Star Interviewing

It’s that time again: your next job interview. With all of this information that you’ve prepared running through your mind on a continuous loop, how do you take this mess of information and organize it in such a way that you’re able to express yourself to your interviewer in a positive and informative way? There are many different techniques that interviewees use during their Q&A sessions, but the easiest one to follow and remember is STAR interviewing.

Breaking Down the STAR of STAR Interviewing

With countless studies done on using acronyms in memorization, there is no questioning their effectiveness. Trying to bring an answer to your memory is easy when you have something concrete that you can associate it with. When you think of a specific word and can break it down to subsequent words and meanings, you are able to bring those things or, in this case, this method to your remembrance. STAR interviewing is broken down into four major parts: the S, the T, the A and, finally, the R.

1. With the S portion of STAR, you are focusing first on a situation. When interviewers pose a question to you, they generally want the most crucial information that you have, not the fluffy stuff. Using the STAR process, when asked “what are your greatest professional strengths?” you would first share a short experience that would amplify or show-off your workplace abilities. For example, you could respond with something like “when I first was hired at my previous job, the filing system was a mess. My boss didn’t know what to do and everything seemed very chaotic.” You are basically setting the stage to answering an often boring question with a notable and unforgettable response.

2. Following the stage-setting S portion of the STAR interviewing process comes the T. In this acronym, T stands for task. Once you’ve led with what the background situation was, you need to show what task was needed to handle that circumstance. To continue on with the scenario above, this part would go something like “it was clear that something needed to be done about the filing system and, as a start-up company, we were on a strict budget and a tight deadline to get things under control.” Describing the task that needed to be completed shows the interviewer exact challenges that you faced in order to handle the situation that you listed above.

3. After laying down the task at hand, it’s time to show the action that you took, or the A portion. This is where you explain exactly how you went about tackling that circumstance and what type of skills and talents of yours that it took to do so. Following the above setting, you could answer with “I decided to take initiative and put my excellent organizing skills to good use. I delegated a few tasks out to some other team members and got the ball rolling.”

4. Last but not least, you have the R: result. As possibly the most informative portion of the STAR interviewing technique, the results of your performance laid out above show the impact that your efforts had both at your previous job and what it could be if you went to work for the company that you’re interviewing with. Make sure that you end with a bang by highlighting your superior results and including data, if possible. A good answer could be “not only was I able to get the filing system under control, I was able to do it with time to spare and came in under budget.”

Face Your Behavioral Interview Questions Dead On

While there are many methods to nailing your next interview, consider those techniques, such as the STAR interviewing process, that will enable you to answer questions quickly, easily and get your point across clearly. Another means of approaching the behavioral interview questions is to follow the SHARE model. Similar to the STAR acronym, SHARE helps you to build your response in a brick-by-brick pattern.

  • S: Describe your specific workplace situation
  • H: Talk about any hindrances that were faced
  • A: In detail, explain the action that you took
  • R: justify your actions by expounding upon their results
  • E: give a thorough evaluation of what you took away from that experience

Using acronyms during your interview process is an excellent way to keep cool under pressure. With the STAR interviewing system, you are guaranteed to come out of your interview on top.

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