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How To Use The Star Interview Response Technique

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Tell Me About A Time You Failed What Happened And What Did You Learn

How to use the STAR method to answer interview questions

S – During my last job, I was managing the web dev team in charge of setting up an online e-commerce store for one of our clients. In hindsight, I was too ambitious with the project, and over-promised the turnaround rate for the website. I told them wed be done within 2 months, as it seemed like a very cookie cutter project at the time. However, around 2 weeks into the project, we realized we were off by at least a month, as we would have to hand-code a bunch of stuff that we thought was open source or sold as packaged plugins.

T – So, I had to inform them about the issue, give an updated deadline for our team, and fix my mistake.

A – After the meeting, they were understanding, but not very happy. I then assembled our web developers and started working hard on the project the very next day. We focused 100% of our time on fixing the issue, outsourced some of the small tasks to save time, and ended up fixing everything before the new deadline.

R – In the end, their site was a success and I learned a valuable lesson on managing expectations. I realized that sometimes its better to under-promise and over-deliver, and learned how to better set and manage deadlines for my team.

When Have You Handled Huge Pressure In A Work

In my previous job a work colleague left unexpectedly. He had been responsible for a project that had to be delivered within a very tight deadline.

My supervisor asked the workforce for a volunteer to take on the project. I decided to step up and take responsibility. To be honest, I prefer to work under pressure. I saw this as an opportunity to help out the company in their hour of need.

I studied the brief carefully and then created a plan of action for getting the project delivered on budget and also on time. It was tough going, but I put in the extra hours work needed and I am pleased to say I managed to get the project finished on time and to specification. My supervisor was thrilled with my work ethic and effort. He thanked me for my commitment and dedication to delivering this important project.

Can You Tell Me About A Mistake You Made At Work And How You Handled It

One particular time I was working in the company warehouse, I made a mistake that meant the company did not have sufficient stock available over a busy seasonal period. As soon as I noticed I had made the mistake, I informed my line manager. I feel honesty and integrity are essential in a situation like this. My supervisor was annoyed with the mistake I had made. However, he was thankful that we had the opportunity to try and rectify it.

I asked him to give me the opportunity to sort it out, which he agreed to. I immediately contacted our supplier to see if there was anyway the additional stock I had missed could be shipped to us in time for the seasonal period. Although it took some time and persuading, the supplier agreed to ship the additional stock the next working day, much to my relief. I then set about putting things in place to make sure I did not make the same mistake again.

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Some Example Star Answers

Initially, answering lots of questions using the STAR method may feel overwhelming. But with some practice, itll flow naturally in no time.

Here are two examples that might be helpful in getting started with this method. Theyve obviously been condensed for space, but they should clarify how to use the STAR method for real life questions you might be asked in your next interview.

Give Me A Specific Example Of A Time When You Had To Conform To A Policy With Which You Did Not Agree


After being hired as a phone customer support person for a major bank, a new policy was implemented requiring support people to present and hopefully sell any of our various products once we had solved the person’s issue. Since this was not part of the original job description, I was taken aback. I felt this new process was unprofessional and would ultimately drive customers away. I was also not very good at it.

Since the requirement wasn’t going away and I otherwise enjoyed the job, I met with my manager to voice my concerns. She helped me understand the reason for upselling and also assured me that there was no punishment for not making a sale–but there was if I didn’t make at least so many offers per month.

So my manager had me sit with a service rep who was great at upselling to learn some effective techniques. After a few weeks, I was very comfortable with the process and even went two percent over the required offer quota in the next month.

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How Do You Handle Angry Customers Give Me An Example

S – I always try to be calm and collected. Recently, when I was serving a customer behind the checkout, I had a customer shout at me for not being eligible for a refund. The customer was getting louder and there was a large line starting to form behind him.

T – I had to remain calm, move the conflict somewhere else, and make sure the other customers could go about their purchases.

A – I realized the best thing to do was to move the situation away from the cash register. I asked my colleague to take over for me so that I could talk to the customer one-on-one and better explain the situation. I explained that I could understand his frustration, but I made it clear that sales items were non-refundable, even though he had a receipt.

R – In the end, he began to calm down and accepted my explanation. While he still wasnt happy about it, I managed to dissolve the situation before he made any more of a scene. I believe that by being calm and empathetic, its possible to dissolve most such situations.

Describe A Time When You Had To Persuade A Coworker Or Manager

Part of my role as a marketing strategist involved regular communication with clients and my manager to approve various aspects of their marketing campaigns. On one occasion, the client would not approve the artwork we created and wanted it redone , while my manager thought it met all the requirements and wouldn’t budge.

