You are at the interview and the interviewer asks you “Tell me about a time when…” This kind of question is popular because it shows how you have handled difficult situations in the past. It is also a good indicator of how you will deal with a similar situation in the future. This type of interviewing is a structured manner of responding to behavioural-based interview questions which is called the S.T.A.R method.
S.T.A.R stands for:
Situation: Describe a situation that you were in or event from a previous role.
Task: Explain what task you needed to perform or goal you were aiming for.
Action: What action was taken to address the situation with the appropriate amount of detail.
Result: Explain the result of the situation or task. This is the crucial part of the answer and shows what skills you have.
An example S.T.A.R answer would be:
Q: “Tell me about a time when you recognised a problem and took steps to address it?”
A: “When I started working at ACME I had noticed in previous reports we had not hit our target in the past 6 months and wanted to find a way to make sure we hit the next one.”
Q: “What role did you play?”
A: “I was team leader and responsible for hitting our targets each month.”
Q: “What were the steps you took to solve this challenge?
A: “I decided it might be time that my team need some further training on our products and selling methods. Each week I spent half an hour going through different sales techniques and new products that we had to sell.”
Q: What was the outcome?
A: “Team members felt more confident when selling and had more knowledge of each of our products. As a result we sold more than we had in the previous 6 months and smashed our target.”
When answering a question using the S.T.A.R method ensure you provide a detailed response that is relevant to the question. Remember the employer is looking to see how you handled the situation and whether you will be able to handle a similar situation in the future. Good Luck!