How to Prepare for In-person Job Interviews Using the STAR Technique
Preparing for in-person job interviews can sometimes seem overwhelming. It can be challenging to predict which questions the interviewer will ask, how to respond without overselling yourself or sounding arrogant, and which anecdotes to give that are relevant.
If you want to succeed in an in-person job interview, prepare yourself by remembering the word STAR, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. The STAR technique will help you answer any behavioural questions you will be asked at the interview.
Firstly, it’s important to give some background information on the story you’re telling. Providing context for the situation you’re describing will make your answer a lot more thorough. It’s important to be specific but not drag your answer out for so long that the interviewer loses interest. One or two sentences providing details will suffice.
Once you’ve set the scene, help the interviewer understand what you were responsible for in the situation you’re describing. Detailing the task you were responsible for will indicate how you went above and beyond what you were supposed to do.
Then, talk about what you did to excel in that situation. For example, if the story you’re telling is about your boss giving you the task of hitting a sales target, mention how you were able to not only reach hit the target but exceed it. When discussing the action portion of the STAR technique, ensure you’re only talking about what you as an individual did. Although it’s important to be a team player and show you can successfully collaborate with your co-workers, you don’t want to make it seem like you’re a follower. If you started every sentence with “We did this,” try to re-focus and start saying “I did this.”
Lastly, conclude by providing the outcome of the situation, task, and action. If you can provide numerical evidence of what you did, consider that a bonus. For example, if you were tasked with getting a client more followers on social media, try to remember how many followers your client gained. This extra detail will impress your potential employer even further. It’s important to note what you did and also what you learned. Describing a learning experience and not just an accomplishment will help the interviewer understand you better.
Most interviewers ask similar questions so you can prepare yourself for an interview by researching common interview questions and contemplating your answers. Writing down your responses or even recording yourself telling the story can help immensely. These questions include:
- Describe a time you had to complete multiple tasks under a tight deadline. How did you prioritize?
- What have you done in the past when a colleague doesn’t pull their weight in group work?
- How have you used logic to solve a problem?
- What’s a goal you’ve had and how did you reach it?
- How do you react when your schedule is interrupted?
Job interviews can be nerve-wracking—the best way to deal with this is to ensure you’re totally prepared. Read over your resume and cover letter multiple times, research the company you’re interviewing with, and come up with answers for behavioural questions using the STAR technique. If you need extra help on your job hunt, WorkBC Vancouver City Centre operated by FSGV is here to help with a myriad of services for job seekers, including free workshops like resume writing and interview techniques.