Common Star Interview Questions
Below are common behavioral interview questions that may be asked, which prompt a STAR response from the interviewee. These will be asked in addition to more common interview questions like, “Why do you want to work here?”
Tip: As a candidate, before your next interview, practice taking the STAR approach to behavioral interview questions. Write your sample answer down on a piece of paper and ensure the story only takes 90-seconds or less to tell. Practice telling your work experience story with a friend, colleague, or family member.
Tell Us About A Goal That You Didnt Achieve
This is quite similar to the last question, just that the situations are different. The interviewer wants to know how well you can handle failure or disappointments. You can also mention what you learned and some of the things you would do differently.
In 2016, I planned to save $. However, I ran into several emergencies throughout the year that made it a pipe dream. This experience taught me always to keep an emergency fund.
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.
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Describe A Situation Where You Had To Go Above And Beyond To Ensure That A Piece Of Work Was Done
You should be ready to do everything in your power to ensure that you are successful at your job. Therefore, giving such an experience will convince the interviewer that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get work done.
I once started working on a project but kept on receiving updates now and then. The client, however, refused to add more time, forcing me to work past my regular hours and into the night. I managed to finish the job 4 hours earlier.
Share How You Took Action
Now that youve given the interviewer a sense of what your role was, its time to explain what you did. What steps did you take to reach that goal or solve that problem?
Resist the urge to give a vague or glossed-over answer like, So, I worked hard on it or I did some research
This is your chance to really showcase your contribution, and its worthy of some specifics. Dig in deep and make sure that you give enough information about exactly what you did. Did you work with a certain team? Use a particular piece of software? Form a detailed plan? Those are the things your interviewer wants to know.
Your Response :I started by going back through our old blog posts and adding in content upgrades that incentivized email subscriptionswhich immediately gave our list a boost. Next, I worked with the rest of the marketing team to plan and host a webinar that required an email address to register, which funneled more interested users into our list.
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What Should You Do Before The Interview
DARYL DAVIS November 24, 2020
Thanks for the summation. I was just introduced to such a thing, and this makes my interview prep more effective.
Heather Leilani Foster November 24, 2020
I am being considered for a promotion with Amazon , so these Star princples are ideal to know for my interview process.
I have interview to day and I need practice.
It is so much helpful for everyonethanks 🙂
Excellent, precise and concise, thanks!
Star Is A Way To Answer Behavioral Questions
The STAR method is a structured way of answering behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions usually start with “Tell me a time…” or “Give me an example…”
Here are some examples of behavioral interview questions, relevant to Amazon:
- Customer Obsession. Walk us through a time when you helped a customer through a difficult process and what that looked like.
- Frugality. Tell me a time when you came up with a clever way to save money for the company.
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Telling A Story That Is Anything But A Success
You want the job, right? So why would you tell a story where you fail miserably and learn absolutely nothing from the experience? While it might be a funny story overall, its not one thats going to get you a job. Telling a story that has absolutely no positive outcome, either from the final results or the lessons you learned, is pointless.just like hiring you.
Now you might be thinking, Mike, this is common sense. I would not tell a story that makes me look bad. Heres the deal though. Sometimes, what starts out as great intentions, can unravel before you know it. If the hiring manager decides to probe into your story, you need to be certain that he/she is not going to encourage you to reveal something you did not intend.
So despite what we said about not speaking like a robot stick to the script!
Describe A Time When You Handled A Difficult Situation At Work How Did You React
‘In my last job as a night nurse, one of my colleagues quit after securing a job with a top private hospital. Though I was managing a ward full of patients, I was assigned this one patient who didn’t want to be admitted. He wanted to bolt out of his room. I made myself available to the patient, discussed with him the reason he was being admitted and assured him he would receive 24/7 attention and good care. The patient finally calmed down and agreed to spend the next three days under observation. He was discharged on the third day and the wife personally thanked me for handling someone she knew to be extremely stubborn and difficult.’
