How To Create A Star Method Resume
Look at a job description and pick two to three essential behaviors or abilities to include in your “Experience” part of your resume utilizing the STAR technique.
Condense a potential response into a few important elements/bullets under the job title using the outline of a verbal response.
The easiest approach to accomplish this is to use one or more bullet points that clearly define all of the STAR answer’s components.
Use the STAR technique to explain each position with your circumstances, a task or tasks you performed in that capacity, actions you took to reach a successful conclusion, and the consequence of those activities, rather than just listing essential duties for a prior work under your “Experience” section.
Each point may be summarized in a single statement or phrase.
In a resume, the STAR technique makes it easier to communicate the extent of your abilities and credentials.
The following are the primary advantages of using this 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.
When To Use The Star Method
While there are literally an unlimited amount of possible behavioral questions a hiring manager could ask you, there are several specific categories they all fall into:
Prior to going in for your interview, make sure you take a good hard look at the job youre applying for and use clues from that to prepare your S.T.A.R answers. By picking out what skills the company is specifically looking for or are required for the job, it will help you target your success stories.
MIKE’S TIP:A success story is a story from your past that clearly demonstrates you accomplishing a task that you were faced withyou possess the skill or ability needed to complete a relevant task in the futurechoosing the best success story for the situation is very important.
Anyway, once you have those skills identified, go through your own personal history and background and find success stories that align with those skills.
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Take A Look At The Job Listing
You’ll also want to review the job listing before going into the interview. This will help you identify the qualities of the ideal candidate for that position.
Look through the job listing for a list of qualifications and scan for any keywords that give you a hint as to what the employer wants in a job candidate. Then, match your qualifications to the job, so you’re prepared with examples related to the experience and qualifications the employer is seeking.
So How Do You Come Up With Great Stories To Use
To craft great answers like the ones above, you need a collection of strong success stories. The best way to brainstorm stories is to look at the original job description for keywords and themes, research the company , and talk to people who work there. Then, craft stories around those qualities and skills. Youll find that with a half-dozen stories, you can apply one of them to almost any situation or interview question.
For example, say the job youre applying for is in marketing. You learn that its a creative role in brand marketing, which includes some social media. There are a few programs listed in the job description: PowerPoint, Photoshop, Instagram, and Facebook. The description also says that youll assist with creating ideas for brand campaigns and designing elements that will be used on social media to drive brand awareness. Dont forget they want you to attend a couple of tradeshow events.
We now have a list of skills and experiences to help us brainstorm story ideas:
- Brand marketing/creative
- Social media
- Teamwork and brainstorming
- Customers and tradeshows
Ask yourself: What experiences do you have in these areas? Did you take any brand marketing classes? If so, did you do any creative projects? Do you have any work experience in brand marketing? What have you done that relates to creating brand awareness?
Once you have a story, dont worry about answering a specific interview question. Start asking yourself the STAR questions.
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How To Answer Behavioral Interview Questions
Most hiring managers include at least a few behavioral questions in each job interview they conduct. Your responses help interviewers get a sense of your on-the-job behavior.
To that end, in a behavioral job interview, the interviewer will ask questions about your past work experiences. For instance, you might get a question like, Tell me about a time that you had to multitask at work.”
Employers who use this approach are seeking concrete evidence that proves the candidate has the skills and abilities needed for the job.
The idea behind a behavioral interview question is that past behavior is an indicator of future behavior. Therefore, examples from your past give the employer an idea of how you would handle a similar situation if you were to be hired.
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.
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Not Linking Your Story To The Question
Make sure that you listen to the question carefully before selecting your answer. While you may have the perfect answer prepared, it will be useless if it does not match the question. This will show that you do not have the required attention to detail or focus to answer a simple interview question and probably to do the job.
What Is Your Greatest Achievement
S – When I was a manager at Cafe X, we would always get a lot more customers than usual during the summer. It would almost always be packed, and sometimes, there were not enough servers to handle the work. And if someone got sick or unexpectedly could not show up – things were only worse.
