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  3. Check out these tips and tricks for your STAR interview preparation process!
Check out these tips and tricks for your STAR interview preparation process!

Check out these tips and tricks for your STAR interview preparation process!

  • What is the STAR method for interviews?
  • How do I prepare for a STAR interview?
  • 3 Common STAR interview questions
  • Key takeaways

One popular interview response type is the STAR method, which is a type of interview that lets you give more structured answers. In this article, we will present some of the best tips and tricks you can use during your STAR interview preparation process.

The STAR interview method is a popular tool interviewees can use to give better-structured answers to interview questions. But to pull it off effectively, you will need to prepare ahead of time. In this article, we will give you some tips and tricks for your STAR interview preparation process to help you be successful.

Here’s what we will be covering:

  • What is the STAR method for interviews?

  • How to prepare for a STAR interview

  • What are the most common STAR interview questions? 

What is the STAR method for interviews?

The STAR method provides you with the opportunity to give well-thought-out answers to any interview question, and it makes it easy for interviewers to evaluate your experience and skills. You can also use this method to show real-life examples of how you’ve tackled the problems you’ve faced. 

Here’s how to structure your interview using the STAR method.

  • Situation. Answer each question by referring to a specific situation you’ve faced.

  • Task. Talk about what your role was in that situation and what your tasks were.

  • Action. Follow this up by describing what actions you took to complete those tasks.

  • Results. Describe the results of your work during this situation.

How do I prepare for a STAR interview?

Naturally, having structured answers prepared for each interview question means you need to do some prep work for your interview. There are several tricks to ensure you are prepared. First, conduct research. Your research should involve both the company as well as the types of questions you may face during the interview. With this knowledge, it will be easier for you to develop structured answers to the questions you expect to face.

Next, make a note of any situation you can reference during your career. Write down as much as you can remember about those situations, including how you participated and the results of the project. Whenever you can, quantify any results you use in an interview. To ensure they are credible to your interviewer, the results should be specific and include numbers or percentages that clearly show how effective you were during that situation.

Finally, practice with a professional. Having a mock interview can help you feel more prepared, lowering your stress during the real interview. You’ll be able to stay calm and positive and won’t have a problem sticking to the STAR method because you are prepared.

3 Common STAR interview questions

As mentioned, during your STAR interview preparation process, you will also need to consider what types of questions you might face. The questions will vary depending on the role, the industry, and the company you are interviewing with. That is one reason why researching the company and role is so important.

But there are general questions you can practice with that will give you a good understanding of how to apply the STAR method to your answers. Here’s a look at three of them as well as ideas about how to answer them:

1. Give me an example of a time you had to meet a tight deadline.

One way you might answer this using the STAR method is to talk about a specific time you faced this challenge. 

Example

In my last role, I was working on an important presentation and the deadline suddenly changed due to client demands. As the [role name] on this project, it was up to me to ensure we met that deadline. When I learned of the new deadline, I immediately gathered my team and reallocated tasks to make sure we could meet the new deadline. Not only were we able to meet the deadline, but the client was happy with the presentation itself.

2.  Have you ever faced a project that didn’t go as planned? How did you handle that?

You may run into this question in response to our first example. The goal here is to see how you react when you aren’t able to meet expectations or can’t complete a task as you originally planned. 

Example

At one of my prior roles, we had plans to launch a new product. We had a complex marketing plan in place, and it was my job as [role name] to carry out the tasks involved in that plan. Unfortunately, some issues we hadn’t expected showed up that impacted the results of the plan. I conducted a full analysis of the plan to identify weaknesses and worked with our team to make changes. The plan never did meet the full expectations we initially had, but the changes made significant improvements.

3.  What is your approach when you find you need to work with a difficult team member?

With this interview question, your interviewer is hoping to discover how you react to challenging people or negative experiences in the workplace. Here is an example of how you might answer this question:

Example

A recent project I was in charge of had tight deadlines we had to follow to complete everything on time. One team member was very reluctant to meet those deadlines, which caused tension among the team. Since I was the [role name], it was my responsibility to mitigate that tension and correct the problem. I had a one-on-one meeting with that team member to understand and address their concerns. During the meeting, I listened to their feedback and worked with them to find a solution. The result of these efforts was that the team member became more involved in the project and we completed the project as expected.

If you would like more examples of STAR method answers for an upcoming interview, check out our Interview Prep service!

Key takeaways

  1. With the STAR method, you answer each interview question with a situation, the tasks you were responsible for, the actions you took, and the results.

  2. To prepare for a STAR interview, research the company and the questions you might face, prepare answers in advance, and practice. 

  3. Start by preparing answers to commonly asked questions so you can practice the STAR method and get comfortable with it.

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