Job Interview Skills: the PAR Principle

By Yahia El-Maghraby

Job interview skills can be acquired by training and proper preparation for the interview. There are plenty of resources on the Internet that deal with the issue, but none that I have come across focuses on the proper way to answer any question in the job interview.

It’s not only about having the answer or knowing it, there are job interview skills related to HOW to answer them. And this is what you will learn in this article. But first let’s put the foundation for the principle before we get into the core.

An employer needs a job to be done and is ready to pay for it. You, on the other hand, have the skills and can do the job, and need the compensation money in return. As you see, it’s a matter of exchanging skills with money. You both need one another, so there is superiority for an interviewer over you and there is no reason to feel so.

What the employer needs is someone who can do it, and preferably has done it before. Your job in the interview is to prove that you can do it, and if possible show how you DID it.  

And here comes the PAR principle. PAR stands for Problem, Action, and Results. One of the most common skills required for most of the jobs is problem solving. If you can demonstrate that you can do the job solving problems and giving results then you are on the right path to get the job.

This can be applied to any question you are asked in the interview regarding your job-related skills. You can always answer by telling a story, where you emphasize a problem that faced you or your company, what actions you took to solve it, and what was the outcome of your efforts to solve the problem.

Numbers always speak louder in a job interview than description. Use them whenever applicable to describe the problem and the results.



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