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Who Is CARL And How Can He Help With Your Art World Interview?
Hey girl, meet CARL!
Career 27 Sep 2022

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock (5684318bl) Ryan Gosling 'The Nice Guys' photocall, 69th Cannes Film Festival, France - 15 May 2016

Hey Girl Ryan Gosling meme from Variety

Preparing for an interview can seem daunting.  It’s a chance to make your case for why someone should hire you. Sadly, most people are terrible at doing so. There are so many questions that might be asked with the perfectly curated answers. So, being prepared and having a helping hand from someone can be a great start before you even step foot in the interview room. This is where C.A.R.L comes in handy.

OK , so the title of this article may be misleading… CARL is not a man but is a model (and no not that kind either) that is adapted from a job interview technique where you structure each of your answers according to the different aspect of the model. So, basically the basis of the CARL format is to answer an interviewer’s questions by telling mini-stories that relate to an interviewer’s questions.  Most people are comfortable telling stories, we do it often.  Being good at storytelling is essential to boosting your candidacy when it comes to interviewing. Given the reflective nature of successfully answering many job interview questions, this model can easily be used in general to guide your reflective process on experiences.

So, what does the acronym C.A.R.L stand for?

  • Context: The context is the background to your story. Explain clearly and concisely what the problem was that you faced.
  • Action: Summarise what you did to move things forward and solve the problem you faced.
  • Results: The result is what happened as a consequence of the actions you took. You want this to be positive.
  • Learning: Identify what you have learned

During the interview process be sure you stop and ask yourself how and why the things happened as you work your way through the model– this will help move it from descriptions to reflections. Showcase your amazing skills and experiences in your responses. But don’t ramble. Keep it precise and concise!

This is just one model of reflection. Test it out and see how it works for you. If you find that only a few of the points adapt well to your answers, focus on those and good luck!

Text by Peigi Mackillop

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