Using The Star Method In Interviewing
Have you heard of the STAR method of interviewing? Some people mistake it for its own type of interviewing.
But really, its part of behavioral interviewing. DDI brought the STAR method to market in the 1970s. So, what is the STAR method? The STAR method helps you capture complete information about how someone has performed on the job.
Result What Was The Result Of All The Actions Taken By The Candidate
After the candidates competences have been addressed in the fourth question, the interviewer may use the result question to find out whether the desired effect had been achieved. This is not just about the result from the perspective of the candidate, but also from other stakeholders, such as the customer, colleagues, and managers. Once again, the interviewer may pose follow-up questions here.
What Is The Star Method Of Conducting A Behavioral Interview
STAR method is a straightforward way of structuring a response to behavioral interview questions. While this is more important for a candidate, it is imperative that the interviewers should also know about it so they can evaluate the answers accordingly.
STAR interview questions are basically prepared as per a format that helps the interviewer create questions that focus on the candidates ability to deal with real-life situations, basis past situations. STAR interview method is a technique that helps you create your own question arc while preparing an interview for a candidate.
Heres how STAR interview method works:
- Situation: This is where you set the context for a story which will form the base for the rest of the interview.
- Task: Heres where you will be asking the candidate as to what role he or she played in the aforementioned situation.
- Action: What was the action undertaken by the candidate, in sync with his or her role in the given situation.
- Result: What was the result of their actions in the given situation?
Together, these four components create the STAR interview method, which is a way of letting the candidate share an anecdote from his or her professional life. This would further enable the interviewer to understand how compliant the candidate is with respect to the vision and mission of the organization and also with respect to the team for which he or she is being hired.
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Tell Me About A Time When You Worked Under Either Extremely Close Supervision Or Extremely Loose Supervision How Did You Handle That
This question is getting at how you like to be managed, but its phrased in a way that may tempt you to speak negatively of a previous employer. Stay focused and keep your response neutral to positive.
So you could say:
As an intern at Online Content Co., I felt like my every move required approval, which isnt everyones cup of tea, but I really appreciated it back when I had no idea what I was doing. I actually credit the close supervision I got for helping me pick things up so quickly. After I officially joined the team as a staff writer though, it started to feel a bit restrictive. I thought once I proved myself it would get better, but after a few more months with no significant change a mentor helped me see that I wasnt being proactive about communicating with my manager. Rather than going to my one-on-one meetings with nothing prepared and being peppered with questions, I started arriving with an update of all my ongoing work. All the same information got conveyed, but instead of feeling micromanaged, I felt empowered and it made all the difference in my experience.
Preparing For Behavioural Interviews
First, reread the job ad or job description and look at the selection criteria or skills/attributes required by the employer. Anticipate behavioural questions based on required competencies. Think about the experience you have and look for moments that stand out there is often a good answer to a behavioural question in experiences that have challenged or tested you. Consider which experiences relate to each selection criterion or key skill. For instance, winning a debating competition may provide evidence of strong communication skills, while consistently exceeding your sales targets at your casual job is a good example of your ability to add value to an organisation.
Depending on the job you are applying for, you can usually use examples from a variety of activities such as work, studies, extracurricular activities, volunteering, sports, or travel. The best examples are recent, relevant and robust experiences.
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The Pros And Cons Of Behavioral Interviewing
Behavioral interviewing is a method of questioning that requires the respondent to answer with a story of how they handled a specific circumstance. Its designed to get the candidate to reveal how they responded to a real-life work situation in order to understand how they might respond to a similar situation if they were hired.
Pros of This Interviewing Style
Behavioral interviewing when executed correctly, can provide a unique perspective for the interviewer on how the candidate will perform on a day-to-day basis.
Here are some inherent pros of this style of interviewing:
What to Keep in MindBehavioral interviewing isnt a perfect method. It has weaknesses that often become apparent when the questions are being asked.
Consider the following to keep your behavioral interviews on track:
Behavioral interviews are among the greatest recruitment tools at our disposal. Still, like any tool, much of their usefulness relies on the skill of the user. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the behavioral interviewing technique, and keeping them in mind when preparing for and conducting your interviews, you can be confident that this technique will help you make the right hiring decisions.
An employee referral program can help you find candidates who are more likely to be a good fit for your team. Check out The Benefits of an Employee Referral Program for more.
