Have you landed yourself a job interview?

Your success in that interview would depend on how well you prepare for the interview. The recruiters may ask you varied questions that test your skill level, presence of mind, or routine questions about your background during the interview.

You should not leave out behavioral questions while preparing for an interview, but rather learn how to answer behavioral questions effectively.

Read on to understand behavioral questions and how to use the STAR method interview while answering questions during the interview.

What Is the Star Interview Method?

The STAR method is a technique used to answer behavioral interview questions. These questions ask you to share lived experiences or real-life examples to answer the question.

Why are such questions asked? Your answer provides an insight into how you think and deal with difficult situations. They prompt you to share what you did or would do in a certain situation.

The STAR method provides a framework that helps you answer behavioral interview questions. For instance, “tell me about a time when you resolved a conflict at the workplace” can be tackled using the STAR method.

The STAR Method Cheat Sheet

The STAR technique is an acronym for:

  • Situation: What is the context here? Give the interviewer the background of the situation.
  • Task: What was your duty in the given situation? Were you given a responsibility? Share details about your role.
  • Action: How did you deal with the situation? What method did you employ? Did you take help from your colleagues? If you have not come across such a situation yet, then how would you deal with it?
  • Result: What was the impact of your actions? What did you achieve out of it? Share details and substantiate using stats.

Also Read: How to tackle behavioral interview questions?

How to Answer Using the Star Method with 3 Examples

We have provided the top behavioral interview questions with their answers as a star method interview prep guide to reference from.

Describe a Situation Where You Found Yourself Outside Your Comfort Zone?

Situation: I have lived in New Orleans all my life, and even completed my graduation from here. When I received my first job offer, I had the opportunity to move to New York and have a completely different life. It scared me. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone.

Task: I had to look for accommodation, learn to cook, and make new friends. Above all, I had to make peace with so many changes that were happening.

Action: I took it as a challenge and divided the tasks into smaller tasks to not feel overwhelmed. I looked for accommodation in the evenings while consulting with my parents. I devoted my weekends to learning to cook. I learned to buy groceries and make meals for myself in a short period. I began talking to strangers and acquaintances at my university to get acquainted with the idea of making new friends. This helped me to change my mindset and be at ease with the changes happening around me.

Result: The results were nothing short of a big surprise. I became independent in more ways than one. I loved Big Apple! In hindsight, it was the best decision that I ever made.

Also Read: Most common interview questions in 2022

Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something complex to a customer or a co-worker?

Situation: A new version of our in-house software was launched last year. It was difficult for professionals outside our technical team to use it every day, but if used well, it could make a substantial difference to the time we spent on each project. The software introduced technology that would cut down the time that goes into collaborating on a one-to-one basis.

Task: As the team leader, I took up the task to help writers, animators, and other stakeholders get up to speed with the software and use it seamlessly.

Action: I arranged weekly meetings for interested professionals who wished to learn about the software.

Result: The onboarding meetings led to smoother operations, and the increased and efficient use of the software led to a 10% decrease in time wasted while collaborating singularly.

Also Read: Problem-solving interview questions in 2022

Describe a time when you missed a deadline?

Situation: I enrolled in a certificate course recently to hone my skills and continue to add value to what I do. The certificate course was a timed course with a minimum of 30 hours to be devoted over 4 weeks to appear for the final exam and get a certificate.

Task: I had to complete the course well in time and balance my office work with it. I would try to finish work early to attend classes during evening hours. I worked harder during weekends to complete homework and revise class work. After 2 weeks of starting the course, I was assigned to supervise an intern at the office. I had to spend more hours at work and hence could not attend classes. I knew that I would not meet the deadline and would have to reappear for the final exam.

Action: I met with my supervisor and explained the situation to him. He was supportive and reduced my workload for 2 weeks. I eventually finished my certificate course with a grade of A.

Result: I learned to share with my supervisor if I feel overburdened at work. I also learned to seek help whenever I feel overwhelmed.

Also Read: Top interview questions and answers

Tips While Using the Star Method

Follow these tips to ace your interview:

Practice Answering Behavioral Questions

Enlist examples of common behavioral interview questions from various sources and practice answering them. You may not have an answer to answer the questions asked during an interview if you have not practiced prior.

Be Ready with Examples

When you practice answering, note down the examples that come to your mind. Keep them handy and go through them now and then. This would help you to be prepared when an interviewer asks you a situational question.

If the interviewer asks a question that you have not prepared for, think if you can adapt your example to that question or think of an answer spontaneously.

Explain the Situation Patiently

Take time to explain the situation well for the interviewer to understand correctly. Build context, explain your stance and the impact it generated. Be ready for the follow-up questions that might come up.

Key Takeaways

Behavioral interview questions are an important part of an interview. The STAR interview method helps to tackle such questions with ease.

  • Prepare well for the interview to ace it.
  • Practice answering behavioral interview questions before the interview.
  • Use the STAR technique while answering such questions. The STAR technique stands for situation, task, action, and result.
  • Use the STAR technique to give the context of the situation, explain your task and the actions that follow, and share the impact generated.

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