Preparing For Your Interview


How to prepare for a successful interview

We conduct our interviews in a professional, yet relaxed setting. Most interviews include a panel of BC Housing staff members, including a recruiter and the hiring manager.

You can expect general questions about your résumé and cover letter as well as more specific questions that will determine whether you have the right skills, temperament and aptitude for the position. The recruiter also asks competency-based behavioural questions. We welcome questions from you about the position and about the work environment at BC Housing.

Interviews may last up to two hours and pre-interview skills testing often requires one hour. If you drive to your interview, please ensure you have paid for at least three hours of parking.

Before your interview:

  • Know who you are meeting with and bring the contact phone number you were given
  • Review the job description
  • Write down any questions you have so you can ask them at the end of the interview

Pre-interview testing

Pre-interview testing may include job-specific examination for skills such as keyboard speed and accuracy, MS Office proficiency and written exercises.

Interview testing - STAR format

During our interview, panel members will ask competency-based behavioural questions. Please answer using the STAR format.

New to STAR? It’s an acronym for four key concepts or steps. Use each step to answer behavioral-based interview questions. A fuller answer is provided by using all four steps.

  • (S) Situation: Describe when you did a job or faced a challenge at work. It is important to be as specific as possible. Try to use past work experience and avoid general statements
  • (T) Task: Follow up with explaining your responsibility or role to the situation
  • (A) Action: Describe how you completed the task or met the challenge
  • (R) Result: Finish by explaining the results from your actions

Examples of STAR Interview Questions and Answers

Example Question 1: Tell me about a time you had to complete a task with a tight deadline. Describe the situation and explain how you did it.

Sample Answer: While I typically like to plan my work in stages and complete it piece by piece, I can also achieve high-quality results under tight deadlines. Once, at a former company, an employee left days before a fast-approaching project deadline. I was asked to take responsibility for it.

There was only a few days to learn and complete the project. I created a Task Force and delegated work, and we all completed the assignment with a day to spare. In fact, I believe I thrive when working under tight deadlines.

Example Question 2: What do you do when a team member refuses to complete his or her quota of work?

Sample Answer 2: When there are team conflicts or issues, I always try my best to step up as team leader. I think my communication skills make me an effective leader and moderator.

For example, one time, when I was working on a team project, two of the team members got into an argument, refusing to complete their assignments. They were both dissatisfied with their workloads, so I arranged a team meeting where we reallocated all the work with all the team members.

This made everyone happier and more productive. Our project ended successfully too.

Example Question 3: Tell me about a time you showed initiative on the job.

Sample Answer 3: Last winter, I was acting as an account coordinator, supporting the account executive for a major client at an ad agency. The account executive had an accident and was sidelined three weeks before a major campaign pitch.

I volunteered to fill in and develop the presentation by coordinating the the creative and media teams’ work. I called an emergency meeting and facilitated a discussion about ad scenarios, media plans, and the roles of various team members in relation to the presentation.

I was able to achieve a consensus on two priority ad concepts that we had to pitch, along with related media strategies. I drew up a minute-by-minute plan of how we would present the pitch that was warmly received by the team based on our discussions.

The client loved our plan and adopted the campaign. I was promoted to account executive six months later.