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Preparing for Your Perfect Interview.

Job-interviewing is a skill that, with a little practice and preparation, can be learned. Acing an interview doesn't come easy to most, so the Indianapolis ASMC Early Careerists Committee hosted an interactive workshop titled "Your Perfect Interview" to help employees prepare for interviews and practice different techniques.

The session was presented by Rich Perry, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) project manager and former human resources specialist. He discussed all stages of the Interview process, including preparation, execution, and follow-up.


1. Do your homework. Research the organization and conduct informal interviews with existing employees to find out about the position and the culture in the work environment.

2. Be prepared to share key experiences outlined with the S.T.A.R. method.

* Situation--Share high-level details about the situation.

* Task--Explain the task you were assigned.

* Action--Describe the action you took to resolve the issue.

* Result--Expound on the results and benefits to the organization.

3. Dress for success.


1. Be concise. Your answers to most questions should be about two minutes long.

2. Use recent examples. Your experiences should be recent within your current role or at least within the last few years.

3. Ask questions at the end, including asking for an estimated timeframe going forward.


1. Send a personalized thank you note within 24 hours. This may be handwritten or sent via email.

2. If you are not selected, ask for feedback. Feedback Is a gift and it will help you improve your interviewing skills, or perhaps build necessary work experience.

The idea for the workshop was submitted by DFAS employee Jennifer Ray who has been with the agency about three years. "Interviewing skills are not heavily focused on in school and it's not easy or intuitive for most people to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. I thought if we could learn something simple to hold on to during an interview, it would help us to present our best selves and take some of the anxiety out of the interview process. We spend a lot of energy on our resumes but a resume will only get you the interview. How you present yourself and showcase your experiences in the interview is what might land that next great position."

With a little pre-work anyone can overcome the interview jitters. The workshop was entitled, "Your Perfect Interview," because the focus of the presentation was on what the interviewee can control and improve upon. These are all practical skills that anyone can learn with some practice and feedback. When practiced and correctly applied, these skills will ensure your next Interview pays off.

Amy Christiansen, PMP, MBA, CDFM

Amy Christiansen is currently serving as a Project Manager and Lead Financial Specialist for DFAS. Through her role as project manager she has supported DoD to resolve enterprise-wide audit findings and strengthen controls to ensure future auditability. Ms. Christiansen always strives to make a positive difference to the success of the organization. She is very passionate about helping the Department achieve clean audit opinions, identify efficiencies, and support the warfighter.

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Author:Christiansen, Amy
Publication:Armed Forces Comptroller
Article Type:Interview
Date:Mar 22, 2019
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