T – So, I had to come up with a system so that we would not get overwhelmed during those 3+ months.
A – To make sure we were prepared, I realized we needed a better schedule. For the next summer, I had a very strict shift schedule ready, and a reward system in case someone couldnt show up for their shift. If someone called in sick, whoever filled in for them would be rewarded with extra pay. And if there was absolutely no one else available, I would personally fill in for them instead.
R – Overall, the summer went pretty smoothly with minimal accidents. We didnt get ANY negative reviews on TripAdvisor for the summer .
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The Star Interview Method In Practice
Lets reenact an example interview scenario together.
Interviewer: So Jack, tell me about a time you had a major challenge at work you were expected to solve.
You: Im glad you asked. When I worked with my recent employer, we faced a difficult engineering problem, and the deadline to release the new product features was coming up fast, and we had just suffered the loss of a critical team member. I was tasked to find out how to bridge the gap between the resources we had and the manpower we needed.
Interviewer: That sounds interesting. Tell me more.
You: I had a task list that seemed to reach 30 items long. There were bugs in the system that I didnt even know how to fix and, at the time, my supervisor wasnt able to hire another employee due to budget setbacks. I had to move fast to make up what ground we had lost to be able to meet our delivery dates.
Interviewer: How did you solve the problem?
You: I called a few friends of mine from college. We reviewed code and knowledge bases to get through the problems together with members on my team. We held five code challenge sessions over the next month. We evaluated some AI and machine learning tools that would help us bridge the gap in the knowledge and skills the past employee took with him. In short, we were focused on successfully getting these packages out before the release date.
Interviewer:Wow, that sounds exciting!
Overall, keep in mind the duality of job interviews.
Putting It All Together
Its making sense now, isnt it? Heres one more question-and-answer example for some added clarity.
The Interviewer Says:Tell me about a time when you had to be very strategic in order to meet all of your top priorities.
Situation:In my previous sales role, I was put in charge of the transfer to an entirely new customer relationship management systemon top of handling my daily sales calls and responsibilities.
Task:The goal was to have the migration to the new CRM database completed by Q3, without letting any of my own sales numbers slip below my targets.
Action:In order to do that, I had to be very careful about how I managed all of my time. So, I blocked off an hour each day on my calendar to dedicate solely to the CRM migration. During that time, I worked on transferring the data, as well as cleaning out old contacts and updating outdated information. Doing this gave me enough time to chip away at that project, while still handling my normal tasks.
Result:As a result, the transfer was completed two weeks ahead of deadline and I finished the quarter 10% ahead of my sales goal.
The STAR interview process for answering behavioral interview questions might seem a little overwhelming at first. But it will become second nature with a little practice. And make no mistake, practicing is definitely something you should do.
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Key Factors That Make A Good Answer Great
Almost all Competency Based and Behavioural Questions ask you to provide an example that details a situation you have taken part in.
As straightforward a request as this is, not being prepared with a solid example may cause you to ramble, which could result in a poor score.
- 1. Choosing the right structure
- 2. Choosing the right example
As regards the right structure we have looked at using the STAR technique above. In the InterviewGold online training we teach two other formulas the IPAR and CARL methods, both of which are powerful techniques which you an use an an alternative to STAR.
Why Use The Star Method
Answering behavioral interview questions using the STAR interview response approach. Behavioral interview questions are inquiries into your previous behavior. They are specifically about how you handled particular job circumstances.
Employers who use this method examine occupations and identify the abilities and traits that top performers have demonstrated in that position.
Because previous success may be a strong predictor of future performance, interviewers use these questions to see if candidates have the necessary abilities and experience to succeed in the position.
Employers may be looking for evidence of problem-solving abilities, analytical ability, creativity, tenacity in the face of failure, writing skills, presentation skills, teamwork orientation , persuasive skills, mathematical skills, or accuracy, for example.
The following are some examples of behavioral interview questions:
- Tell me about a time when you had to finish a task in a short amount of time.
- Have you ever gone above and beyond your normal responsibilities?
