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STAR method has proven to be one of the most effective frameworks that can help a candidate ace an interview.
When it comes to an interview, there are series of questions to tackle – traditional interview questions, situational interview questions, and also behavioural interview questions. The STAR method is deployed to help a candidate comfortably answer behavioural interview questions, and if properly tweaked, can help you craft an outstanding anecdotes for situational interview questions.
Want to learn more about the STAR interview method, and how to use it to answer interview questions? We got you covered. Read on… to learn everything about the STAR method for answering interview questions.
What are Behavioural Interview Questions?
Behavioural interview questions are role specific questions that hiring managers employ to learn about your behaviours to certain situations in the past, and how you were able to handle it.
Since the actions in the past can be a predictor to what is likely to happen in the future. Employers ask questions about certain situations in the past (both good and bad job related situations) to predict how you are likely going to at whenever such situations come up when employed.
Behavioural interview questions are regarded to be open-ended questions, which require you to express yourself when giving answers. As it stands now, the perfect way you can answer this type of questions is by telling a story (preferably, anecdotes) and the STAR method is the best way you can craft an impressing anecdotes that nails behavioural interview questions.
Below are examples of how behavioral interview questions looks like.
- Describe a time when…
- Give me an example of a time when…
- When you’re working with…
- Share an example of how…
What is the STAR Method?
The STAR method is an effective tool you can use to address behavioural interview questions – questions that prompt you to talk about a time you had to handle certain situations related to the job you are applying.
Since behavioural interview questions are open-ended questions, giving a compelling answer instead of rambling can be tough. The STAR method of answering interview questions provides a framework that can be used to provide a compelling answer to the questions.
From the term “STAR”, each alphabet has its own meaning and purpose – Situation, Task, Action, and Result. More details below.
This is the first part where you set the stage for the story by sharing context around the situation or challenge you faced. It is best you share only important details.
Describe your responsibility in the situation or challenge.
Explain exactly the steps you took to address the situation or challenge. If it was carried out by a team, focus on your personal input.
Share the outcome you reached through your actions. Quantifying your answer will make it sound more compelling.
By using these components in your answer, it will be easier for the employer to understand what transpired. Thus, believe you are capable for the job.
How to Answer Interview Questions Using STAR Method
Knowing what the STAR method means doesn’t necessarily mean you can easily come up with perfect anecdote to use. Below is how the STAR interview method work.
1. Look for a Perfect Example
The first step you should take when attempting to answer interview questions using the STAR interview method is by looking for perfect examples to use. It will be totally off to use irrelevant anecdotes when attempting your answers. Besides, you can have multiple experiences on the situation, but you need to use the perfect anecdote that addresses the situation in a positive way.
Before going for the interview, it is best you reflect on your past experience to note some situations you encountered that were tough but memorable. The questions that you will be asked are most times related to those situations.
You can also go through our behavioral interview questions.
2. Create the Scene (Situation)
After you have selected the anecdote to go with, it’s time for you to create the scene. When laying the situation, it can be tempting to include extraneous details.
Your goal is to create a clear picture of the situation you are emphasizing and its complexities in a concise way.
For example if you are asked “Tell me about a time when you performed well under enormous pressure”
Situation – “One time, at my last job, my coworker had a family emergency and needed to miss work for some time, and their super-important project was left unfinished and without a manager.”
3. Talk about the Task
You are not just going to jump into the results; you need to talk about your involvement in the situation. This will make the interviewer know where you fit in.
Task – “My supervisor instructed me to take on the project, and with no leniency on the deadline, I had days to complete a project that originally should have taken several weeks.”
Now that you’ve given the interviewer an insight on your involvement in the situation, you should talk about the steps you took that resolve the problem or reached the goal.
This is an opportunity to showcase some of your abilities. Try as much as you can to provide detailed information on what you did rather than giving vague response.
Action – “I requested and was granted a reduction in my weekly goals, allotting me more time to attack the special project. As far as my weekly goals, I was able to delegate them out evenly to some of my teammates.”
5. Provide the results
Finally, this is your time to shine and explain the difference you were able to achieve. The final phase of you answer should share the results of the action you took. A positive results though, not a negative one.
Even if the situation was about a time you failed, you shouldn’t completely lay out how you failed. You are to talk about how you failed but emphasize on the lessons you learnt and how it helped you improve.
Result – “With the reduction in my daily goals, I was able to dedicate more time to the special project. This allowed me to finish it on time and with complete accuracy. My supervisor appreciated my attitude and drive, and I was given several more projects after that, along with an eventual promotion and pay raise.”
The STAR interview technique is an effective technique you can use to answer behavioral interview questions. Make sure that your answers are honest and share only positive outcomes.
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