Ask What The Candidate Learned From Past Experiences
Everyone is new to a job or industry at various points in their career, which means they will make mistakes, realize better ways of doing things, and hopefully learn lessons from their experiences. Answers to questions about what a candidate learned from past experiences reveals the capacity to grow in a job and helps confirm the authenticity of their claimed accomplishments.
Candidates may be nervous or hesitant to be vulnerable in a job interview setting, so do your best to make them feel comfortable about opening up and explaining how theyve grown through experience. For instance, questions about past mistakes, difficulties, or challenges should always focus on how they adapted and learned from it all.
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Section 1 What Are Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral interview questions seek to predict a candidates suitability for a role based on their behavior in past jobs. By finding out more about how a candidate behaved in similar situations in the past, employers have a way to predict how they will perform in the future.
Another common interview technique is called situational interviewing. Situational interview questions probe the candidate on how they would respond to a hypothetical scenario in the future. Because candidates dont actually know how they would respond to a situation that might not happen, querying past behavior is thought to be a more reliable way to predict future behavior.
Behavioral interview questions can help you uncover a candidates approach to problems, conflict, and stress, as well as illuminate values that are important to your companys culture.
Situational Interview Questions
Example: How would you approach a new product launch
Goal: To get a sense of how the candidate would approach the task for your company.
Behavioral Interview Questions
Following are some common sentence openers:
Tell me about a time when
Describe a situation when…
2. The Situation or Problem
The second part of the behavioral question suggests the type of situation or problem the interviewer would like to find out more about.
For example, if a cultural value is resourcefulness, you could say, Describe a project you had to complete with very limited resources.
3. Adding Specifics
Describe A Time When It Was Especially Important To Make A Good Impression On A Client How Did You Go About Doing So
A perfect answer to this question has an outstanding outcome and illustrates the process of getting to that result. But even if you only have a decent outcome to point to instead of a stellar one, spelling out the steps you took will get you a strong answer.
One of the most important times to make a good impression on a client is before theyre officially a client. When the sales team pulls me into meetings with potential clients, I know were close to sealing the deal and I do my best to help that along. Thats probably why I was chosen to represent the research team when we did a final presentation for what would become our biggest client win of the year. I spoke with everyone on the sales team who had met with them previously to learn as much as possible about what they might care about. The thing I do that sets me apart is that I dont try to treat all the clients the same. I try to address their specific questions and concerns so that they know I did my homework and that I care enough to not just give the cookie-cutter answers. In this case, having the data pulled and ready for every question they had made all the difference in building their confidence in our company.
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Use The Star Approach
One popular tactic for developing behavioral interview questions is the STAR approach. In the STAR approach, the candidate tells you about a specific situation, the tasks involved, the actions taken, and the results of the action.
Using the STAR approach, you strategically structure questions so the candidate:
- S: Describes a situation where they demonstrated a specific behavior
- T: Explains specific tasks involved in addressing the situation
- A: Explains specific actions taken to complete the required tasks
- R: Describes the results of the actions taken
What Behavioral Interview Questions Are Like
Hiring managers use behavioral interviews because they want to go beyond the obvious answer. When pressed for details and specifics, candidates can’t help but reveal their habits, ways of thinking, and past responses to stressful situations.
Will you get a warning that your interview is going to actually be a behavioral interview? No. But you can be on the lookout for a few question openers that will indicate if you’re in a behavioral interview. Here’s what they might sound like:
Tell me about a time
How have you dealt with
Give me an example of
Explain a past situation where
What do those questions have in common? They take you back to a specific situation in the past and ask you to recall your real-life responses, action steps, and results. A behavioral interview can be intimidating, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to showcase your experience, skills, and strengths. You just have to know what to expect and come prepared.
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Tips For Behavioural Interviews
Since behavioural interview questions are open-ended, candidates can answer them in a variety of ways. While these questions don’t have designated right or wrong answers, interviewers often analyse a candidate’s answer for a sign of certain qualities. For example, if a company wants to hire a professional who feels that a priority is treating customers with kindness and listening to their needs, the recruiters likely wait for a candidate to indicate they share this value in their answer.
