There are “Know Ways” to Effective Interviewing 

An Interview is like the Trailer for a Movie, It Should Show Others a Sneak Peak of Who You Are and Leave the Interviewer With a Desire to Know More About You.
This past weekend I had the chance to work with Rodeo Queen candidates who came from several states to work in OKC on their interviewing skills, modeling, and more. I have no experience in any of the other fields, so we focused individually on interviewing. They did Super! Together we went over questions, responses, and how to be memorable. In this blog post, I have included everything we covered as well as takeaways that can be beneficial for any type of interview you might go into. Happy Interviews! 

Let’s Start With the Basics! 
The 3 “Know Ways” to Effective Interviewing:

1. Know Who You Are

2. Know What You Stand For

3. Know What You Can Do For Others

Question 1: Tell Me About Yourself:

This is an Open-Ended Question, meaning there is no right or wrong answer. This your chance to make a good impression and start your interview off on a positive note. Reveal yourself in a way that gives the interviewer a SnapShot of Your Life. You might mention your family, Favorite sports teams, hobbies, school background, career goals, pets, etc. Think of things about you that would Connect with the Interviewer. Always end this with a positive response about your excitement for a future. This will conclude your answer in a way that keeps your interview in perspective 🙂

Question 2: Tell me a time when you failed at achieving a goal and what did you learn from it.
>>This is what we call a Scenario-Based question. Your response should tell us about an experience or story you have had and a valuable lesson you learned from it. Your response does not need to be long, just something that articulately answers the question. Make your learning lesson one that sticks out from your story. 

For example: 

One of the biggest tasks I failed at was in my pursuit of National FFA Office. As they announced the new team and my name wasn’t called, I immediately felt like I failed everyone: my family, state, and support system. But once I got back to Oklahoma, people got behind me and spoke into my dreams. Because of this encouragement, I soon found myself serving others through leadership training and public speaking, utilizing my skills for more, although I did not achieve my goal in serving as a national officer, I was still getting the chance to serve others. The learning lesson I have found from this experience is that it doesn’t matter how many times we fall, what matters is how many times we get back up. 
>>In this response, I told a time I failed at a goal, the result of this failure, and what I learned from it. You want to be able to clearly state your experience as well as your learning lesson in a way that makes the interviewer remember you. 

Question 3: What is a skill set you have gained through your involvement within the rodeo industry? 

>>This is a question that is often overlooked. When we ask for a “skill set”, many times we see candidates respond with different adjectives and things like hard work, or how to be diligent. This is ok, but not exactly what we are looking for. When we say “skill set” we are looking for a specific skill you have learned through your involvement. Simply put: state the skill you have learned and explain how you have acquired it. 

For example: 

“One specific skill set I have learned through my involvement in rodeo is “Networking” skills. Whether it was by meeting new people or learning how to pick up a random conversation with someone, rodeo has taught me the importance of relationship building as well as the value of interacting with others.” 

>>In my response, I quickly stated the skill and outlined how I acquired it through my involvement. Remember Nothing is Dynamic Until it’s Specific. 

Question 4: What type of impact would you want to leave in the rodeo industry?

>>This is another example of an open-ended question, there are no right or wrong answers. Remember the 3 “Know Ways” we outlined earlier, this is your chance to show them who you are, what you stand for (the platform you have), and most importantly, what you want to do for the organization or company. I recommend thinking about someone who you know looks up to you, what type of impact would you hope to have on this person, better yet, how would you want to be remembered. 

For example: 
“Throughout my life I have been blessed to know a very good friend named Bradley. He has been someone to quickly offer a high five, a laugh, a hug, and made sure my brother and I always have a saved seat by him every Sunday morning at church. Bradley has always been a rockstar to us! But Bradley was born with an uncommon beginning, you see he was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at a very young age, but never once has he allowed his diagnosis to define him. His joy and genuine concern for others has allowed him to have an enormous impact on those around him. Bradley has had a huge impact on my life and his life is an example of the impact I desire to make on this industry. An impact that sees people for their true worth, an impact that brings joys to people’s hearts, and an impact that brings out the best in everyone we meet.”

Question 5: What do you believe is one of the biggest challenges facing the rodeo industry today? 

>>This is an opinion question. We want to know your thoughts. No need for too long of a response here, just a simple answer accompanied with a personal solution. Again, provide vision with your answers.

For example:

“One of the biggest challenges I find facing the Rodeo Industry today is Rodeo Literacy. Like agriculture, Many people do not understand what we do and often confuse us with many different inflated stigmas that do not represent the fundamentals of our industry. If selected to serve, I will offer my best to see that we are educating as many people as possible about our industry and promote ways to get the word out that Rodeo is not just another industry, but a place where good leaders can become great.”

