Incorporate the STAR Method Into Your Next Interview
Hiring managers tend to utilize behavioral-based interview questions, in which they request candidates to give them past examples of how they handled situations or practiced skills. Having a framework for crafting your responses can ensure you tell a story in an informative, compelling and concise manner – even if you’re also trying to keep your nerves under control. An effective way to craft your answers to behavioral-based interview questions is the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Learn more about how to incorporate the STAR method into your next interview:
The first step in the STAR method refers to Situation. Start by discussing the details of a particular instance to give any context the interviewer would need, such as where and when the situation took place.
After providing the relevant information to set up the story, then describe the Task that was required of you in the example. Be brief, and explain the expectations of what was to be completed in one to two sentences.
Then, discuss the specific Action necessary to successfully complete the task. Communicate the specific step-by-step process to ensure the interviewer has a full understanding of your role.
Finish your response by elaborating on the end Result of the example for which you are describing. Include any quantifiable achievements, as well as helpful knowledge you learned that will help you be even more successful in the future.
Example response using the STAR Method:
Tell me about a time in which you were working under pressure and how you handled it.
“When I was an entry-level accountant, my first tax season was working with a very short-staffed team. (Situation). We had an extremely heavy workload, with many customers and of course, strict deadlines for getting all their tax returns prepared. (Task). Since there was no option to de-prioritize any of the workload, I was intentional about taking steps to remain productive and prevent burnout. I committed to only focusing on the work in front of me, rather than multitasking, took breaks so I wouldn’t get mentally fatigued and make mistakes, and celebrated small wins along the way to keep my motivation up. (Action). This helped me to remain level-headed and better able to handle the stress so I could best serve my clients. (Result).
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