Nailing interview questions – the STAR method

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you’ve stumbled, mumbled or just given up on all answers in a job interview? Going for an interview can seem like one of the most overwhelming and stressful situations for some people. However, no matter how traumatic an interview can make you feel, act or react, ensuring you are prepared and answering the questions at hand can be the difference in getting the job.

Job interviewers are purely there to understand and see how you tackle and overcome the questions. Introducing the STAR process into your answers may be the factor which set your constructed and efficient answers aside from the other applicants.

This easy 4-step method will be your life saver in your next interview.

Step 1// Situation – Set the scene

Whether your question from the Interviewer is wanting you to find an example of a crucial time where you showed excellent work or an experience in your chosen industry, remember to choose a scene which acts out an appropriate scenario.

Think, comprehend, then act. If this includes taking a few seconds to think, and then take action! Your interview is time for your interviewer to get to know you, see how you act and work under pressure.

EXAMPLE

“Around 12 months ago, I was a part of a structure that was brought in to improve a company’s strength in their social media awareness and communication between stakeholders. As my role was focusing on the outgoing communication for this company, my target was to increase the overall consumer awareness and response by 25% for the quarter.”

Step 2// Task – Describe the purpose

You then need to identify the key aspects. By doing this you’re letting the interviewer understand your responsibilities and capabilities. This step is critical in linking back into your past experience and what you have the ability to bring into the role you’re applying for. You’re also identifying what you have sound/expert knowledge in.

EXAMPLE

“We identified the last 2 years of greater communication between the company and its consumer, and within that timeframe had no new audience growth.” 

Step 3// Action – Explain what you did

Step 3 is one of the most crucial and yet most forgettable parts when answering a question. It’s the bread to the butter in this instance. Ensuring you explain and provide a reflective summary of what took place.

Providing examples of the situations is the easiest way to excel in this area. Focusing on your effort alone whether it was in a team example or individual efforts.

EXAMPLE

“My work was mainly email communication in designing a campaign which targeted different stakeholder in segments which increased our brand awareness.”

Step 4// Result – Share the outcome

Whether the experience you’re sharing is good or bad, the results section is a reflection of this. You need to reflect on what you learnt or accomplished out of it. And how did this as a result affect  your overall experience?

Another point of sharing the outcome, is whether you could improve, or personally change the situation in the future? Giving examples of how you could apply better outcomes to the results in order to improve the situation.

EXAMPLE

“I started this by looking at the current status and uses of the company. After providing feedback, I looked into finding alternatives and the most specific brand-reach forums to the consumers. Setting this goal of 25% enabled a standard for myself to work towards at the end of every timeframe. Although some didn’t create a reach, it allowed an effective change for the company. It also allowed a change in creating new targets and goals.”

Extending on…

“In looking back at the results of this work now, further consumer-based marketing research could’ve been done. By doing this, it would’ve implemented primary research that may have allowed us to reach our target market faster.”

This article was written by Sophie, one of the genYOU interns.