Job Seeker Sample S-A-R Response for Behavioral Interviews

Randall Hansen
by Randall Hansen   Career Advice Expert 

Knowing how to to respond to an S-A-R-geared question (Situation – Action – Result) in an interview is incredibly important. These types of questions are common in job interviews. Below is a behavioral-based interview question, with guidance on how to use the S-A-R method to respond.

Behavioral job interview question:

“Some people consider themselves to be “big picture people” and others are detail oriented. Which are you? Given an example that illustrates your preference.”

Using the S-A-R approach to answer the behavioral interview question:

Job seeker analysis:
This interview question appears straightforward — its goal is to know whether a candidate is an idea person who thinks global solutions or someone who is a master at drawing up detailed plans. In this case — hiring for an executive vice-president position — the job seeker believes the employer is looking for someone with both sets of skills — and he/she wants to relate an experience that showcases both.

Here is how the question was answered using the S-A-R approach.

  • Situation:
    I was hired as marketing director at a floundering start-up with expectations to turn operations — sales and revenues — around.
  • Action:
    Once I was hired I took a few weeks to study all aspects of the business and to sit down and talk with all the key players. I also conducted some primary research of our consumers while they were on the site. After the initial analysis I made some immediate tweaks to solve some of the major issues I found that detracted from sales. Once that patch was in place I took the analysis much deeper into the core of the site and buying decision — and deep into the websites of our key competitors.
  • Result:
    Over the course of six months, I increased the customer conversion rate by 20-fold to slightly more than 20 percent — and the numbers continue to improve.

This is just one example of using the S-A-R approach to answer behavioral-based interview questions. Below are a few more resources to check out for additional guidance:

And if you’re still applying for jobs and need help with your resume and cover letter, consider putting LiveCareer’s Resume Builder and Cover Letter Builder to work!

About the Author

Career Advice Expert

Randall Hansen Career Advice Expert

Dr. Randall S. Hansen is the founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the web, as well CEO of Dr. Hansen is a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles to his name. He is frequently quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country; he is also an educator who has taught at the college level for more than 15 years.


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