Imagine this: you’re at a job interview, it’s going pretty well, you’ve successfully answered all the questions and when you are about to pat yourself on the back, an interviewer on the panel says, ‘Tell us about a time in your job when you solved a problem.’
You feel your mouth getting dry. Your stomach churns. You start thinking, scanning your brain for scenarios you can use. You didn’t see this one coming, did you? Cringe!
Here’s the deal: most recruiters expect you to have garnered more experience, they want to have an idea of how you were able to excel at your previous job(s).
To impress them and answer their questions without sounding incompetent, you need to use the STAR technique.
The STAR technique is a proven method to help you excel at your interview(s), as it enables you to tackle and answer those incredibly tough questions that often make the average candidate flounder.
Here is how to use the STAR technique:
Set the scene by stating the context of the challenge you experienced. Give some background on the case to provide context. An example of this could be a time when you had a conflict with a tough senior colleague.
This denotes what your responsibility in the situation was. Describe in detail what your role was, so your interviewer can get a clear picture. It could be that you had to resolve the issue (stated above) with the senior colleague without letting your differences get in the way of your job.
Here, you need to explain what you did and how you were able to tackle the challenge. Focus more on what you did and how you did it, so the interviewer(s) can fully appreciate your efforts. Remember, the interview is about you.
Lastly, explain in detail, what the outcomes and results your actions were. Give concrete and honest examples and explanations. Emphasize your achievements, as well as the lessons you learned. Where necessary, you can give figures and numbers.
It’s essential to give your examples in a compelling and detailed manner, to avoid rambling and sounding incoherent.
Have you ever been faced with a tough interview question? How did you handle it? (We know this sounds like another interview question ?)