Do you struggle to give concise answers to interview questions? Are you unsure how to share your accomplishments during an interview without sounding boastful?
Don’t be afraid of the dark, let’s shed some light on the situation, be the S.T.A.R candidate.
Let’s set the scene, the employer has your CV and cover letter; this confirms your interest and tells them you have the required skills and background for the role. The interview, then, is a critical step for evaluating your thought process, decision making and your interpersonal skills, essentially, it’s an opportunity to dive deeper.
The STAR method (which stands for “Situation, Task, Action, Results”) is a behavioural interviewing technique that can be used to gain those insights. Interview questions using the STAR method urge candidates to tell the full story, focusing on a specific situation and providing details regarding tasks and results.
Answering a STAR question will show a potential employer whether you focus on results, seek out industry knowledge and trends and pursue new opportunities for growth. Another purpose of STAR is to understand a candidate’s ability to tell their story of impact, how they’ve impacted businesses in the past, and how they are going to impact their business in the future. Even if you haven’t had the exact experience necessary for the role, try and draw parallels between past experiences and how they would translate to future success in the role you are interviewing for.
The S.T.A.R breakdown:
If your Interviewer gives you a STAR question here’s King Recruit’s quick guide on how to answer:
Situation – Explain the context, your role and the potential challenge you and the organisation were facing, describe in detail the event or situation you were in.
Task – What specific task were you given, to help your company meet the challenge? Explain the task you had to complete.
Action – What steps did you decide to take and why? How were your actions and decisions received by your co-workers, management or stakeholders? Describe the specific actions you took to complete the task.
Result – What was the outcome of your actions? What difference did you make and what did you learn? Close with the results of your efforts.
Example Question 1: Tell me about a time you had to complete a task under a tight deadline. Describe the situation, and explain how you handled it.
Example Answer 1: While I typically like to plan my work out in stages and complete it piece by piece, I can also achieve strong work results under a tight deadline. Once at a former company, an employee left days before a big project of his was due. I was asked to take it over, with only a few days to learn about and complete the project. I created a task force, delegated work, and we all completed the assignment with a day to spare. I think I tend to thrive under tight deadlines.
Example Question 2: What do you do when a team member refuses to complete his or her portion of the work?
Example Answer 2: When there are team conflicts or issues, I always try my best to step up as team leader if needed. I think my communication skills make me an effective leader and moderator. For example, once I was working on a team project, and two of the team members got into an argument, both refusing to complete their assignments. They were both dissatisfied with their workloads, so I arranged a team meeting where we rearranged the assignments for the team. This made everyone happier and more productive, and our project was a success.
Remember regardless of your answers the interviewer will be looking for you to display a high level of assertiveness, confidence and good decision-making skills, they will take note on how you demonstrated or didn’t demonstrate these characteristics , these are more important than how the situation played out.
If you would like some further interview guidance, or would like to discuss your next strategic career move with us (in confidence), please get in touch with King Recruit on 01392 790725. E:firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.kingrecruit.com
King Recruit is a Management and Executive recruitment specialist based in Exeter, Devon and covering the whole South West region.