Saturday, December 13, 2008

Behavioral Interviews: the STAR format

Behavioral Interviews: the STAR format

The easiest way to make sure you get all the information you need into a behavioural interview answer is to use the STAR format.

You may see this under different acronyms, but all will probably mean the same thing ulitmately.

ST stand for Situation or Task. What was the situation or task you were faced with?
A stands for Action. What action did you take?
And R stands for Result. What was the result, or the employer benefit of what you did?

In normal story telling we often just give the STA - this needed done, I did it - and forget the R - Result. In interviews the Result can be the most important part so don't leave it out.

Here is an example:

The filing needed done - this is the situation
I filed - this is the action

So far, not very interesting.

The result:

My accurate, careful filing made documents and reports available for quick and easy access by all staff.

Wow! That sure makes it sound better.

Don't forget the results. It will probably take a bit of thought to come up with powerful results until you get used to the idea, but the skill is one that will help you write a resume that will get interviews, and then to ace the interview itself.

Remember, you're a STAR!

Want more help answering interview questions?

More on Successful Job Interviews: Questions and Answers

(c) Fiona MacKay


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