It’s impossible to predict exactly what you’ll be asked during your next job interview – but you can make a list of potential questions. Among them are those that are behavior-based. These questions help evaluate how you have handled certain situations in the past and what you would do if faced with similar ones in the future.
Applying a method known by its acronym, STAR, you can be ready to take behavioral interview questions by storm.
- S is for “situation.” This is where you answer a question about your past performance by setting the scene and providing relevant details.
- T is for “task.” Here’s where you describe in concise detail what you were asked to do and what your responsibility involved.
- A is for “action.” At this point, you explain the steps you took to address your task.
- R is for “results.” Last but not least, you share the positive outcomes that resulted from your actions.
Include the “who, what, where, when” and “how” as you describe a situation.
In advance of your interview, review the job description and brainstorm what types of situations you may be asked about. After you’ve narrowed down your list, prepare some responses. Then, rehearse them with a career coach or a trusted friend.
- You don’t know what you might be asked, so have a few stories and examples in mind. You can always tweak them as needed.
- Set the scene. Paint a picture of a situation and emphasize any unique challenges or circumstances. This will make the results you describe later on even more impressive.
- Keep it simple. Too much detail is just that: too much. For each letter of the four letters in STAR, limit your response to one or two sentences.
Don’t confuse “task” with “action.”
“Task” applies to the specifics regarding what your responsibilities were in a certain situation and any objectives that were set for you. Succinctly outline these before you lead into what you actually accomplished.
When you segue from “task” into “action:”
- Describe the steps you took to reach a goal or solve a problem. Provide specific details in order to give your message the most impact.
- Showcase your contributions and the value you added. Once again, it’s all about details. For instance, did you work with a certain team or type of software? Use this information, along with as many numbers and statistics as possible, to drive your message home.
And now, for your big finish …
End on a high note by sharing how you made a positive difference by achieving or exceeding desired results.
- Even if you’re asked about a time when you failed at something, focus on the positive. Talk about what you learned or what subsequent steps you initiated to make improvements. Drive home the point that what you did mattered.
If prepping for a job interview sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. But with the help of an experienced career counselor, you can set your concerns to rest. Contact PrideStaff Fresno today – not just to find the next opportunity that’s right for you, but also to help ensure that you’re ready to nail it, from interview readiness through negotiating job offers and transitioning into a new role. We’re here to help you make it happen in 2020!