Benefits Of Using The Star Method
Using the STAR method to structure your responses to behavioral questions in an interview provides numerous benefits.
- Show off your skills. By showing how you have used your skills and abilities in practical applications, you provide the interviewer with insights into how you will fit into their organization or company culture.
- Give focused responses. A STAR interview response provides the interviewer with exactly the information they are seeking. This is critical when responding to behavioral questions as interviewers frequently will grade your responses to questions based on a STAR response.
- Take the wheel. STAR responses allow you to control the direction of the interview and effectively highlight your strengths in areas where you have an advantage.
Examples Of Star Interview Questions
Example 1: fictive scenario-situational question
Question: Imagine that your superior makes e a wrong decision and you spot their mistake. The wrong decision can lead to a substantial financial loss for the company . What will you do to make sure the company avoids the loss ?
Sample answer: I will ask the manager for a short one on one meetings, to have a look at issue. We will go through the problem, and I will try to help them to spot the mistake, without pointing it out. They will find the mistake, and remedy it, without feeling embarrassed by me showing them the mistake. Only if they do not find the mistake while studying the papers with me, I will pint it our, in a polite way . In this way the company avoids the financial loss, the manager keeps their dignity in the eyes of other employees, and our relationship may also improve .
Example 2: real situation, behavioral question
Question: Recall a time when you fell behind with your schedule at work . Tell us what you did in order to handle the heavy workload, and to get back on schedule .
When To Use The Star Approach During A Job Interview
While you can use the STAR method for all forms of interview questions, it really shines when used in a competency-based interview.
A competency-based interview, or a structured interview, is designed to assess specific skills required for the role. For example, if you’ve applied for a sales-executive role, the interviewer may ask about your negotiation skills. As a result, interviewers tend to ask all candidates the same questions to keep the process as objective as possible.
While it can be difficult to build rapport in competency interviews due to their straight-forwardness, they tend to work in your favour as you know you’ll be assessed against a definitive competency framework.
Competency-based interview questions often start with ‘Tell me about a time when’ or ‘Describe a time you’, followed by a skill or responsibility listed in the job description.
Here are a few examples:
Teamwork skills: ‘Describe a time you helped a co-worker succeed.’
Adaptability skills: ‘Tell me about a time a project didn’t go to plan.’
Communication skills: ‘How do you encourage your team to share ideas?’
You May Like: How To Prepare System Design Interview
How To Use The Star Technique For Answering Interview Questions
The STAR technique is a brilliant and simple way for answering tough behavioral interview questions. The main purpose of the STAR technique/method is to make sure you give the interview panel solid/evidence-based answers to the situational-type interview questions that are being asked.
The STAR technique is best used for interview questions that start off with:
Tell me about at time when you
Explain a situation you in where you
Can you give an example of when you
Describe a time when you
The basic principles of the STAR interview method are as follows:
SITUATION Start off by explaining to the interview panel the exact situation you were in.
TASK Once you have explained the situation, move on and tell the panel what the task was you needed to complete.
ACTION Then, once you have outlined the task, move on to explain to the interview panel the action you took, and also the action other people took who were involved in the situation. The action element of the STAR technique is usually the most comprehensive.
RESULT Finally, move on a explain what the results were following the action you took, and also the action other people took.
The beauty of utilising the STAR technique when answering interview questions is that it ensures you provide specific evidence and proof that you can perform the competency being assessed.
Tell Me About A Recent Mistake You Made How Did You Handle It
‘I was the assistant property manager of a real estate firm, and I was responsible for arranging a home viewing. One lady liked the house that was vacant. She paid the deposit and said she would be moving in two days’ time. Unfortunately, I didn’t book her and I assigned the same house to another tenant. I realized the mistake on the day she was supposed to move in, rushed to the apartment block, found another apartment with faulty lighting. I called the local electrician to fix the problem and ensured the house was cleaned up properly.
‘I called the lady and explained that there was a mix-up. After apologising, I asked her if she could move into another apartment that was just as spacious as the one she had booked. Lucky for me, she didn’t object. I told my boss, and he was pleased that I acted fast. I have been extra careful to record important details, and I have never made that mistake again’.
The STAR response method is a great way to create brief but compelling answers to behavioral interview questions. Make sure you provide honest answers and share positive results. A good way of practicing is by writing down the stories and reading them out loud. Where necessary, trim the stories so they are clear and concise. Try to draw from your latest five work experiences or employment history, unless you really feel there’s an older anecdote that best captures what the interviewing panel may be looking for in their ideal candidate.