After many meetings with the client, I could finally see that we missed a crucial aspect that should have been included. No one in marketing caught it, but the client did. I went to my manager and pointed out all the details of what we had missed–meaning we truly didn’t meet the client’s expectations.

My manager finally agreed. We reworked the client’s art at no charge, and they’ve continued to use us for all their on-going marketing campaigns.

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How Do You Handle Unexpected Challenges Give Me An Example

S – One time, while preparing for a presentation at a conference for Company X, one of our guest speakers had to unexpectedly cancel due to an emergency. We found out only a few hours before the event, and there was now a 1-hour gap in our schedule we had to fix.

T – So, we didnt have a lot of time, and had to somehow fill up the time slot to keep the event going.

A – As one of the main event organizers and community managers at the company, I decided to take initiative. Instead of the guest speaker, I wanted to present our CEO as the speaker instead – which was definitely a possibility because he was working behind the scenes as well. I personally spent an hour working with him one-on-one, trying to get him to transform his decades worth of experience into a presentation. With 30 minutes to spare, everything was ready to go and all that was left was to present.

R – From the one 1 hour gap, the speech lasted about 45 minutes, and for the rest of the 15 minutes we took some questions from the audience. After that, everything continued on track, and most of the audience members loved the presentation.

Tell Candidates What You’re Looking For In Their Answers

Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers: Use the STAR Technique | Indeed Career Tips

Not everyone agrees this step is necessary: some recruiters prefer not to explain that they’re looking for situation-specific answers, to see how the candidate deals with answering the question however she wants. Some hiring managers see the benefit of being vague — at the very least, you’ll likely get a candid answer from your candidate.But other experts, like Todd Lombardi, a college relations specialist at Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc., believes it’s important to explain what he’s looking for before asking a candidate any behavioral interview questions.

When Lombardi starts a behavioral interview, he details the process, telling the candidate he’s looking for specific examples, names of people, dates, and outcomes.

Lombardi speaks with candidates about projects they’ve worked on, how their role has evolved, how they’ve handled deadlines or unexpected situations, and how they’ve coped with adversity. He asks these questions because, “Everyone’s got that kind of experience.”

If you don’t explain what you’re looking for upfront, you risk receiving an incomplete answer or confusing the candidate. If the candidate answers insufficiently, perhaps you want to offer her an opportunity to modify her answer. Say: “I’m looking for details about a specific example — you’ve explained the situation and tasks required, but I’d still like to know what steps you took to complete the tasks, and what results you got from the project.”

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Common Interview Questions And Star Answer Examples

While you may not be able to prepare for the exact interview questions, there are some questions that are popular with interviewers. These questions tend to focus on a time that you had an unfavorable experience and how you turned that around to make it positive. Here are three examples of how to answer popular behavioral interview questions using the STAR method:

When To Use The Star Method Of Interviewing

The STAR method works best with behavioral questions. Behavioral interview questions usually start with phrases like:

  • Tell me about a time when
  • What do you do when
  • Have you ever
  • Give me an example of
  • Describe a

If you hear one of these at the start of a question, youre hearing a behavioral question, and its time to put the STAR interview method to work.

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Star Interview Questions Examples

Here is a selection of some difficult STAR interview questions taken from the InterviewGold online training system. Take a few moments and see how you would answer, what examples would you use.

1.Describe a time when your leadership skills made a difference. 2.Tell us about a change you made which resulted in an improved customer experience. 3.Talk me through a time when you had to communicate to a large group. Tell me how did you get your message across effectively? 4.Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative at work. 5.Describe a time when you had to make rapid changes to your plans so as to complete an important task on time. 6.Tell me about a time you used your political know how and expertise to initiate a difficult project. 7.Talk me through a situation which shows your ability to make optimum use of the resources available to you while delivering top quality service to your clients. 8.Tell me about a coaching or mentoring strategy you designed and introduced. What part did you play and what was the outcome? 9.Describe a time when you successfully challenged someone whose views you knew were incorrect. Tell me what happened and how you convinced them to accept your opinion.

These STAR interview questions explore whether you bring the correct positive behaviours to the role, whether you have demonstrated them before or if not if you have taken steps to acquire them.

Reflect On Previous Achievements And Wins

Wie man die STAR

Using the STAR method, write down specific examples of situations where you demonstrated the competencies relevant to the role youre interviewing for.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management , answers to behavioral questions should provide concrete and verifiable evidence that shows how a candidate has dealt with challenges in the past. Avoid vague statements and walk the interviewer through the specific steps you took to achieve your desired result.

