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The STAR Interview Technique

How to smash your next interview

A job interview can be intimidating and there’s a lot to worry about. Often nerves take hold and answers come out in a rambling mess which doesn’t reflect your skills or we worry about being appearing overly boastful. 

The truth is it happens to all of us… honestly. 

The wonderful thing about confidence is it can be developed meaning if you do not have it right now, you can work on it. One technique that can help you ace an interview is the STAR technique. With practice, you can confidently arrive for job interviews knowing how to answer the questions posed, with calculated ease and grace.

So you’ve been on every Jobsite, you’ve sent a million emails and now you have your shot at an interview. You’ve researched the Company the interview is with, made a list of your accomplishments, strengths & weaknesses. You have considered the questions to ask at the end of the interview. So how do you construct the perfect answer to the interviewer’s questions?

Firstly you need to understand what is being asked of you. Listen to the question, then tell a short story that addresses the question with an eloquent response. This will demonstrate how you clearly possess the skills your potential new employer requires or if nothing else, shows you are willing to learn.

So what does STAR mean? It is 4 components of the perfect answer …

SITUATION

TASK

ACTION

RESULT

The STAR method enables you to paint a picture and really sell why you are the only person for the vacancy on offer. So to demonstrate how this interview technique works, let’s take a look at a typical question and how you might answer it.

“Can you describe a time where you have had to deal with conflict in the workplace?”

What is being asked – “How do you handle confrontation?”

The Interviewer is looking to see if you would handle a difficult situation professionally and if you would be a calming influence or kick off and walk out in a tense situation.

Situation – What was the situation? Keep it clear and to the point.

Task – What task would be required to diffuse the conflict?

Action – What action did you take?

Result – What was the result of your action?

Think of a time a disagreement has occurred in the workplace, if you are fresh out of education, it could be at College or University with a fellow student or Lecturer. If you yourself have been fortunate to not handle this particular situation, you can always admit this and create a hypothetical situation for the purpose of answering the question.

Even if the outcome wasn’t a positive one, you can always demonstrate what lesson you took from your experience and how you would handle it next time should a similar situation arise in the workplace.

Best of luck in your next interview … not that you’ll need it now you STAR!

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