The STAR method to answer behavioural questions in an Interview
You may have heard or read about the STAR method of answering behavioral-based interview questions. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. This method is used to answer behavioural questions in an interview. It’s a way of structuring your answer so that it answers the question directly and clearly, it helps you as well to organise your answer so that it flows logically and makes sense.
The acronym stands for situation (S), task (T), action taken (A), result(s) (R). each of these components would be explained in detail.
So what should you do when you recieve a behavioural question during the job interview that require you to implement the STAR method? think about the main sections of the STAR method that we mentioned previously in the acronym and try to adapt your answer to it.
Describe the situation that you were in and what was required of you. This could be anything from a team project to an individual task, but it needs to be relevant and specific.
It is meant to get you talking about an experience you've had in the past. The interviewer wants to know how you handle certain situations and what your thought process is when faced with them which is important because this type of question could be asked at any time during the interview process (not just at its end).
Describe what your responsibility was in that situation, in order to solve or tackle the situation, you have decided after studying it to transform it into a task with proper description, timeframe, steps, etc
What did you do?
How did you do it?
Why did you do it?
The results are the benefits you gained from the action, which can be quantified if possible. For example: "I increased sales by 20%."
A STAR method example answer
if you reached by far this point in the article, you might have a good idea about the STAR method, but it is not yet clear how to put that in a real world example . Here is a real world example of how this method can be applied to answer a typical interview question about your work experience.
Interviewer: Tell me about a challenge you have faced, how did you overcome it?
Situation: "Well, during my last year in college I was working part-time as an intern for a small company. One day I came into work and realized that there were no tasks assigned to me for the day because all my coworkers were busy with other projects, I felt at beginning stressed and did not know what to do"
Task: finding some tasks to be done to make the best use of time
Action: " I wasn’t sure what to do, I decided to take this opportunity to do a few things:
I decided to start working on some of the projects that my coworkers had left unfinished. I was able to complete two tasks before lunchtime, which gave me some breathing room and allowed me the opportunity to ask for help from the other interns who were not busy with anything.
I spent the rest of the day organizing my workspace and making sure that all of my tools were in order. This allowed me to be more efficient when working on other projects later in the week.
I also took some time to think about what tasks needed to be done, and how I could complete them quickly".
Result: "my stress was gone, and I was happy to make useful and productive tasks, next day, my coworkers and my chef were happy and admired what I did the day before!"
Sample behavioral interview questions you can answer using STAR
Here are some of the most common behavioral questions you might get in an interview and can use the STAR method for:
What is an example of a time when you had to make an important decision?
Tell me about a challenge you have faced, how did you overcome it ?
Tell me about a setback you have faced, how did you handle it ?
Tell me about a mistake you made, what happened and what did you learn from it?
Tell me about a time when you disagreed with someone, how did you handle the situation? how did it end? and was you satisfied with the result?
Tell me about a time when you Influenced a team
So, there you have it. The STAR method in a nutshell. It's not just a great way to answer behavioral-based questions; it also helps you organize your thoughts and prepare for the interview. Remember that STAR stands for Situation ,Task, Action taken by you and Result(s).
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