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How To Ace Interviews With The Star Method

Behavioral job interview questions are hard.

Everything is going seemingly well, until the interviewer drops the Can you tell me about a time when you question.

Shoot, what now?

You try to think of a coherent answer, but you just cant think of anything on the spot.

So, you blurt out something awkward and pray that the interviewer will just let this one slide.

…But it didnt have to go this way. There IS a way to give a good answer to every single behavioral job interview question:

The STAR Method.

In this guide, were going to teach you what, exactly, that is, and how to use it to ace your upcoming job interview!

Keep on reading to find out:

  • What the STAR method is and when to use it
  • 4 tips to keep in mind when answering with the STAR method
  • 9 sample job interview answers that follow the STAR method

Sounds good?

Tell Me About A Time When You Had Too Many Things To Do And You Were Required To Prioritize Your Tasks

In my previous job as a senior sales executive, one of my co-workers quit immediately after we were told our assigned territories would be doubling in the next month.

Although I was already managing a full load of accounts in my territories, I was assigned the territories of my departed co-worker to handle as well.

After some deep breaths, I sat down and mapped out all of my territories and how much time they required both to maintain current clients and approach new ones–and I knew my performance would suffer. It was too much for one person.

I then went to my boss with this data along with a well-laid-out plan of how to divide the old sales person’s territory among several of our current reps until we could hire someone new. That way we all got a piece of the pie and one person didn’t have to be overwhelmed.

My boss took this to the VP of Sales who was impressed with my plan and approved it. About three months later we hired two new sales executives, and I was promoted to Assistant VP of Sales in my division.

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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.

What Are Some Tips For Getting The Most Out Of The Star Method

How to Answer Behavioral Interview Questions – STAR technique
  • Be prepared: Preparation is essential to using the STAR interview response method well. Going in with a solid set of targeted stories will not only make the interview easier for you but will also help the interviewer follow along and notice the specific qualities that make you perfect for the position and that set you apart from other job candidates.
  • Be specific: The STAR method works because it is focused and concise. This goes with being prepared. Before your interview, you should know which skills and qualities the company is looking for and pick stories that are specific and targeted. Remember, the point of this is to highlight past behavior that the hiring manager wants to see.
  • Be quantitative: Metrics tell the best stories. Where possible use data-driven metrics to communicate your success and use qualitative metrics as secondary proof.
  • Be concise: Use one to two sentences per letter of the STAR acronym. Dont add information that is irrelevant to the specific question. Hiring managers dont need to know the entire project history.
  • Be honest: This should go without saying, but a lack of honesty will undermine your credibility down the round. No one wants to hire someone they dont trust.
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    Get Star Interview Questions And Learn How To Use The Star Method To Answer Competency And Behaviour Questions Like A Pro

    Have you been asked STAR interview questions at a competency or behaviour interview question and failed to answer successfully?

    Dont worry you are not alone.

    We have been coaching clients to success in job interviews for the past 15 years and we see so many candidates who struggle to give top scoring answers to these tough interview questions.

    As we will see below there is a range of reasons for this however the most important fault is lack of structure. In this guide we will show you some tough STAR interview questions and we teach you all about the STAR method, a powerful and well recognised technique for answering not just competency but any interview question like an expert.

    But first lets start by looking at the basics.

    How To Use The Star Interview Method Like A Pro

    Ace your next behavioral interview by using the STAR Method.

    Did you know behavioral-based interview questions are extremely common these days? Hiring managers want to understand whether or not a job candidate has the ability to describe their skill set and past experience concisely. Chances are, you’ve been asked one or more of the following questions or prompts during an interview:

    • Tell me about a time when you’ve had to overcome an obstacle at work.

    • Describe how you handle tight project deadlines.

    • What would you do if a co-worker consistently doesn’t follow through on their part of a project?

    However, the thought of tackling some of these complex interview questions can be incredibly intimidating. You understand the importance of providing a thorough answer, but how much detail is too much? More importantly, how should you structure your interview response, and where should you begin? Don’t worry, there is a great solution: the STAR method. In a nutshell, the STAR response technique can help you structure your answers clearly and effectively during the interview process.

    The STAR method enables interviewees to eloquently explain a scenario they’ve experienced at work, describe how they reacted to it, and detail the end result of the situation in order to answer behavioral-based questions. Let’s take a closer look at how the STAR method works and how to master behavior-based interview questions like a pro.

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