Published: 10 May 2021
The Star Interview Technique provides a methodical step-by-step approach to answering behavioural and situational type interview questions. Have you ever been asked in a job interview a question that starts with “Tell me about a time you did blank?” You were probably being asked a competency question. These types of questions are employed by hiring managers to gather insights on how candidates would react to certain situations, by asking for real-world examples to back-up their claims.
Notably, candidates of varying seniority are often thrown by these types of questions, but don’t let their open-ended nature allow you to panic. The STAR interview technique is a highly effective method to employ as it ensures the user’s answer is clear, focused and concise. At Raymond George Consultancy, we wanted to delve deeper into the STAR interview technique and how it can help our candidates perform better in interview situations, securing their next role.
Situation, Task, Approach and Results.
A simple, structured formula designed to help you answer interview questions in alignment with the job description and transferable skills you hold.
Certainly, it can be difficult to know which of your working examples are relevant to specific questions. You want to demonstrate all of your great abilities, so how can you possibly find an all-encompassing example?
The STAR interview technique helps you form a structured answer that allows you to convey various skills at once. Moreover, this approach also helps make sure that you answer the question at hand, not the question you’ve rehearsed an answer to.
Let’s take the example of:
“Why do you want to work here”
You are highly likely to be asked a behavioural-style question like this for a staffing role as it gives a clear indication of your character motivations. But there’s no need to worry. You can calmly prepare for this type of question using the STAR approach.
Start by researching the services, missions and workplace culture of the company you are applying to, this way the interviewer can see that you have taken the time to research the business - you are a prepared and organised individual. For example:
“As I think about my next career move, it is really important to me that I work with a company that holds strong values. The company culture and staff development opportunities available here really speaks to me. That’s why you’re at the top of my list.”
From this response, the interviewer can see that you have applied to their company after careful selection, not on a whim. Moreover, highlighting how your own personal goals are similar to aspects of their company mission is also a great way to subtly signal why you are the perfect fit for the role.
Without a doubt, it can be hard to strike a happy medium between being confident in your abilities and demonstrating self awareness. Often, people are most uncomfortable when asked to pick an example of personal success. For example, questions such as:
“Can you give me an example of when you successfully led a team?”
When an interviewer asks a question such as this, they’re looking for two main things - a demonstration of your skill(s) and an insight into your personal attributes. You can use the STAR technique to answer this question comfortably.
Situation - Identify when you led your own team of recruiters to a successful outcome.
Task- What was the specific task or responsibility you had? Try to keep this concise so you can focus most of your answer detailing your exemplary actions.
Action - Describe what you did to complete the task. Although it is great to point out instances of teamwork, this question specifically asks for leadership examples. Therefore, employing the first-person pronoun “I”, rather than “we” provides a strong and confident tone- you are the reason for the team's success.
Result - Explain the outcomes of the task. You may also give a great indicator of your character by not only detailing your accomplishments, but adding what you learned or would change next time you face a similar circumstance. Collectively, this should look like this:
“I’ve always been a great leader. With over 10 years of staffing experience in the Canadian market, I’ve been able to exceed my KPIs year on year. I look back at those accolades and recognise that I would not have been able to achieve such success if I hadn’t built a team of diverse and highly skilled individuals. During my time as Manager, I have conducted 360 reviews where I gave constructive feedback to my team, helping implement personal development plans and future training.”
By using the power of hindsight in your response, you are able to elicit a genuine insight into your character - you’re confident in your abilities but you are also willing to learn and develop with the company.
The STAR technique can help staffing candidates to prepare considered and appropriate examples to demonstrate skills and experience that would be transferable to a new role. It helps to formulate clear, concise examples of abilities enabling candidates to feel confident in their response.
At Raymond George, we recognise that you can’t prepare for every possible question. However, you can be prepared to answer behavioural questions that require examples of work situations from a previous job that highlight your specific skills and experiences and indicate why you would be a great team member.
Need further interview advice? Raymond George is on a mission to connect those talented in the staffing sector with opportunities to flourish. Speak to a member of our team for more information today!