A former work colleague and friend recently gave me the best interview tip ever!
It’s simple, easy to remember and it works!
It’s called STAR and it will help you to prepare for questions that might come up at interview. It will also help you on the day of the interview itself.
It stands for Situation – Target – Action – Results. It particularly useful if you have a competency based interview, but could apply to other types of interview too.
Basically, when you are asked a question you give an example Situation to set the scene, you say what the Target or aim was (or what the Task was), you say what Actions you took and what the Results were.
Before your interview have a think about what questions you might be asked. As mentioned previously Glassdoor is a great website to check out. Enter the job title in the search bar, press the interview tab and you will be given a list of questions which other job candidates have been asked when going for similar roles.
Then either write down your answers, or rehearse them in your head, using the STAR Technique. Even write down the word STAR on the inside of your hand for the interview itself if it helps to remind you! Or maybe wear a star bracelet, or a star brooch to keep it fresh in your mind. Perhaps a star tie for the guys!
I recently tried this technique and it really works! It’s also good for keeping you focussed. I must admit that I can have a tendency to ramble and go off piste and while I’m rambling I completely forget what the question was and have to ask the interview panel to remind me what they asked. Stick with STAR, it will help keep your nerves in check too.
This technique is good because it encourages you to answer the specific question, in a systematic, methodical way, without forgetting to include all the important stuff.
The Situation would be the campaign or the project you worked on, the Target would be the goal or the aim, then describe the Actions taken and be sure to refer to “I” rather than “we” and finally the positive Results and give numbers, percentages and statistics if you can. You could also add what you learnt from the situation or experience.
So with your next interview give it a try – and let me know if the STAR technique works for you!