- What should you do if a team member refuses to finish his or her job quota?
The STAR method is used by some interviewers to arrange their questions. By structuring questions using the STAR method, interviewers can learn about workplace competencies.
Job seekers may, however, prepare for behavioral interview questions by using the STAR interview approach.
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Provide Details Of Measurable Results
If you have achieved certain things during your work, make sure that they are highlighted. The achievements should be clearly explained in terms that can be measured and easily understood. Instead of simply saying that you boosted sales, provide a percentage or other hard facts to back up the statement.
Answering Questions With The Star Method
Answering behavioral questions can be tricky for anyone. You may be unsure how to response or experience anxiety that makes a response more difficult.
Answering behavioral style questions using the STAR method can help. The STAR interview method allows you to present a clear example of times at work when you solved a complex problem and how it benefited the organization or your team. Heres a breakdown of the STAR method from start to finish:
- Situation: Describe a situation during your past employment relating to the question.
- Task: What was your task/responsibility during this situation?
- Action: What action did you take during this situation?
- Result: What was the result, and did it successfully address the situation/problem you or your employer faced?
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Example Question And Answer
Now that weve gone over all this, lets put it into practice with an example behavioral question and a S.T.A.R. method interview answer.
Can you tell me about a time you went above and beyond your expected duties?
Situation: I was a part of a team working on a presentation meant to help us secure a major new client for our company. The weather was bad, and as a result my supervisor got caught in a snowstorm and was unable to make it back in time. It looked like we were going to have to cancel the meeting and potentially lose the client.
Task: I had been looking for ways to take on more responsibility, so I volunteered to finish up the presentation.
Action: I worked with my supervisor via the phone and between the two of us, we were able to go ahead with the scheduled meeting.
Result: As a result of my initiative, we not only landed the client, but I was also recommended for a promotion.
Heres another question.
Tell me about a time when you took the lead on a difficult project?
Heres our answer broken into the STAR Method. The quality we are highlighting is Leadership:
Here are a few more behavioral questions that you can practice answering using the STAR Method. Use the example above to guide you.
Have A Few Examples Ready
Theres no way for you to know in advance what type of behavioral interview question the interviewer will ask.
But its still a good idea to have a few examples ready that follow the STAR method.
This way, you can tweak and adapt your answer on the go depending on the question.
Keep in mind, though, that your answers shouldnt be a word-for-word memorized script.
Youll want to sound natural when answering.
And if youre having a hard time coming up with an answer during the interview, dont be afraid to ask for a minute to come up with an example.
Its ok to take a few seconds and structure your answer in your head first. If anything, the HR manager might appreciate that youre not rushing in your answers.
- While youll never know what questions theyll ask during the interview, you can still prepare for the most common ones. Check out our complete list of most common interview questions and answers here!
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How To Use The Star Method
The STAR method does more than help you meaningfully describe your skills to the interviewer. Using the STAR method helps give the interviewer insight into how you have used your skills to achieve the desired result.
For example, if your answer to a question is, I raised revenue, thats great, but it doesnt mean much. You need to explain how you raised revenue and what that meant for the company. Doing this gives the interviewer more information about you, your skills, and how you approach and solve problems.
Q4 Tell Me About A Time When You Had A Disagreement With Your Boss
SITUATION: In my last role, an irate customer was asking for a refund. I asked my boss permission to give the customer a refund but he refused.
TASK:It was my job to explain to my boss why I disagreed with his decision.
ACTION: I explained to him that the customer had been very time consuming to deal with and despite my best attempts to provide excellent service, they were threatening to leave a negative review online if we did not refund their payment. I explained that the negative review could have a negative impact on the business financially, and I felt the cost of the refund was worth it.
RESULT: After I explained my feelings, my boss agreed to refund the customer which I felt was the best solution for the business.
The next very difficult behavioural interview question that I recommend you use the STAR technique to answer is, tell me about a time when you made a mistake. Most people say Ive never made a mistake, I am perfectionist but his is not the best way to answer this question. Let me give you my example response that uses the STAR technique.
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