When you start a job interview, the interviewer will usually ask you general questions about your experience and why you're interested in the role. However, as the interview progresses, they may start to ask you more specific questions designed to assess how you would react in particular situations. These are known as STAR interview questions, and they can be notoriously difficult to answer.
What are STAR interview questions?
The STAR technique is a set of activities for addressing a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the scenario's specifics, task, action, and conclusion.
When interviewers ask STAR questions, they are looking to gather information about how you have handled specific work situations in the past. They want to know if you would be able to handle similar situations in the future, and how well you would be able to perform in the role.
STAR questions can be difficult to answer because they require you to think on your feet and come up with a coherent story about a past experience. However, if you prepare for them in advance, you will be much more likely to ace the question and impress the interviewer.
Here is an example of a STAR interview question: "Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer." In order to answer this question effectively, you would need to describe a specific situation where you dealt with a difficult customer. You would then need to go into detail about the task you were trying to accomplish, the actions you took, and the result of your efforts.
Answering STAR questions can be tricky, but if you prepare in advance, you will be much more likely to impress the interviewer. When you are asked a STAR question, take a moment to think about your response before you start talking. Once you have gathered your thoughts, focus on describing the situation, task, action, and result in a clear and concise manner. If you do this, you will be sure to give an impressive answer that will leave the interviewer impressed with your abilities.
What are some examples of STAR interview questions?
Some common examples of STAR interview questions include:
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation.
- What are some examples of times when you have gone above and beyond the call of duty?
- Can you tell me about a time when you had to make a tough decision?
- What was the most challenging project that you have worked on?
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.
- Can you think of an instance where you had to use teamwork to solve a problem?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to work under pressure?
Some additional STAR questions may include the following:
- Describe a time when you identified potential problems early on in a project.
- Tell me about a time when you utilized your creativity to solve a difficult problem.
- Can you give me an instance of when you utilized your analytical skills to come up with an innovative solution?
- Describe a time when you had to deal with a challenging work situation.
- What are some examples of when you have gone above and beyond the call of duty at work?
These are only some examples - there are many other potential STAR interview questions that could be asked. However, if you prepare for these types of questions in advance, you will be much more likely to ace the question and impress the interviewer.
How do I prepare for a STAR interview?
If you know that you will have a STAR interview or you suspect that you might, it is important to prepare in advance. The best way to do this is to think of specific examples of times when you have had to deal with difficult situations, make tough decisions, or utilize teamwork to solve a problem. Once you have a few examples in mind, practice describing them out loud so that you are comfortable doing so when the time comes.
Another helpful tip is to ask a friend or family member to help you role-play an interview so that you can get some practice answering STAR questions. This will not only help you become more comfortable with the format of the question, but it will also give you an opportunity to receive feedback on your answer.
Identify and create good questions. The first step is to figure out which behavioral questions may be asked. You should be able to identify these types of questions by their prompts, which typically begin with phrases like “tell me about a time when…” or “give me an example of…” Once you have identified which questions are behavioral, the next step is to create good answers for each one.
Turn it into a written statement. Respond to the questions using each letter of the question format. It means that you have to elaborate on the situation, task, action, and result. After writing your response, read it out loud to make sure that it sounds natural and flows well.
You should review your responses. After you have written your answers, it is important to review them. Make sure that your responses are clear, concise, and specific. In addition, you should check to see if your responses align with the job requirements. If they do not, you may want to consider changing your answers.
You should practice answering questions. After you have prepared your answers, it is time to practice. You can do this by role-playing with a friend or family member or by practicing in front of a mirror. Answering questions out loud will help you to become more comfortable with the format and will also allow you to hear how your answers sound.
Make sure you practice the answers out loud. This is very important. If you only practice in your head, you will not be able to gauge how your answers sound to other people. In addition, you may find that you trip over your words or forget what you were going to say when you are under pressure.
What is the finest response to a STAR interview question?
The structure is quite simple to understand. Simply make sure that your responses are relevant, give appropriate context, explain your thinking process, and, lastly, provide real data and facts. The following tips will help you deliver a strong answer to STAR questions:
- Take your time. Responding too quickly may make it seem like you are not thinking about your answer.
- Be concise. Provide only the information that is relevant to the question.
- Be specific. Vague answers will not impress the interviewer.
- Practice. Make sure that you are comfortable with the format of the question and that you have practiced your answers before the interview.
By following these tips, you can be confident that you will deliver a strong answer to any STAR interview question that comes your way.
A short film that depicts an event in your life that you are proud to tell. It should be about 2 minutes long and delivered with energy and pleasure about a true experience you've had (it does not have to be a work experience, as long as it describes a relevant skill or behavior).
Analyze the Situation: What's Your Role in It? It's now time to create the scenario with your anecdote. To do that, you need to analyze the situation you're in. You should understand what your role is in it and how other people factor into the story. This will help you focus on what's important to include when you're writing your STAR story.
Highlight the task for which you'd like to see tasks synced. You're going over this tale for a purpose—you were involved in it to some degree. You played a role, and you did something. What was your task in this scenario? Hint: It's the result of the action you took.
How did you act on your goals? When answering the job interview using the STAR method, you're painting a picture of yourself in action. This is the time to shine and demonstrate what makes you, you. So how did you act on your goals? How did you complete the task at hand?
What was the result of your actions? And finally, what was the result of everything you did in this story? This is the most crucial part of any STAR answer—if there's no result, then why bother mentioning the experience at all?
What are the most common interview mistakes?
So, you've landed an interview - congratulations! However, the hard work isn't over yet. In order to make a great impression, you'll need to avoid making any common interview mistakes. Some of the most common interview mistakes include:
- Not doing your research. Before the interview, take some time to research the company and the role that you are applying for. This will help you to ask informed questions and show that you are genuinely interested in the role.
- Arriving late. Make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early so that you have time to compose yourself and fill out any necessary paperwork.
- Dressing inappropriately. It is important to dress for success in an interview. Avoid wearing anything too casual or revealing.
- Being unprepared. Make sure to bring a copy of your resume and a list of references with you to the interview.
- Failing to ask questions. Asking questions shows that you are interested in the role and the company. Prepare a few questions in advance so that you don't find yourself caught off guard.
- Answering cell phone calls or texts. This is rude and shows that you are not fully invested in the interview. Turn your phone off before the interview begins.
- Appearing disinterested. It is important to maintain eye contact, sit up straight, and avoid fidgeting during the interview.
If you made any of these mistakes, don't despair. Just learn from them and be sure not to repeat them in your next interview!
Should you contact the interviewer after the interview?
Yes, you should always contact the interviewer after the interview. This shows that you are interested in the role and it gives you an opportunity to thank the interviewer for their time. You can also use this opportunity to reiterate your interest in the role and express why you would be the perfect candidate.
The best way to contact the interviewer is through a handwritten thank-you note or an email. Avoid contacting the interviewer by phone, as this can be seen as intrusive. The structure of such an email should be as follows:
Subject line: Thank you for the interview
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. I really appreciate it. I am confident that I have the skills and experience that you are looking for in a candidate.
I am eager to put my skills to work in this role and I believe that I would be a valuable asset to your team. I am excited about the possibility of joining your company and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you again for your time and consideration.
STAR interview questions are a great way to prepare for your next job interview. By using the STAR method, you can showcase your skills and experience in a way that is both impressive and relatable. Just remember to focus on your actions, the results of those actions, and how it all benefited the company. And don't forget to follow up after the interview!