Question 6: What is the difference between animal rights and animal welfare?

>>This is a Compare and Contrast question. What needs to be done here is you need to quickly define the what Animal Rights and Animal Welfare is. You may throw in a statistic or fact that goes along with the definition. You never want to give too much information, but enough to where you feel like you have adequately answered the question. Most of the time you will be able to read the body language of your interviewer when you have achieved this.

For example:

“Although there has been much confusion between Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, there is vast difference between these two factors. 

Animal Rights is where you are advocating for the Voice of Animals. On the other hand, Animal Welfare is where we advocate for the humane treatment of animals. Animal Welfare is the side I stand on when looking at the difference between these two controversial factors.” 

>>Here you see I quickly defined the two factors, and then advocated the side I was on as if it was part of my platform. This shows your panel of interviewers that you are willing to take a stand and advocate for particular issues, a skill which is greatly admired and revered.

Question 7: What are your thoughts on the Obama Administration and the role they have played in our Industry?

>>This is where we incorporate the advice, “Better be safe than sorry.” This is a very polarizing and politically loaded question. Many times these sort of questions can be a huge stumbling block for interviewees. The best way to answer this type of question is to respond to it diplomatically. (Unless you are interviewing for a political party, but that’s for another day lol) Answering diplomatically means you do not show what side you are on. Why? Because it is a huge risk to take to show your political stance in an interview because you are unaware of the interviewers position on those issues. Answering diplomatically will ensure a safety net for you. 

For example:

“As I follow current events and watch our leaders undertake national issues, I see the President and his administration striving to make an effort to do what’s best for our industry, however, just as I would say regarding any president’s administration, there is always room to do more for our industry. I’m convinced that through promoting awareness and advocating rodeo friendly legislative action, I believe together, we can make an enduring impact on this industry that will benefit generations to come.”

>>With this response, I took a potentially deadly question and turned it into a power statement that embodied my overall purpose and platform. Most importantly, I turned a question that could have been negative and turned it into a Positively Vision-Minded Response. This type of response will do wonders for you in an interview. 

Question 8: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

>>If there is one question I have learned more about than any other question from my mentors, through their coaching is this one. The world could be coming to an end, Wild Tigers could be on the loose in Oklahoma, Chickfila could be open on Sundays, nevertheless, despite the impossible, if you forget everything I say in this post, PLEASE REMEMBER that You NEVER EVER want to just say, “Nope. I think that’s all. Thank you for your time.” If you do this, you must be slapped, just kidding. 

But seriously, This question is the perfect chance for you to knockout your interview with a final punch. Own your platform, sell yourself. Show them the grand finale of your interview in this question. Whether you do this by sharing a short story, summing up your platform, giving them a quote. Do something that is memorable as well remarkable. Something that will separate you from the rest of the candidates. Most judges remember the beginning and ending of your interview, not as likely will they remember the middle. Again, make the most of this question, by giving them your very best!

Question 9: What will you do Now? 

No matter what field you are going into or position you apply for, the chances are you will have to go through an interview at some point of your life. The key to doing well in interviewing is just like anything else~Practicing What You Know. In this case, procrastination is our biggest enemy because if we do not immediately apply the knowledge we learn, it often becomes forgetting and falls into the abysses of “Do What Now?” and “What was I suppose to do?” Apply Your Knowledge Now for Best Results 😉
Question 10: What if my Interview Doesn’t Work Out?

Although no interview is made alike, you can be sure that these tips will help polish you and give you some confidence when you go to enter the room. Remember 1 interview does not define you and if one door closes, another door will open, I promise I’ve seen it work in my own life time after time. If one interview doesn’t work out, keep seeking out other opportunities. Always remember to keep practicing, keep interviewing, and most importantly, keep putting yourself out there, because you never know whose life you may touch and what door could open. And now you know the “Know Ways” to effective interviewing! God bless. 

Published by

Brandon Baumgarten

Brandon Baumgarten grew up in the small town of Oilton, Oklahoma and was elected to serve the Oklahoma FFA Association as State Secretary, State President, and as a National Officer Candidate representing nearly 25,000 students on the local, state, and national levels from 2011-2013. Afterwards, Brandon launched his speaking career and authored the highly sought after leadership book, Caught Up & Called Out, hoping to help others see the impact they can make on this world. He is a professional speaker, speaking at over 100 different events each year, and a graduate from Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Leadership, and was even named a top 10 student. He is a Zig Ziglar Legacy & Youth Certified Presenter and his message is always to engage, encourage, and empower you to do something big in your life! No matter if you are a student, teacher, parent, or business executive, Brandon's presentations are certain to make you laugh, think, and realize your impact is about to begin!

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