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How to use the STAR Interview Response Method

Acing an Interview is undoubtedly a crucial element to succeeding in your career and moving up the ranks. In this blog, we will tell you…


Acing an Interview is undoubtedly a crucial element to succeeding in your career and moving up the ranks.

In this blog, we will tell you how to use the STAR Interview Response Method.

You enter the HR Room, and the interview is going well. You are confident and exude the demeanor of someone who is well prepared but!- but the question comes

  • What do you do when…..
  • Have you ever…..
  • Describe a….

A question about your personal anecdote arises, and your palms start to get a sweaty and heavy breath. There is some silence, and then you come up with something, but usually, with being put on the spot and chills of anxiety, the response is not satisfactory. 

This is a situation no interviewee wants to face, and an excellent solution for this is the star method. 

Let’s dive right in 

What is the STAR Method

Situation- It is a description of the challenge or conflict you faced. For example, You were Interning with an event management firm and were assigned the task of getting flowers delivered to the correct address, but well, it went wrong when the address you gave was different.

The situation you choose can be drawn from experiences of work, Internship, and, if suited, can be personal as well but remember relevancy and honesty are the key components to this.

Task- This is your cue to showcase the responsibility you took over the situation. 

Example- You took up the task of getting the flowers delivered to the correct address.

Action- This encompasses the series of events that took place in order to emerge victorious from the situation. Make sure it comes from a position of responsibility and not arrogance. The answers should not be too in-depth or too detailed, and honest action taken in the need of crisis is a crucial element in identifying your skills of problem-solving and decision making.

Example- You first informed your guide regarding the position you are in and apologized, and then contacted the delivery personnel in charge, knowing that they delivered the flowers to the wrong address and the vehicle had already taken off; you take the sole responsibility of driving there and getting the flowers as you assess the urgency of the situation.  

Result- It explains the outcome of the actions you took. It emphasizes what you have accomplished and learned. Dishing out the results is your time to shine and explain how you made a positive difference. Make sure it is positive and indulges in highlighting your virtues. 

Example- The guide was impressed by your dedication, and the delivery was finally made at the right place and time. 

The STAR method is key to cracking behavioral competency questions. 

Components of “How do you use the STAR method effectively.”

As sir Albert Einstein believes the only source of knowledge is experienced, we shall be applying this theory to use by utilizing our experiences in the Interview preparation process.

  • Make a list of Job Qualifications-

Enlisting your skills and experiences and then analyzing them as to which ones suit you best for which job will help you highlight your qualities and leave the Interviewer in awe, let’s hope so.

Example- 

Interview Question – “Describe an Anecdote where your skill set helped you save the day.”

For

 An Art Gallery Assistant position-

“There was this one time where I was the guide for an exhibition for a particular section. The person who was supposed to take the tour forward to the next section fell sick, and as the exhibition had already started, I gathered my sources and researched the paintings left. I quickly memorized the content and presented the paintings of that section at the last moment. Later the person who was holding the exhibition thanked me and offered me one of the paintings that did not make it to the exhibition and paid me a handsome bonus for all the good work.”

An HR position-

“During the Pandemic, our business was falling short, and well, people were still conducting functions, this one time, we had a huge project in hand but the company? Understaffed. I had always kept in contact and been there for people who needed help with anything. I remembered there was this one time when I interned with an NGO. It had a good amount of volunteers, so I arranged a drive where the volunteers would help us with the event, and later we gave them the leftover resources like fabrics and food, which later helped underprivileged children in need as that was the purpose of the NGO.”

  • List of Examples

Considering specific examples of events that display your skills by identifying and naming the situation, task, action, and result will help you not get cold feet during the interview.

  • Make a list of common behavioral Interview Questions.

These would include questions relating to Teamwork, Stress, Self-Knowledge, and other behavioral-related concepts. 

Examples-

  • Tell us about a situation that highlighted your ability to strengthen team and leadership skills.
  • When was the last time you made a professional mistake, and how did you rectify it?
  • Give an Anecdote that highlights your decision-making skills.
  • Give an example of when you did not meet your goals and why?
  • Have you ever delayed decision-making on an important task at hand, and why?
  • Identifying the Issue at hand

As a professional in any organization, you must realize that various tasks require distinct actions. The lifecycle of an Issue ranges from Early, Emerging, Current, Crisis, and Dormant.

Try to avoid highlighting your role in dormant issues, as this is the deep end where the entire organization is at risk.

Example- Remember the Instagram outage and the outrage that followed? Well, mentioning how you were responsible for it if you were, wouldn’t be such a good idea.

Examples of effective usage of the STAR technique

(Interview Questions and Answers Using STAR Method)- 

Example question 1- What is your plan of action when an employee under your command constantly delays tasks?

Example Answer 1- “I believe in Extreme ownership; hence if such a situation arises, I would not humiliate or trash talk to the Individual responsible but first focus on accomplishing the task. For example, one time, there was a creative argument between the Social Media Optimization personnel of the organization I was working with back then, so I effectively put forward my communication skills and asked them to prioritize the company over their creative differences. Later, after finally completing the task, they thanked me for putting a third person’s point of view and keeping the organization’s interest first.”

Why does this work? 

This highlights your role in conflict management, communication, and a negotiator.

Example Question 2- Was there ever a time you let a personal conflict affect your work?

Example Answer 2- “Once, when I was working from home during the pandemic, the scenario was making me feel exhausted and paranoid, but I remembered about a Behavioral science course I took during college and applied the General Adaptation Syndrome(GAS) model and identified my body was in resistance stage. I then and there decided to make certain changes in my life and took up meditation and working out at least half an hour a day. Later, while reviewing the Quarterly Reports, my boss noticed the increased productivity and performance, and I received a bonus and did not let my personal chaos bring me down.”

Why does this work? 

This makes the Interviewer perceive you as an individual who keeps an eye for detail, is action-oriented, and is a hard worker. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Do situational Analyses from experiences and highlight the positive outcomes.
  •  Journal about important events that put your skills in the foreground.
  • Remember, every question gives you ample options to pick from. Preparing in advance will only make you more confident and calm.

Now that it is your turn to apply the STAR method

I would like to hear your experiences with such questions and how you tackled them.

BeyondGrades

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