What is the STAR
Technique for handling difficult job interview Questions?
Technique or STAR Methodology is :-
Situation, describe the situation
Target, what was the goal or objective
what you did,
What happened using specifics and measurements
Learning STAR Techniques for answering difficult job interview questions, is a priceless skill to acquire.
One that can be used for ALL important question answering.
It's power lies in it's subtlety and courtesy shown to the interviewer.
What I mean by this is; that to frame a STAR technique answer, you first answer the interviewers question by saying yes in some appropriate way, and then asking "Can I give you an example" or words to this effect.
It's a courteous way of building a friendly two way conversation, and will disarm even the most confrontational of interviewers.
If the question is a complex one you can even build your STAR interview method answer around any props you may have, for example drawing of a simple diagram to explain your point, or to introduce any other affirming documentation you may have, such as a letter of recommendation, or a documented award.
You must not go overboard on answering all questions in such detail, but if you pick your moments, you can build beautiful answers to tough questions that, the interviewer will remember long after you've left the building.
The STAR technique will enable you to answer tough questions (not limited to job
interviews) in a subtle, compelling and powerful manner.
The trick to the STAR interview method is to build your answers into "STAR Stories" which take your carefully prepared information and wrap it into a real life experience story.
hearing stories, facts are easier to remember if wrapped in a story, stories
are an historically proven technique for getting information across!
Interviewers will remember more of your answers,
and the messages within them, yet your message will be delivered in a friendly
And your interviewing success will go through the roof!
How to create a STAR Technique Story
A Star story should be less than 3 minutes long,
and presented with energy and enthusiasm about a real life experience you've had
(not necessarily a work experience, as long as it demonstrates a relevant competency
STAR Technique example story:
Question: Describe the last time you really struggled with work, and what you did about it?
a STAR techniques story answer
(Situation) “I was seconded across to join a new team within customer care, supporting a newly released accounting product; I had never been trained on the product and it had many had many problems, resulting in our client care statistics falling well below an acceptable level.”
(Task) “Regaining customer care levels, was absolutely critical to our company, the new product was a flagship package, with much investment and media attention, failure to turn around customer care, could seriously have led to the failure of the whole company."
(Action) "My first day on the team was a terrible day, with no product training, I could only log calls, reassure customers that I would come back to them, and refer the questions on to our 2nd level technical support team. I normally resolve 86% of my calls, without the need to refer onwards, but with no knowledge of the product I only resolved 11% of my calls. However through choosing to stay late and start early, I worked with 2nd level support to build a fast level of basic "fixes", and fared much better on my second day, resolving 60% of calls first time.
The rest of the week remained stressful, but exhilarating, with so much riding on it. And I am really proud to say that my keen attention to detail, and ability to spot trends within fault reporting enabled me to spot the link between the product start up process and a resulting flurry of fault calls. To cut a long story short I identified that if clients opened the application in a specific way, 70% of fault calls could be prevented. I advised our training department who implemented a customer wide training update, that resulted in calls dropping by 60%, and critically of the calls that did come through, we managed to smash our care targets, gaining great client recommendations, and priceless favourable media coverage"
(Result) "Though the first 4 days after launch were a real challenge, by spotting the bug in the start up process, and quickly releasing the work around, the launch was a huge success, with customer care thresholds eventually smashed, and with priceless customer recommendations, that are now contributing to the product selling at 7% above forecast!
And when I'm put in charge of my first team, which hopefully will be shortly, I know to never launch a new product without the appropriate trained support resources!"
You need to practice your answers out loud, to ensure it's continuity and that you don't go far over 2 minutes.
The above example is a little long, but for anyone going for a customer care team leader role, It's such a great story, worth spending a little longer to impart what I would imagine to be rare and supremely valuable skills (attention to detail, and ability to spot call trends) in a customer care professional.
The powerful thing about wrapping your STAR format achievements into the example story format, is that it will not come across a arrogant, you can subtly slip in all your key messages and personality, and because it's in a story your interviewer will remember more of your information.
To Totally master interviewing answers read this report...
Don't forget your job interview practice - practice makes perfect...
If you want
to become expert at constructing fantastic story based answers to tough
interview questions, I would suggest reading Robert Lawrence “Killer Interview
Secrets” $27 dollars will get you the book and MP3 downloadable answer examples.
Robert lifts the lid on answering tough questions, and the MP3 format really brings the examples to life.
would expect it offers a money back guarantee, so nothing to loose.
Read a more detailed review of Killer Interview Secrets here.