Become Adept at Fielding STAR Interview Questions
Preparing for an interview requires a lot of time and effort. Don’t delay preparation if you have an interview coming up. When you know common STAR interview questions, it can really help. So, use this post to recognize when and how to use the STAR model in getting ready for the interview.
A good approach is to practice STAR interview questions. (See typical question list below). Study our tips and examples until they are second nature to you.
Familiar with the STAR interview method?
This post offers examples of STAR interview questions and answers. Read it to become acquainted with the technique. Then you should be prepared for any interview questions that are used in your interview.
Keep in mind that this type of interviewing style is a way for the interviewer to decide if you are right for the available job. So you should learn persuasive answers to common STAR interview questions to impress your interviewer.
So, let’s peel the onion…
STAR Interview Method
Interviewers use the STAR model to ask behavioral questions. In short, your answers to these questions focus on how you behave in real life situations that involve some sort of work problem or issue and how you overcame it.
STAR is an acronym organized around the following:
S – Situation: Describe the situation you were dealing with or the issue
T – Task: Discuss what your task involved in that particular situation
A – Action: Detail what actions you took to resolve this issue
R – Results: Talk about the outcome of the situation and your contribution.
This framework is simple to understand after spending time looking at some STAR method examples. The STAR method of interviewing is a great way to keep your responses structured and focused. In an interview you could go off on a tangent or get ‘long-winded’ when answering questions. But in a STAR interview this is a lot less likely to happen if you follow the framework.
Let’s get into more detail about STAR…
STAR Method Interview
The STAR method, as we mentioned, follows a step-by-step process for answering behavioral interview questions. For instance, here is a common interview question: “Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult issue at work, and what you did to resolve it?”
Let’s discuss it step-by-step.
The first step in answering STAR method interview questions is to describe a situation you have been in. In the case of our example question, we will be describing a time in which we faced a difficult issue at work.
In order to do this, you may need to recall a couple of situations where you faced a problem. Do this during your interview preparation so you aren’t stumped during the interview.
Let’s say you worked as a customer service representative. The difficult issue you faced was engaging with an irate customer whose order is a month overdue.
To answer this interview question, you may say something like this,
“When I worked at Company X as a Customer Service Representative, I dealt with hundreds of customers. One day I received a phone call from a customer who was clearly annoyed they had not received their order which was almost a whole month overdue.”
Once you have described the situation you then discuss the task. You tell the interviewer what your responsibility was in this particular situation.
You might follow on with:
“Since my position entailed resolving customer complaints I listened carefully to the customer and addressed their complaint,”
As you can see, your answer doesn’t need much detail in the “Task” section.
Now you can tell the interviewer what actions and steps you took to address the situation for the annoyed customer. Your answer may go like this.
“Before I took down the customer’s details, I expressed my apology for this issue occurring. To solve this problem I entered their details into the company’s system. I confirmed the order details with the customer, like the delivery address, order date, the products that were ordered etc. Apparently, the order had been delivered to the wrong address. I informed the customer, and assured him that we would send out his order again on that very same day. Also we would add store credit into his account. This satisfied the customer and regained some good will.”
It is advisable when preparing for a STAR format interview that you use situations that show your skills and experience in a positive light. It is wise to describe an example that is easy to follow and talk about.
Finally, when it comes to STAR interview questions, the last phase of your answer is the “result”. This is your chance to really show the interviewer how you were able to turn a negative situation into a positive one.
You may end the answer by saying:
“The customer was very understanding about the mix up, and really appreciated the store credit. He thanked me for my help, and I expressed gratitude to the customer for being so patient. The customer received the product shortly thereafter, and he even wrote about the helpfulness of the staff at Company X.”
You have now succinctly and successfully answered an interview question by using the STAR format to detail each step! Star interview interviews all follow the same approach.
The main thing you need to do to prepare is take some time to think of real life examples. . This can be used as your quick prep sheet. Use a STAR Matrix to write down your answers. On the other hand, you may be asked a question you haven’t specifically prepared for in-depth. However, if you have thought about the situations you have faced at work, you will be able to think of something a lot faster than if you didn’t.
STAR Interview Question Examples
As we mentioned, the STAR method interviewing takes some time to understand and practice. One of the best ways you can prepare for your STAR interview question and answers is to practice lots of different questions.
Here is a list of some of the most common STAR interview questions asked by recruiters in an interview.
- Describe a time you provided great service to a customer or client.
- Can you tell me about a time you faced conflict while working as part of a team?
- With this in mind, how did you resolve this conflict?
- Conversely, tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with that failure?
- Describe your most successful project.
- Tell me about a time you faced a lot of pressure to meet a deadline.
- Detail a time when you made a mistake and how you dealt with it.
- Give an example of a goal you met.
- Can you think of a time you have a disagreement with a manager or supervisor?
- Describe a time when you had to make an unpopular decision.
Additional Typical Recruiter Questions
- Discuss a situation where you had to adapt to your surroundings quickly?
- Can you give an example of how you typically deal with conflict?
- Tell me about a time you used logic and good judgement to solve an issue at work?
- Describe a time when you showed initiative and took the lead on a project.
- Tell me of a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset co-worker.
- Give me an example of a time when you successfully delegated work to a colleague.
- Tell me about a time where you could have handled a situation better?
- Can you think of a time when you motivated a team towards meeting a goal?
- Describe a time you had to use coping skills to deal with a difficult or stressful situation.
You can use the above list to practice for common interview questions. These will focus you to get a good start on interview prep and help nail your next interview.
Hopefully by now the STAR interviewing technique is less challenging to you, and you feel better prepared for your interview.
For success in your next interview just review this article and call up your interview preparation, be yourself and remain calm.
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