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Star Method Example For Problem Solving Competency
Competency Question: Tell me about a time when you used your initiative to resolve a complex problem. What was involved and what actions did you take?
Last year while working as Customer Focus Manager with ABC Products Ltd in London, I successfully implemented a new process which reduced the time taken to process customer refunds from 14 days to 2 days, saving over £100,000 annually in agent time and gaining a 50% uplift in customer approval ratings.
In that single opening they are hooked, they know what your story is about, they know you have done something great and they want to hear more.
The next part of the answer is the Task and this should be summarised in no more than 1 or 2 sentences.
Our customer refund process was taking 14 days and was using up an excessive amount of agent time and resources. I was tasked with reducing this to 2 days with the added benefit of saving time and resources.
Thats all they need to know no more.
I initiated the project by firstly clearly defining the objectives and the procedures.
I created a detailed brief that both analysed the problem and outlined the potential benefits of the newly proposed process.
I completed a walk-through of the existing system and identified where problems were occurring.
With all that knowledge, I designed a new process and drafted a brief which I then forwarded to four software companies who specialise in the system we needed.
Which Questions Need A Star Response
Typical competency-based interview questions generally start by asking about a time you demonstrated one of the competencies listed in the job description. For this reason, it’s advisable to familiarise yourself with the description before your interview in order to be prepared for these questions. Most graduate job interviews ask about soft skills such as communication, teamwork and negotiation. Many of the questions require you to recount past work experiences. If you are applying for an apprenticeship or internship or have little work experience, talk about extra-curricular activities and your achievements or school projects you’ve done.
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How To Use The Star Technique To Make Your Answers Really Stand Out
Heres a secret its all in the Story!
Would you read a book that was boring? No, probably not and you would not recommend it to your friends.
And how many pages would you read before you concluded it was boring? Some might persevere to the end, but most would give up after maybe 20 or 30 pages.
The point I am trying to make is that your answer, your story must be gripping and it must grip in the first few sentences.
In Most Job Interviews Employers Will Ask A Variety Of Questions Including Situational Interview Questions Here’s How To Answer
Picture this. Youre in the middle of a job interview for a customer service position. Everything seems to be going well, youre having a good conversation with the hiring manager about your resume, and then they ask you to share about a time when you provided great customer service. But as soon as you hear those words, your mind goes blank! It happens sometimes, especially with questions that require you to tell a story about your past experiences.
In most job interviews, employers will ask a variety of questions including behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions are especially common in customer service interviews, so you should always come prepared with anecdotes that showcase your professional experience. One of the best ways to tackle behavioral interview questions is to use the S.T.A.R. interview method. Read on for a S.T.A.R. method interview prep guide for customer service!
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Can You Tell Me About A Time When You Went Above And Beyond To Deliver Excellent Customer Experience
S – When I was working at Company X, we were preparing for a video presentation for a client when I learned that someone on their team was deaf. The presentation was due the next day in the morning and I was the only one left in the office after 5PM.
T – I realized there was only one solution and that was for me to stay behind in the evening and add the captions myself.
A – It took a few hours, and around 8PM, I was done. Then, I let our team know about the update.
R – In the end, the client enjoyed the presentation. They were very impressed by our attention to detail, and we ended up closing them soon after.
Who Uses The Star Method
The STAR interview answer method is not exclusive to any one industry or field. It can be used in any interview setting where a candidate might be asked to outline a previous situation they were in. It could be used in a traditional interview just as much as it could be used in a technical interview.
If a candidate has done some research into interview technique, you can be confident they will use the STAR method to structure their answers. This kind of storytelling interview technique may come naturally to some candidates, particularly if they are confident public speakers.
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Why The Star Method Is Useful To Answer Interview Questions
According to Dudley, behavioral questions are becoming extremely popular as employers realize the importance of soft skills. Behavioral questions are meant to prompt a story from the applicant and so the answer needs to be told like a story.
