Written by our Communications Coordinator – Charni Wiggins
One technique worth mastering for your interview is the incredibly popular CAR method. This technique, if used correctly, will ensure that you answer each question with fully developed answers. And the best thing is, it’s so easy to remember, even under the pressure of an interview. So how do we use the CAR method? See the breakdown…
- Challenge/Context – Describe the challenge you face and give it context e.g. is there a deadline? Are there any limitations? How will you approach this? Why does this need to be resolved?
- Action – What did you do to solve it? Did you encounter any more problems during this? What skills did you need to be able to fix the problem? Did you need any external help?
- Result – What have you achieved? Why was this valuable/necessary? How did you know the problem had been resolved?
Take a look at my example of how I would answer the question ‘Tell us how you have researched and improved your technical skills’, using the CAR method to structure my answer.
Challenge/Context – In preparation for my tech Apprenticeship interview, I decided to learn how to code a web page about me using Bootstrap with HTML5 and SASS. I would then be able to present the web page as evidence of my technical skills in the interview. This was my first time using Bootstrap, I used the text editor Sublime text 2, and tested it on Chrome. My first Bootstrap feature to code was a Navbar, however it wasn’t showing up on the page in Chrome at all. In fact, no Bootstrap features or styles were visible.
Action – To solve it, I took several steps to locate the issue… Open Inspect element, and select the Bootstrap code. To see if Bootstrap was correctly configured, I looked in the right sidebar > Styles to see if Bootstrap CSS rules were being pulled in – they were not. I now knew that there was an issue with the setup of Bootstrap – this could’ve been the folder structure, link and/or script links, or an error in the code causing Bootstrap to not load at all. I referred back to the Bootstrap documentation for a reminder of the folder structure and link/script links. I realised, after a closer look at the header code in Sublime, that one end link tag ‘>’ was missing. I added it, and refreshed the page in Chrome. After refreshing Chrome, all Bootstrap features were now visible. This is exactly what I was expecting to see.
Result – I now have a perfectly working web page all about myself, coded using Bootstrap, HTML5 and SASS. Without solving this I would not have had any evidence of my tech skills to present to the employer. Now I can attend the interview with confidence knowing I can now prove my tech skills.
We hope this method helps you in your all-important interview, we are sure it will.
And that’s a wrap of our interview tips blog series! Don’t forget to see part 1, part 2 and part 3 for more useful tips and techniques.
Are you interested in a tech Apprenticeship? Applications for our tech Apprenticeships open Monday 2nd November: Apply! For the meantime, why not read up on our programme and pathways?