Recommended Reading: Interview Attire Womens
Build Your Star Interview Answers
You can begin building your STAR interview answers right now. Its as simple as recalling some of your past successes. In fact, some of these successes may already be on your resume.
Keep in mind: You want to use specific examples, not general examples, to help the interviewer appreciate what you did, and how you did it.
Every single day youve had some sort of success or accomplishment. Sometimes they were major, other times they seem like just part of your job.
Use these questions to help you brainstorm your achievements.
- Did you identify and solve a problem?
- Did you save time and/or money?
- Have you improved productivity?
- Have you ever streamlined operations?
- Did you devise new strategies?
- Did you minimize customer complaints?
- Did you provide a service that did not exist before?
- Did you develop an idea that was used or presented?
- Did you help others achieve their goals?
- What were you proud of doing at work?
- What did you do better than others around you?
- Were you ever recognized for work that you did?
- Did you ever go above and beyond what was required of you?
- Were you ever selected to be a part of a team or train others?
Your goal is to have 25 STAR interview answers ready to go.
25? Yes! How many questions do you think youll be asked in a one-hour interview? 10-15? You want to make sure you use the best STAR.
Your next step is to make sure you have STAR interview answers that address the specific requirements for the job you are interviewing for.
What Is The Star Interview Method
The STAR interview method is a technique you can use to prepare for behavioral and situational interview questions. STAR stands for: situation,task,action and result. This method will help you prepare clear and concise responses using real-life examples.
Hiring managers ask behavioral interview questions to determine whether you are the right fit for a job. By using the STAR strategy, you can make sure youre fully addressing the interviewers question while also demonstrating how you were able to overcome previous challenges and be successful.
Recommended Reading: Interview Questions For A Cfo
Describing How You Can Fit The Role
With situational context established, you can begin describing exactly how you fit in your example. Highlight your specific role and objective and how it affected the situation. It’s important to focus on the positives hereâafter all, you’re trying to impress the employer and earn the position you’re applying for. Describe your specific responsibilities in the scenario and the goals or objectives you wanted to meet to provide further information for the action phase of your answer. This is where you describe what actions you took and whether you met objectives, as well as any consequences of your actions.
Remember to keep any answers as concise as possible. Avoid excessive details and only describe yourself in a positive light. Be honest with your interviewer as well to help build that crucial trust between a prospective employer and a candidate. Honesty, efficiency, and positive answers are impressive to an employer and they might be more considerate of your application if they feel you were genuine during the interview.
What Is The Star Method
The STAR method is a procedure taught to help people provide thoughtful answers that contain fully-formed beginnings, middles, and ends. STAR stands for Situation,Task at hand, Action you took, and Result. This method allows you to tell a fluid story starting with the situation, moving to the task you were assigned, going onto the action you took, and finishing up with the result of what happened in this particular instance- so hopefully it was a good one.
We use this method so that we know that were going through and telling a story that has a beginning, a middle, and an end, Dudley said.
You May Like: Interview Attire Women
What Are Behavioral Interview Questions
Interviewers ask behavioral interview questions to learn how you have behaved in previous work situations. In your answers, employers are looking for examples of your past actions that may be predictors of how youll act when you face these situations again. These questions are more open-ended than a yes-or-no question and usually ask you to share stories or examples from your previous jobs.
How Do I Prepare For A Star Interview
Top 3 STAR Method Pitfalls. Learn about the most common STAR Method pitfalls from an ex-Amazon interviewer who helped hundreds of candidates prepare for behavioural interviews.
- Lack of sufficient detail
- Focusing on the wrong details
- Failure to demonstrate impact through results and context
Recommended Reading: System Design Interview Preparation
How To Master The Star Method For Interview Questions
By Mike Simpson
Job interviews can be a stressful experience for job seekers, especially when faced with the dreaded behavioral-style interview. Not to worry! In this post, we are going to go over one of the best ways to answer behavioral questions, and that is by using the STAR Method.
As we have learned in previous posts, behavioral questions evaluate how youve handled situations in the past and what you would do if faced with a similar situation again in the future.
Beyond simply finding out if a candidate has the knowledge to do the job, behavioral questions help a hiring manger determine if a candidate also has the skills and experience.
BONUS PDF STAR METHOD CHECKLIST:Download our “Behavioral Interview Questions PDF Checklist” that gives tips on how to answer 25 of the most common behavioral questions using the STAR METHOD!
These questions are designed to trip you up and one wrong answer can mean the difference between being hired and being left in the dust.
