Feeling lost in an interview? We’ve got a simple method that will ensure you are giving recruiters what they need when they ask you an interview question. Next time you’re in an interview, try using the STAR method. When you're answering a question, making sure that you're providing the complete picture in terms of Situation, Task, Action, Result. Recruiters want to know the results.
Have you worked on a project where maybe you missed the deadline? How did you handle that situation? What actions did you take? What actions did your team take to get to a successful conclusion and what was that conclusion? Being able to provide a complete picture there and to understand and know your background and what makes you the best fit for the role that you're interviewing for.
Throughout the STAR method, you’ll be providing examples of your work history, so it could tie into a lot of different questions, whether it's asking about your background or asking about maybe a specific project or contract that you worked on in the past.
We'll start with S for Situation, so being able to appropriately describe the project that you're working on. The first thing to remember here is you don't want to give lengthy, drawn-out answers. You do want to be concise in the information that you provide. This is something that candidates can actually prepare well ahead of time so they can understand and just kind of spit out the answers more quickly. So when it comes to the situation, describing the landscape, what was your role in this project or narrative? What did the team look like that you worked on and where you were positioned within that?
The T is for Task. What was your role and what was the goals that you were trying to achieve? Maybe it was to complete XYZ project by September first. What actions did you need to take, so A for action, to get there? Maybe you had to adjust schedules to able to be more agile in how you're approaching that, whatever it could take.
Then the R is for Result. What was the outcome? Did you meet the deadline? If not, what did you do to rectify that, or what did you learn, maybe, that you can do differently the next time that you are in that situation? It's really looking at a complete answer that showcases your ability to maybe work as part of a team, the skills that you know how to use, the results that were there and potentially lessons learned. Employers look a lot for that in terms of what is someone learning? Are they really evolving and honing in and sharpening their skills as part of a role?
Being able to showcase that and to provide a complete picture will help particularly in the recruitment, the recruiter's part of the interview process. But absolutely when you're meeting with the hiring managers and those that are going to be making that final decision, that is going to be an important place to remember the STAR method.
The STAR method also applies when you're writing a resume, too. Use it to think about what to include in a position and tie it to what recruiters are looking for. On your resume, you’ll want to include the impact as well. What was the impact to the company, to the goal of those methods? Keep the STAR method in mind at each step in the job search process, and you'll be able to confidently share your true accomplishments.