Friday, May 17, 2024

What Is The Star Method When Interviewing

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Tell Me About A Time When You Experienced Conflict On The Team And How Did You Resolve It

STAR Interview Method Explained


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.

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.

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:

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How To Use Star

You can use the STAR method to structure the examples you give to questions, especially in interviews. You can use it to highlight particular skills and qualities you have that the employer is looking for.

When using STAR, remember:

  • you can use examples from work, home or volunteering
  • keep examples short and to the point
  • try to get your points across in a conversational way so as not to appear too rehearsed
  • be prepared to answer follow-up questions about the examples you give

What Is The Star Interview Response Method

How to Use the STAR Interview Response Method

The STAR interview response method is a way of answering behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions are questions about how you have behaved in the past. Specifically, they are about how you have handled certain work situations. Employers using this technique analyze jobs and define the skills and qualities that high-level performers have exhibited in that job.

Since past performance can be a good predictor of the future, interviewers ask these questions to determine whether candidates have the skills and experiences required to excel in the job.

For example, employers might be looking for proof of problem-solving skills, analytical ability, creativity, perseverance through failure, writing skills, presentation skills, teamwork orientation, persuasive skills, quantitative skills, or accuracy.

Examples of behavioral interview questions include the following:

  • Tell me about an occasion when you had to complete a task under a tight deadline.
  • Have you ever gone above and beyond the call of duty?
  • What do you do when a team member refuses to complete his or her quota of the work?

Some interviewers structure their questions using the STAR technique. However, job seekers can also use the STAR interview method to prepare for behavioral interview questions.

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Effectively Using The Star Process

When performed effectively and strategically, the S.T.A.R interview method and behavioural approach can result in achievable outcomes, but if poorly designed and planned, then the outcome may be skewed.

Recruiters are led to believe that by starting the interview question with tell me about a time, thats all there is to behavioural interview questions, but its more complicated than that.

In order for this interview method to be effective, the behavioural questions need to be integrated with the role requirements, in particular, the behavioural skill set and competency level.

After you, as the recruiter, have a clear idea of the role youd like to fill, you can start thinking about the requirements, competencies, behaviours and skills required. After that, you can form and develop your behavioural interview questions, which would hopefully lead you to a successful candidate placement.

However, as with any interview methodology, there are pros and cons to the S.T.A.R. interview process.

Describe A Time When You Were Under A Lot Of Pressure At Work How Did You React

During my time as the digital marketing specialist at my previous company, we were in the midst of launching our new website. It was my responsibility to make sure that we transferred over every piece of content from the old website to the new one. We had to do this within a 30-day period to make sure we met the deadline for the launch.

At first, I was very overwhelmed as there were over 300 pages that I needed to transfer. I started by getting an inventory list put together. I then created an account on an organization website where I could go through and tick off each section and its subsequent pages one by one. I was able to meet the deadline on time without missing any pages.”

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Review Your Job Description

Job descriptions clearly state the requirements and candidate expectations for the roles youre filling.

To successfully prepare for a job interview, you should carefully review the job description in order to get an idea of the type of behaviours and experiences youd like the candidate to have.

These components should directly inform the behavioural questions you ask in your S.T.A.R. interview.

These behavioural questions should be relevant to the job description and provide insight into how the candidate will respond to certain problem-solving situations.

How To Prepare For An Interview Using The Star Method

How to use the STAR method to answer interview questions

While you wont usually know the questions that your hiring manager plans to ask, it helps to prepare good customer service stories for interviews, fitting within the S.T.A.R. method format. For customer service, S.T.A.R. interview questions will often ask about your interactions with other people, especially customers, coworkers and supervisors. A good starting point is to think of some specific examples of times where you solved a problem, dealt with customers problems successfully or handled conflicts with clients or coworkers.

It also helps to review the job description again, especially the section where it lists out job responsibilities. Chances are, the hiring manager will ask about situations related to those specific tasks, which may include handling customer complaints, maintaining records and providing instructions for customers. The behavioral interview questions that a hiring manager asks for a remote position may be slightly different than questions for an in-person position, so keep this in mind too during your interview prep.

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Results: What To Note

If youve asked for a situation where the candidate boosted profitability or reduced costs, you should be listening for the stats to back this up. Candidates should be specific in their response and make sure any claims they make can be backed up with stats. I helped to cut costs doesnt tell you anything about how successful the candidate was in their task.

