Interview Coaching: How to Set Yourself Apart Using the STAR Method

interview coaching

What are your thoughts when it comes to interviewing for a new job?  Do you feel prepared to ace the interview?  Are you looking for professional interview coaching services?  It is common for professionals to be uncertain, nervous and anxious about the interviewing process.  They might believe that they don’t know how to prepare themselves for the interview.

Today, behavioral interviewing is one of the most popular interviewing styles used by recruiters and hiring managers. Behavioral interviewing is when your interviewer is inquiring about how you handled different situations within your past work experience. They believe that these examples of your past behavior will predict future success in a new position.

Behavioral interviews are sometimes referred to as “storytelling interviews” because they ask you to tell a story about a specific situation and how you handled it. We previously reviewed the top 20 behavioral interview questions that you should be prepared for.  Now that you have an idea of what would be asked, what should your responses be?  In a behavioral interview, you want to explain your thought process and the actions you took to achieve success. Behavioral interview questions might actually be statements prompting you to provide targeted feedback.

 

The STAR Method is a popular way to answer behavioral interview questions. It involves you providing the background details of a circumstance or project and an overview of your approach and outcomes. When using the STAR Method, be sure to discuss the who, what, where, when and how of an experience. Practicing this process during an interview coaching session or mock interview can be helpful.  Let’s say that someone says, “Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond what was asked of you.”

Situation- To begin, you want to describe the context of what was going on with the project or challenge. Spend 20-30 seconds telling the interviewer about the background of your assignment.

Tasks- Next, explain the responsibilities you had in your role to address the situation. Outlining your previous objectives is important here. Make sure to give the interviewer a clear idea of what the problem was and what your initial goals were.

Action- Then, you want to mention what you did to fix the problem or help the project be successful. Don’t forget to describe any specific skills and qualities you possess that made a significant difference during the execution stage.

Result- Finally, you tell the interviewer about the outcome of the situation. How did your particular contributions influence the results? What did you learn? What were your accomplishments and how did they surpass expectations?

 

Preparing for behavioral interviews can be a bit more involved than standard interviews. Reviewing common behavioral interview questions and having 2-3 stories that you’ve thought about prior to the conversation can improve your performance. Considering these aspects ahead of time can prevent you from having long pauses between your responses and increase your level of confidence. Ideally, you don’t want to spend more than 30 seconds talking about any part of the STAR Method. If your responses are too long, then the interviewer could assume that you are long winded and dominate conversation.  Not talking too much also ensures that the interviewer can get through their list of questions in the allotted time. What previous work experiences could highlight your impact and skills using the STAR Method?

 

P.S. If you’re interested in more interview support, we’d love to help! Check out our interview coaching services!

 

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Porschia Parker-Griffin

Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Professional Coach, Business Consultant, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. When she is not coaching, Porschia enjoys traveling, cooking, and working with animals.