I want to hear that they actually took a leadership role or that they solved a problem or that they stopped two people from getting into a big fight, Dudley said. I want to hear those sorts of stories and I want to believe them, of course.
Of course, the STAR method comes into play because while listening for the outcomes of those stories, interviewers are also judging the candidates soft skills and ability to get their point across.
In the act of telling those stories, what Im looking for is the content of the story itself, but Im almost more so looking at how they talk, Dudley said. Do they get excited? Are they enthusiastic? Are they positive? Do they have a good attitude? Are they making eye contact with me? Are they somebody I want to work with?
Rephrasing Questions To Star Interview Technique
It was interesting to see each team member evolving in their approaches and questions: One of our team members once asked the following question to a candidate for an agile coach position: What is the most important value of the agile manifesto for you?
I confess that I got a bit disappointed, because this question does not change the price of the euro, it is not exactly a question using the STAR Interview technique. That is, knowing what the value of the most important agile manifesto is for the candidate does not say about having practical experience or not.
I suggested the team member in a feedback a different approach to this type of question and, in the following interview, I was surprised by the same question posed in a different way:
Can you tell us about a situation where you used an agile manifesto value to solve a problem?
I was very happy to see the evolution of this specific team member and all the others!
The result of all this, the result of training the STAR Interview technique, was that they became so independent and expert in interviews that I delegated to them the process of hiring Agile masters who would stay on the teams. I trusted them and they trusted me. I knew they were ready to recruit the best professionals they could to solve the most diverse problems in our organization. I felt fulfilled with their evolution and the responsibility they could now assume.
Did you see?
This is a very common thing, right?
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What Is The Star Technique
The STAR technique is a method of answering questions that is comprised of four steps:
Situation: Describe the situation and when it took place.
Task: Explain the task and what was the goal.
Action: Provide details about the action you took to attain this.
Result: Conclude with the result of your action.
How To Use The Star Method During A Phone Interview
Phone interviews are frequently used as a method for screening candidates prior to a more in-depth interview. However, even an initial interview will have opportunities for STAR interview responses. For example, you can give examples of your recent work experience to highlight your competencies and expand on the accomplishments listed in your resume. Below are a few things to keep in mind when giving a phone interview:
- Speak to your audience. If possible, try and research the person interviewing you beforehand. If it is a recruiter or human resources officer, they may not have an in-depth technical understanding of subject matter such as programming or IT.
- Take advantage of not having a visual connection. Refer to the written STAR responses you created in case you forget a detail or two. Donât have too much information though you donât have time for reading.
- Keep a measured pace. Pay attention to keeping a comfortable conversation pace and talking speed. It is easy to talk too fast or think that small pauses last forever during a phone interview.
- Listen carefully. Make sure you are in a quiet location and use headphones if you can. Its easy to miss question details and other subtle cues. Consider writing down the questions and repeating them before answering.
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How To Answer A Question Using The Star Method
Here are three examples of how to answer popular behavioral interview questions using the STAR method:
When it comes to behavioral interviews, the STAR response technique will help you craft responses that are compelling and succinct while thoroughly answering the interviewers question. Just make sure your answers are honest and share only positive outcomes.
Consider writing your stories down and practice saying them out loud, editing to make them short and clear where necessary. While questions may vary, having at least three to five experiences to draw from will ensure youre able to deliver a confident response no matter what the interviewer asks.
What Are Some Star Interview Questions
You can use some purposeful questions like:
Give an example of a project where the goals were not clear and describe how you handled the situation.
Weve all been through situations where the goals werent clear, havent we? This question helps to understand a little better how each professional sees and acts in this type of situation.
How about this question Tell me a situation where you were not motivated and how you handled the situation. We can all feel unmotivated at some point. It is not? How about hearing how the professional acted to regain his motivation? Does it not seem interesting to you?
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