Apply the STAR technique in the Interview
Read about how you can apply the STAR technique and be a star in an interview.
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An interview is a standard recruitment process in every company but each company is different when it comes to conducting interviews. While there is no certainty around the questions that will be asked during the interview, you should prepare thoroughly.
There is one approach that I have successfully applied while giving interviews is the past – STAR method. Interviewers often ask STAR method based questions to judge how you have applied the core skills that you claim in real-life situations. I recommend, even if they do not ask you a STAR question, you still answer in the format. The question could be as simple as,’tell me your strengths’. You use this opportunity to not only tell about your strengths but also substantiate them with examples.
The STAR interview method is an acronym for – situation, task, action, and result. Let’s describe the approach a bit in detail for better understanding.
This is the first step of the technique where you describe the situation or set the scene of the incident. Be sure to focus on facts that are necessary to share for the final result. Do not spend too much time in describing the situation because it will divert the attention from the actual point. You can describe the place and people involved in the example. Talk about the company, team, or manager to provide a basic understanding of the scenario that leads to you displaying a certain skill.
After setting the scene, describe your responsibilities. The STAR method is like narrating a real-life story and in this section, you tell about the task that was assigned to you or the responsibilities you were shouldering. This is a crucial part before you state the actions you took to ensure that the end result was achieved.
Now is the time to define the action you took to achieve the result. It is very important to spend time describing the specific actions you took and not being vague about it. For example, I worked hard and was sincere are vague answers. You have to recount how you worked hard. Was it by spending extra hours, doing more research, single-handedly managing the team? Be specific.
The final part is stating the result that was achieved by taking the actions. Again, be specific. It is always impressive to add data points to the result. Like the x percentage of growth in sales or y number of projects completed. The whole process of answering in the STAR method will be impactful on how successful you were in producing a good result. So, it is advised to select appropriate incidents that can accurately and impressively prove the point in question.
Question – Tell me about an incident where your hard work led to benefit the team you were working with
Situation – I was working as the auditor in the risk analysis team for XX company. I was responsible for a tea of 15 risk analysts.
Task – I was assigned the project to reduce defects committed by the team.
Action – I did a root cause analysis by re-auditing 100 sample cases, interviewing analysts on 5 why questions, and preparing a white paper. The research highlighted that highest mistakes were due to a lack of training on new risk analysis tools. Hence, we scheduled training sessions and created a detailed SOP on the new tools for the analysts.
Result – The defects were reduced by 10 percent, average time spent on each case decreased from 15 minutes to 12 minutes and the average performance of the team increased by 6 percent.
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