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Targeted Selection Interview Tips

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A targeted selection interviewing system is a method of interviewing candidates for a job based on the idea that past behaviors and experiences will predict how well-qualified a candidate is for a position.

The system has two portions. First, the dimensions portion requires a candidate to have certain qualifications. Secondly, the interview portion has an interviewer ask each candidate the same set of questions to determine the best fit.

Fully Research the Job and Its Description

Matching the candidate to the job description is the chief reason for targeted selection interviews. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly examine the job description in order to ensure that your relevant experience and skills match the qualifications needed for the position.

Review your resume as your prospective employer and prepare to address questions such as: -reasons for gaps in employment -how each employment experience relates to the current position applies for -what skills and talents you bring to this specific position

Be Prepared

If the job requires knowledge of a certain process, computer program or other knowledge, be prepared to answer questions as to how, why and under what circumstances the system operates. For example, if you are applying for an auditing job, be prepared to answer questions about auditing processes and procedures.

Being prepared can also entail bringing the right tools to the job interview. Preparation includes wearing proper and presentable clothing; it also includes bringing copies of your resume, samples of your work (if applicable), pen and paper.

Give Concrete Situations

A hallmark of a targeted selection interview is to give the interview candidate situations he might experience at work. Each candidate is then asked how he would respond. Interviewers also may ask about past work experiences and how you responded to situations, such as a time you worked on a team, when you had a disagreement with a co-worker and how it was resolved, or a time you worked under pressure to accomplish a task.

These questions are best answered in an honest, specific way. Think ahead by identifying times when you were an invaluable part of a project's success or acted as a team player. You do not have to go into great detail (try to keep answers to a few minutes), but instead talk about the situation and the action you took. Do not tell your interviewers what you would do; tell them what you did.


Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.