The hiring process is stressful. In fact, 73 percent of job seekers say finding a new job is one of the most stressful thing in life. But, there is one way to reduce anxiety during this process. If you master the STAR Method, you will be prepared for any type of interview, including a phone or video one. Here’s how to use the STAR Method to help you land your next job.
What is the STAR Method?
According to Indeed, the STAR Method—Situation, Task, Action, and Result—is an interview technique that helps you prepare for behavioral and situational interview questions. This allows you to leverage your past experiences and knowledge into clear, concise, and concrete answers. In each part, you have a different objective that turns your interview response into a compelling narrative about your qualifications.
First, you need to provide context. Just like a story begins by including the setting and characters, your answer needs to clearly describe the situation. Here, you say what has prepared you to take on whatever challenge or issue the interviewer is asking about.
For example, here is a common behavioral question used: “Tell me about an occasion when you had to complete a task under a tight deadline.” Using the STAR Method, you would begin your response by replying, “During my time as an engineer with my last company, often we faced tight deadlines to complete tasks…”
Remember, you just need to set the stage. The information you provide here should be as brief as possible.
Next, you want to describe your responsibility in the situation. In other words, you need to explain why you were asked to complete any objective. You can build upon your answer from above by adding, “As the sole engineer at the start-up, I was often required to juggle many projects with various deadlines.”
Now, you want to explain how you fixed the situation. What actions did you take? I know we’re taught to be humble, but now isn’t the time. Instead, brag about what you did to complete the task at hand.
“Often, I would prioritize projects depending on there severity. There were many instances where revenue-generating projects had to become the focus, because we were a growing company.”
Finally, what happened because of your actions? How did you move the needle for your organization. Here, it’s best to use hard data to showcase your accomplishments. “Through my ability to multi-task, juggle tasks, and prioritize, our company increased overall revenue by X% last year.”
How to Master the STAR Method
You can use the STAR Method during the interview process by preparing answers in advance. Here’s how:
- Review the job description and required skills. Once you do this, leverage your past experiences to envision what issues they may be facing as a company that requires the position you want to be filled. This will help you better tailor your accomplishments to the business’ needs.
- Write various answers. Perfect practice makes perfect, so create different questions. Then, write responses to these scenarios. The more prepared you are, the less anxious you’ll be during the interview.
- Rehearse your answers out loud. While this may seem silly, it’s a critical part of the process. The act of saying your answers out loud will help you feel comfortable with the answers. Also, you’ll be able to find out where you need to edit. If there are parts that continue to trip you up when you’re speaking, you should revise them.
Common Behavioral Questions
Here’s a list of common behavioral interview questions you can use to help you master the STAR Method:
- What’s been the toughest criticism you received so far in your career? What did you do with it?
- Can you tell us about a time you took initiative on a project or a task at work?
- How do you approach a task that you’ve never done before?
- Was there ever a time you had to work with someone who’s personality was very different from yours? Can you tell me about how that affected your work?
- Describe a time when you had to manage numerous responsibilities. How did you handle that?
- Which style of supervision do you prefer, close or loose? Why?
- Describe a time when you and your boss disagreed about the best course of action. What did you do?
- Was there ever a time you made a mistake at work? How did you handle it?
If you’re looking for a new job, you should consider reaching out to Applied Resource Group. As Atlanta’s top staffing firm, we can connect with you now and start conversations that can lead to a lot of places that you wouldn’t have even known about. Plus, incorporating the STAR Method into your interviews will help you ace any interview you have!