How to Ace Interviews with the STAR Method

How to Ace Interviews with the STAR Method

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What is the STAR Method and When You Should Use?

In short, the STAR method is a structured answer that can be used to answer most behavioral interview questions. Here’s what it stands for: (S) Situation - What’s the context? Describe the situation or the background first. (T) Task - Talk about your responsibilities or the tasks you had to complete (i.e. what was the challenge for the specific task?)

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What is the STAR Method and When You Should Use?

(A) Action - How did you fix the situation? Describe your process and the steps you took. (R) Results - Describe the results of your actions. If possible, use numbers or hard data (e.g. by what % did you increase the overall sales? What changed?). While you can use the STAR method for ANY interview question, it’s most useful for answering behavioral interview questions.

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What is the STAR Method and When You Should Use?

So, what ARE behavioral interview questions, exactly? In short, they’re just like any interview question, but their main focus is on real-life work situations.Makes sense, right? Now, here are a few examples of what those questions might look like: – Can you give me an example of when you had to take charge in your previous position? 

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What is the STAR Method and When You Should Use?

What happened and how did you react? – Tell me about a time when you were faced with a tight deadline. Did you still manage to complete your tasks? How? – Have you ever set specific goals for yourself at work? How did you make sure you would meet your objectives?

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

1) Keep It Relevant Sounds obvious, right? But here’s the thing: Even if you’re following the STAR formula down to the T, it won’t amount to much if your answer is not relevant. Think about this: what are you trying to communicate with your answer? Ideally, it should be related to your position and show that you come 

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

equipped with skills that will be helpful in the job you’re seeking. For example: if you’re applying for a job in graphic design, you wouldn’t start talking about your greatest accomplishment in accounting, right? If your answer is not relevant for the job, it basically doesn’t even count.

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

2) Have a Few Examples Ready There’s no way for you to know in advance what type of behavioral interview question the interviewer will ask. But it’s still a good idea to have a few examples ready that follow the STAR method. This way, you can tweak and adapt your answer on the go depending on the question. Keep in mind, though, that 

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

your answers shouldn’t be a word-for-word memorized script. You’ll want to sound natural when answering. And if you’re having a hard time coming up with an answer during the interview, don’t be afraid to ask for a minute to come up with an example. It’s ok to take a few seconds and structure your answer in your head first. If 

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

anything, the HR manager might appreciate that you’re not rushing in your answers.

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

3) Give Proper Context Imagine you’re telling a story about how you saved a client’s project at the last minute. You swooped in, took charge, and made sure everyone knew what to do. That’s awesome! That’s what the interviewer wants to know about. However, you don’t have to: – Go in-depth about how you found the client in the first place.

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

– Describe your whole working relationship with them from the beginning till the end. – Give their whole backstory and explain why you’re such good friends with the client. As we mentioned before, your answer should be relevant and straight to the point. So, when talking about the situation, try to only summarize the buildup to your story in only 1-2 sentences.

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

4) Show Your Work Finally, it’s your time to brag a bit. Don’t be afraid to go all out and show how you made a difference.  Make sure to mention the following: – What kind of impact did your actions have on your department/company? – What were the EXACT results? use numbers and data to back it up.

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4 Tips on Getting the Most Out of the STAR Method

– What did you learn from the experience? No interviewer will be satisfied with a lackluster ending like “Yeah so, and then, we finished the project in time, and everyone lived happily ever after” See how boring that sounds? Even if the ending of your story isn’t all that amazing, you can at least say what you learned.

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