Today’s article was written by Melanie Pinola.
Interviewers often ask candidates to prove their potential value to a company with behavioral job interview or competency-based questions. You have to tell a story—your story of achievement. Don’t let the pressure get to you; just remember to use the STAR method.
The STAR model is a framework for answering questions that start like this: “Describe the most difficult/interesting/rewarding…” or “Give me an example where you…” with a short story. As we’ve noted previously, STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result:
1. Situation: Open with a brief description of the Situation and context of the story (who, what, where, when, how).
2. Task: Explain the Task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (eg deadlines, costs, other issues).
3. Action: Describe the specific Actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.)
4. Result: Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.
Self-improvement blog Upgrade Reality offers more insight into how you should use STAR during an interview. Tips, for example, include keeping your STAR story to 1 to 3 minutes tops, emphasizing measurable (rather than subjective) results, and adding a simple statement at the end to reinforce the message (e.g., “We worked hard, but it was worth it.”).
The most important tip is to make sure your story is tied back to the character traits the interviewer is looking for (e.g., dedication or teamwork).
See all eight levels of STAR mastery by clicking on this article.