Prepare to ace your interview


The moment you start thinking about what you just said or what your interviewer is going to say next – you have lost the interview. Many candidates are guilty of using on-the-spot responses to questions. Prepared to ace any behaviour interview questions with the S.T.A.R framework.

S.T.A.R stands for Situation, Task, Action Result. It’s a response technique that helps you give concise answers to behavioural questions during an interview.

Situation
Build context! The goal is to list all the relevant details that the interviewer should know before you proceed to respond. Before you start giving any answer, you must provide details. Think about the 5Ws – Who, What, Where, When, Why as you set the scene for your response.

Task
Here, give your interviewer details of the task. Describe your goal or what you aimed to achieve in that situation. Depending on your chosen scenario, your goal could be targets, KPIs or deadlines.

Action
You’ve set the context and your goal(s), next talk about the steps you took to achieve that goal. Mention any challenges or barriers to achieving your goal and how you handled them. Focus on your individual contributions rather than that of the larger team. Remember to say, “I did…” rather than “We did…”.

Result
Complete your response with the outcomes of your actions. Tell your interviewer what you learnt from the task. It’s a great idea to mention your involvement in any follow-up. Did this discussion involve improvements, challenges or positives/negatives from your outcomes? Let the interviewer know.

Let’s look at how the S.T.A.R framework can help you answer a common interview question.

Interviewer: Tell me about a team project that you worked on under a tight deadline.

Candidate: Once during my retail stint, an employee left a week before Christmas and I was asked to take over his project of staging the festive window display. I was expected to take inputs from all relevant departments to complete this task. I created a discussion group with the stakeholders, asked for inputs, delegated work, checked on milestones regularly and updated my manager on the progress daily and was able to complete the assignment with a few hours to spare. We received compliments from the marketing team for the display and I personally received an appreciation mail from a team member regarding my ability to collaborate well under pressure.

As we can see in this example, the S.T.A.R framework allowed the candidate to narrow their response to a very open-ended question. It’s focused and concise. Everything interviewers want to hear!

The key is preparation
You won’t know your interview questions in advance however you’ll benefit greatly from preparation. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Interviews are not about determining your qualifications.

Companies do not waste their time interviewing candidates who aren’t qualified for the position. Employers use this process to find out if you are a good fit for their existing team.

Preparation will help you find the best way to present yourself, experience and skills to ace that interview and land your dream job.

Professionals Australia Career Coach
In interviews, the more time you spend thinking about your answers, the less time you spend making eye contact, listening and interacting with the interviewer. All factors that win-over interviewers.

Job interviews questions can be quite stressful and challenging. A Mock Interview session can help you maximise your strengths and ensure you’re calm and confident throughout the interview process.

Compared to interview coaches you find online, our Career Coaches come as a benefits of your membership.

When you book a Mock Interview, this is your opportunity to rehearse and practice for your interview. It is also a chance to get invaluable feedback on your responses to likely questions during the interview.

A Professionals Australia Career Coach will help you win the interview in three simple steps:

  • Identify all the questions that will be asked
  • Prepare ideal responses for each of these questions
  • They will teach you key interview techniques like the 20/2 rule, future/past lock-down, 50/50 principle and the STAR principle