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Be your own S.T.A.R
It is a great feeling to be invited to an interview for an exciting new role with a client and the ideal first stage could be a number of things. A quick but thorough telephone interview, a casual face-to-face meeting, online testing, or the widely dreaded competency based interview.
From speaking to a number of candidates, answers to competency based questions do not come as naturally to some as it does to others, and it could be argued that it is much easier to answer questions about your KPI’s, industry, clients, or daily tasks etc. However, competency based questions are at times the necessary evil of a typical interview process but they don’t have to be.
There is a model available which is widely used by candidates to help guide the interviewer through their answers and it is named the S.T.A.R model.
At this first stage it is important to set the scene for your answer. With this said, it has to be as concise as possible. For example, if the question is related to describing a situation where you’ve had to deal with a difficult team member it is important to explain how you came to meet this person and exactly how they were ‘difficult’.
You must mention what is required of you. For example if you are explaining a time you worked within a team, mention what the team task involved.
You must describe what you actually did so highlight the strategic plan you took and the skills and personal attributes you used. It is important to make this section personal to yourself, what you did and how you went about doing it. Do not be afraid to go into detail at this point as it helps the interviewer understand exactly why you carried out your particular actions, and it shows them that you calculated the consequence of those actions in order to take control of a particular situation.
Explain how the situation played out and the result of that, mention what you personally accomplished and what you learned from the situation. It may be the case that you can apply it to a number of situations you eventually come across within the workplace.
For more advice on interview techniques visit our advice centre here.
The S.T.A.R method has proved to be a valuable tool for both clients and all candidates at varying stages of their careers, and the structure can be adopted by recent graduates up to senior level managers. When answering competency based questions, if you stick to these four steps, you will have an advantage against other candidates and heighten your chances of achieving your dream job.