Now, weve got several more in-depth articles about behavioral interview questions , but just for a quick recap, here are some examples of some common behavioral questions:
- Tell me about a time you failed at a task you were assigned
- Have you ever had to work with someone you didnt like? How did you handle that?
- How do you handle setting goals? Can you give an example?
Tough questions, right?
Tell Me About A Time When You Experienced Conflict On The Team And How Did You Resolve It
I was tasked with implementing a new project management system. This meant I had to coordinate the tasks and goals across several teams. Unfortunately, there was a long-simmering conflict between two of the team leaders who were going to have to work closely on this project.
I started by creating the timeline, then figuring out when those two people would work together to accomplish joint tasks.
I met with each of them individually to explain that they would be working together and asked how I could help things work smoothly. As a result of those meetings, I was asked to sit in on all of their project meetings as a neutral third party and provide feedback. I was also copied on every written communication to ensure things were handled professionally and appropriately.
There were a few times when friction was a problem. But, because I was involved from day one and acted as a neutral third party, we were able to finish the project on time. Projects that were completed on time increased 20% during Q1 and Q2 this year.
You May Like: What To Wear For An Interview Women
How To Use The Star Method To Prepare For An Interview
While you wont know the interview questions ahead of time, most behavioral interviews will focus on various work-related challenges that demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving, and situations that showcase leadership skills, conflict resolution and performance under pressure. Heres some additional background on behavioral questions and a few tips to help you leverage the STAR method when answering them.
Describe How You Completed The Task
After that, describe the specific steps you took to resolve the problem, meet the challenge, or complete the task. Focus specifically on the role you played rather than the responsibilities of your team. Also, be cognizant of how you phrase your explanation. For example, instead of stating we addressed the problem by, instead say I addressed the problem by By using I over we, youll show that you played an active role in resolving the issue at hand.
Recommended Reading: Questions To Ask A Cfo In An Interview
Create Interview Question Examples
One of the best ways to use the STAR method for interview prep is to create hypothetical interview questions and give your own answers. Start with some of the most common formats for behavioral interview questions, like:
- Can you give me an example of when you went above and beyond at work?
- Can you tell me about a time when you couldn’t meet your job requirements?
- What do you do when you’re faced with a co-worker dispute?
- Have you ever had to stand up to your manager?
- Can you describe a difficult situation at work?
Benefits Of The Star Format
The STAR format is a great way for candidates to provide concise and useful answers. With this method, they can structure their responses to behavioral questions. By asking these kinds of questions, you can get to know your candidates better and determine if they have the background to be successful at your company. The STAR format gives interviewees a chance to show you how they provided value to a situation and the challenges they have overcome.
According to a survey of over 2,000 job seekers, only 30% say the questions they were asked at their last interview were very effective at assessing their fit for the role. Asking STAR interview questions can be a good way to help candidates feel like youre asking the right questions to get to know their skills and experience.
You May Like: Best System Design Interview Prep
Why Do So Many People Struggle When Answering Star Interview Questions
There is so much advice out there now both online and offline videos, blogs, books etc.
And yet why do so many people get them wrong?
We constantly see clients who come to us for interview coaching and who have had poor experiences in a competency interview.
Quite often a client will have had feedback saying that their answers were not detailed enough. They are surprised by this because they will have talked and talked in the interview so how can they not have given enough detail?
Other will have prepared and yet are stumped because the questions they prepared for dont come up exactly as they planned. They get asked the question in a different format and they just go blank.
The top problem we see is poor structure and this is where the STAR method comes into play.
Read More:Learn more competency based interview questions here and get answers and examples plus learn about the 12 most common competencies you are likely to be asked about in your interview.
Star Interview Example Tell Me About A Time When You Performed Well Under Pressure
Using the STAR technique to answer this question, well first start the storytelling with the situation:
One time, at my last job, my colleague had a family emergency and needed to miss work for some time, and their project was left unfinished and without a manager.
Next, well give them the task:
My manager asked me to take on the project, and we couldnt move the deadline, so I had days to complete a project that originally should have taken several weeks.
Then the action taken to solve the problem:
I requested and was granted a reduction in my normal activities, giving me more time to dedicate. As far as my normal activities, I was able to delegate them out evenly to some of my teammates.
And finally, the result of our actions:
I was able to finish it on time and with complete accuracy. My manager appreciated my attitude and drive, and I was given several more projects after that, along with an eventual promotion and pay raise.
You May Like: Top 10 Behavioral Questions