To prepare for a behavioural interview, consider these tips:
Include Keywords In Your Answer
Before attending the interview, consider re-reading the original job description to remind yourself of the employer’s expectations and preferences. This helps you find keywords to use in the interview. Keywords refer to any phrases that recruiters list in the job posting to describe what type of candidate they are looking for.
For example, if a recruiter mentioned in a job post they prefer a candidate who has strong collaboration skills, mentioning how well you work on a team during one of your answers may put you in the interviewer’s good favour.
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What Is A Behavioral
So, your killer CV and cover letter have gotten you through to the interview stages. Youve beaten hundreds, possibly thousands of applicants already. Success is almost in reach. Only a few questions stand between you and that coveted job. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and that is why youre here. Dont fear, though! Well walk you through the preparation process and give you actionable techniques for answering behavioral interview questions.
Behavioral-based interviews are widely thought of as the most challenging of all interview types. The questions they entail can seem personal, deceptively open-ended, and sometimes outright confusing. Want to understand the purpose behind behavioral interviews? Learn a proven method to construct ideal answers? Get top tips on how to prepare? If you answered yes to all of these questions, read on.
The Value Of Being Yourself
As you prepare for a behavior-based interview, keep in mind that an interviewer what’s to get an idea of who you are. In a 2019 study by TopInterview and Resume-Library, U.S. employers regarded authenticity as the most attractive quality in a candidate, rating personality as one of the top three things that determine whether they’ll present a job offer.
Employers aren’t looking for perfection or a robot. They want to see your interest in their position, whether you can handle the responsibilities, and how well they’ll enjoy working with you. Use an authentic attitude along with your answers to convey this clearly.
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Examples Of Behavioral Interview
Traditional interview question: How good are your client communication skills?”. To this the interviewee can elaborate all the appraisals that they have received from clients and highlight all his strong points, but that does not help the interviewer in assessing him under stressful situations. This same can be rephrased as an open ended and experience based question: Tell me about a situation when you had to work with an dissatisfied client and how you managed to tackle the situation. From the answer of this question the interviewer will be able to understand how the candidate tackles pressure, his communication skills, his ability to adapt to situations and also predict if he will be able to meet the jobs demand.
Behavioral Interview Sample Answer
Using the above techniques, here is an example of how you might answer a behavioral interview question:
Question: Tell me about a time when you overcame a conflict at work.
Answer:At my last job, my colleague and I disagreed on how to handle a sensitive situation with our client. We made a mistake in their campaign that resulted in poor overall performance. While my colleague wanted to move forward without explaining the mistake, I thought it would be best to let the client know what happened.
After going back and forth, I asked him if we could set some time aside to weigh the costs and benefits of each option. In the end, we needed to see each others motivations and fears to get a better understanding of the other.
We decided to let the client know what had happened and agreed to provide them with another campaign at no cost. While it did result in a short-term loss for the company, the client appreciated our honesty and booked an annual campaign exceeding their spending with us in the past. My colleague and I were also recognized for our teamwork and ended up counseling other client teams on conflict resolution.
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How To Conduct A Behavioral Interview
Have you ever hired a candidate who aced their interview but was not the best fit once they started the job? In many cases, conducting a behavioral interview or asking behavioral interview questions can help hiring managers avoid this dilemma and better screen candidates for a specific role. Heres how.
Behavioral Job Interview Questions About Teamwork
Question #1 – Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone completely different from you. How did you adapt to collaborate better?
Situation: Sure, I always enjoy working with new and different people. Usually, because they bring something new to the table. At Company X, there was a particularly young developer who was assigned to work with me on a new software development project, and I was to run him through what our typical coding process was like.
Task: It was also my job to get to know him, and find common ground so that we could effectively work together. The fact that he was younger wasnt an issue for me, but because he was completely self-taught, he didnt know a lot about the industry methodologies we used.
Action: Teaching him everything from scratch would take too much time. So, instead, I briefly explained the development process we were using for that specific project, and taught him how to write tests for our code-base. Writing tests is the number 1 way to learn what code does. After all, thats how I got started with development.
Question #2 – What do you do when your team member refuses to, or just cant complete their part of the work? Give me an example.
Action: I started regularly checking in on her to see where she was with work. I would bring it up at times over lunch, send a quick Slack message, and so on. She wasnt taking this quite well, but it DID get her to work faster and more efficiently.
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