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Nervous about your job interview? This might help

11 November 2021 at 4:42 pm
Maggie Coggan
We chat to Andrei Kurtuy from Novoresume about how to ace your interview using the STAR method 

Maggie Coggan | 11 November 2021 at 4:42 pm


Nervous about your job interview? This might help
11 November 2021 at 4:42 pm

We chat to Andrei Kurtuy from Novoresume about how to ace your interview using the STAR method 

If you’re not prepared, behavioural questions can really throw a spanner in the works of an otherwise breezy interview. 

These can be anything from the interviewer asking you to tell them about a time you managed competing deadlines, to a time when you used your number one strength to drive results. 

A simple and effective way to answer these questions is by using the STAR method. 

What does STAR stand for? 

  • Situation – What’s the context? Describe the situation or the background first.
  • Task – Talk about your responsibilities or the tasks you had to complete (i.e. what was the challenge for the specific task?).
  • Action – How did you fix the situation? Describe your process and the steps you took.
  • Results – Describe the results of your actions. If possible, use numbers or hard data (e.g. by what percentage did you increase the overall sales? What changed?).

But why is this method so effective? And is there a right and a wrong way to go about it? We sat down with Andrei Kurtuy from Novoresume to get some tips. 

Hey Andrei! So why does using the STAR method increase a jobseeker’s chance of landing a job? 

The STAR method is an easy-to-remember formula that helps job seekers structure their answers to interview questions. It is most effective for behavioural questions: questions used by interviewers to explore how candidates have reacted to and managed real-life workplace situations in the past. 

The STAR method provides jobseekers with a framework that helps them talk about these past experiences and situations in an organised and clear manner. By using this technique, they can highlight their skills and accomplishments more effectively for the interviewer.

What are some tips on how they can best use the STAR method in a job interview?

Behavioural interview questions are hard, if not impossible, to predict. However, the STAR method can be used to answer any behavioural question. When preparing for a behavioural job interview, the focus should be on learning how to use this formula rather than memorising answers to possible questions. Nonetheless, I recommend that job seekers practice using the STAR method to answer example questions so they become familiar with it and feel confident using it in their answers. 

Answers to behavioural questions are essentially stories. The STAR method is a powerful tool for telling these stories; however, the most important element is the content of the story itself. Answers should be concise, relevant to the job, and they should highlight the candidate’s skills and accomplishments. 

Job seekers should take some time to think about examples of real-life, professional situations in which they have demonstrated certain skills or achieved great results. Then, they should write these examples down and think about how they would talk about them (as if telling a story) to somebody else using the STAR method.

What are some things that they shouldn’t do? 

As I mentioned before, interviewees should not try to memorise answers to every behavioural question they might think about. Rather, they should practice using the STAR method so it can be easily replicated to structure the answer to any question. Additionally, job seekers should not go off on a tangent or delve too deep into irrelevant details of their stories. These things distract the interviewer and weaken the message that they are trying to deliver.

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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