Use the STAR Method in Your Next Job Interview

STARInterviews can be demanding and challenging even for the most seasoned professional. In truth, you hope that you only experience a handful of them throughout your career. Rather than trying to memorize tons of answers in anticipating an interviewer’s questions, try this approach. It is called the STAR method and it will help you focus on just the right answers without having to keep too much information stored in your memory ahead of time. It allows you to create a better response to often difficult behavioral interview questions. Let’s take a closer look.


A behavioral interview question is going to start with a phrase like, “Tell me about a time when.” This gives you the scenario and situation in the question. Apply your answer to an actual example from your career that will inform the interviewer about the background of the particular situation. Providing a little background will help frame the story a narrative, which is engaging to the listener and will keep them interested.


In some cases, the question may not prompt a specific situation. It may be more general about a task you performed in your last job and whether or not you’re proficient in it. The same general approach still applies. Rather than answering the question, reframe it to talk a little more about the task. This will give the interviewer a sense that you have a grasp on the skill and can benefit their company with your knowledge.


The next step, whether discussing a situation or a task, is to describe the actions that you took to solve the problem or complete the process. What you want to focus on is your specific contribution. Even if you’re discussing a group project, the most important details are about your participation. And be sure to tell them about what you’ve actually done, not about what you might do in a similar situation.


To tie up the answer, it needs to end with the result of your actions. Describe what happened when you took the action to complete the project or the process. Talk a little about what you learned from it and what you might do differently if you had a chance to do it again. Don’t be afraid to talk about your accomplishments in a positive way, it isn’t bragging. The company wants to hear why you will be a benefit to them, so tell them how you can bring your skills to their table. Whenever you can, tie in actual numbers because those are easy to understand across any industry.

Whether you’re an experienced professional looking to branch out, a recent graduate or simply curious about new career opportunities, let CornerStone Staffing help. Contact our great team of recruiters today to work with a top staffing agency in Dallas.


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