If you asked for a situation where the candidate made a mistake in their role, you want to know that they learned from the situation. The result is a key part of the answer and candidates will often be vague, particularly if they havent prepared properly. Its common for candidates to start a story with the best intentions, but it soon unravels and they realise they haven’t answered the question or have painted themselves in a poor light.

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?

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Get More Quality Candidates For Your Open Positions With Jobadder

Using the S.T.A.R. interview method can be extremely effective if leveraged correctly, ensuring you find quality candidates during the interview process.

However, its important to note that interviewing candidates is only half of the battle when it comes to hiring, youve also got to reach and find those quality candidates in the first place.

JobAdder can help you to discover quality candidates through our exclusive integrations with SEEK and LinkedIn and our seamless posting to over 200 job boards. You can also grow, track and search your talent pool in our platform, ensuring you always have quality candidates ready to go. Learn how JobAdder can help your business discover the best talent here.

Trying To Turn A Negative Into A Positive

How to Shine with the STAR Method of Interviewing ...

When the interviewer asks for a weakness, its often recommended to give an example but turn it into a positive. I always overthink things, but that allows me to see things from every angle.

The problem with a behavioral question, though, is that if you arent careful, you can turn a negative into a bigger negative.

For example, say your answer is about a time that something went completely wrong. Sure, you took responsibility for it and learned from it, but everything ended in disaster. What does that say about you as an employee? Why would the employer take a chance on you?

When using the STAR method, make sure youre using an example that ends in positive results. Its OK to mention that something went awry during the action part, as long as the result is positive and, perhaps, you learned something.

Creating an email campaign that ended up being a lot harder than I anticipated because of our data integrity. However, we were able to create a workaround in the system and are now emphasizing data hygiene across the board. I also learned that I need to bring IT in on these things a lot sooner than I did for this project.

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How To Answer Any Star Interview Question With 100% Confidence

Answering STAR interview questions is a skill that anyone can learn and this is how the InterviewGold online training system will help. You get detailed lessons on each behaviour PLUS over 40 STAR template sample answers you can use for inspiration and guidance. Best of all these are tailored to your job and level.

Also, with just a few clicks you can start creating your own brilliant examples using the competency answer builder tool. Its all online and you get access in seconds so no need to wait or delay. Start today and answer any STAR, competency or behaviour interview question with 100% confidence

Preparing Insightful Interview Questions

Its crucial that you formulate detailed and customised interview questions for each candidate, as these will help you understand exactly how a candidate will react to certain situations in the workplace.

Questions like what does hard work look like to you? or what do you know about this company? dont help you gain insight as to how a candidate will perform in a specific role.

Asking more detailed, behavioural questions will yield better and more thoughtful interview answers and help you gather useful information as to how a candidate will perform in the workplace.

Its a good idea to think about your ideal interview answers from potential candidates and reverse engineer your interview questions so youre leading candidates to give you the most helpful and informative responses.

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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!

Tips On Using The Star Technique To Answer Job Interview Questions


How to use the STAR Technique in a job Interview.

Competency questions make up a large part of most job interviews and from a companys point of view they allow an objective assessment of a candidates experience, and the qualities that make them suitable for the job. Thankfully theres a tried and tested technique that will help you to answer these tricky situations.

Its known as the STAR technique and by using questions that require these types of answers it is easier for the employer to compare all the people who are applying for the job in a methodical and structured way.

Which questions need a STAR response?

The questions will usually start along the lines of tell me about a time when you. This will be followed by those competencies that have been listed on the job specification, so it is important to be familiar with these so that you can prepare. Asking about soft skills such as teamwork, negotiation and communication is especially popular for graduate job interviews.

A lot of the questions will require you to think about past work experiences youve had. For those who are applying for internships, apprenticeships or have no previous work experience, you can still talk about extra-curricular activities, what you achieved while being a member of a university society, or school projects you have been involved in, as an example.

The answer to these questions will usually be between a minute and three minutes long.

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

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Question: Describe A Situation When You Had To Work With A Difficult Customer

Situation: When I worked at the garden nursery, one customer was upset that we did not have her favorite tulips in stock.

Task: As the customer service representative, it was my responsibility to think of a solution to her problem. A major part of my job was to make sure the customers left the store happy.

Action: After checking our inventory, I saw that she was incorrect, so I kindly explained that we moved the tulip display. I guided her to the display. She said that we didnt have enough for her garden, so I contacted our seller to speed deliver more of the bulbs.

Result: Since I took the time to work with this customer, she went from upset to happy during our interaction. Later that evening, I noticed that she left us a 5-star online review and mentioned my name.

Tell Candidates What You’re Looking For In Their Answers

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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