, if providing an example for teamwork using a sports team, make sure it shows how your teamwork capabilities relate to the officer training program.
- Prepared to answer both behaviour- and situation-based interview questions.
During the interview
- Do not be afraid to take a few seconds to think before or during your responses.
- Take your time. This is your chance to sell yourself to the college and show us you have the qualifications.
- Speak clearly, at a good speed, using proper grammar.
- Do not read directly from your notes. Instead, use your notes as prompts, to remind you of the points you want to make.
- Reading directly from your notes will make you speak too quickly. Committed members may miss important information you say.
- Use the time to explain why you believe you are the perfect candidate for the program.
Consider the following tips for face-to-face or video interviews:
- greet panel members—introduce yourself
- make good eye contact
- have confidence
- dress appropriately
- be prepared and on time—this helps to create a good first impression
Remember: Asset qualifications cannot fail you, but they may be used as a deciding factor when choosing applicants.
Behaviour-based interview questions
Behaviour-based questions focus on the person's past behaviours. The evaluation committee uses them to check your behavioral skills. Behaviour-based questions often start with:
- "Tell me about a time when you…"
- "Give me an example of when you…"
Behaviour questions are all about the specific actions you took. To prepare for these questions, think of examples when you displayed the behavior the committee is looking for.
- Your answers should include:
- how you behaved
- what you specifically did
- why you did it
- your reasoning
- the outcome
- Use "I statements", not "we statements". The evaluation committee is primarily concerned with your personal experience.
- Be as specific as possible.
To help you prepare, look up examples of these types of questions for practice.
Prepare with the STAR acronym
Use the STAR acronym to help you with behaviour-based questions.
|S||Situation||Describe the situation.|
Describe the situation's:
|A||Action||Elaborate on the action you took to complete the task. What did you do and how?|
|R||Result||Explain the result of your actions and any impact it had on the situation.|
Situation-based interview questions
Situation-based questions focus on hypothetical situations. The evaluation committee uses them to check your ability to
- problem solve
- handle difficult situations
- deal with other people
Situation-based questions often start with:
- "How would you respond to....?"
- "What would you do....?"
- "How would you react to....?"
When answering these types of questions, emphasize how you would respond and why you would respond that way. The best way to prepare is to think of concrete examples of how you handled similar situations in the past.
Follow these tips when answering:
- Make sure you understand the question.
- Always ask, if you need clarification or you want the committee to repeat the question.
- Don't just tell the committee what you think they want to hear.
- Stay on topic. Don't elaborate on points that are irrelevant to the question.
- Be as clear and specific as possible.
Again, it is a good idea to look up examples of these questions for practice before your interview.
- Date modified: