I was recently involved in an interview training session with Young Enterprise Lothian, a programme which encourages students aged 16 to 18 to set up and run their own company over the course of one academic year.
At the moment the students are busy preparing, not only for their prelims but for their end of year company interviews. For many participants this is the first interview they have taken part in and as anyone who has been interviewed knows, they can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if you’re not sure what to expect.
One of the most popular tips the group picked up was the STAR interview technique, a useful tool to help interviewees effectively talk through an example or scenario in an interview. This technique was something I was taught when I first started interviewing and it has helped me as both an interviewer and interviewee to ensure I get (or give!) all the relevant information in a way that is easy to understand.
So, if you are faced with questions which require you to talk through an example such as “Tell me about a time when you have…” or “Describe a situation where you….” try following STAR to keep yourself on track, give the interviewer all the information they need and feel confident in your answer.
STAR – INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE
Briefly describe the situation eg “When I was working in a newly formed team as Team Leader with…”
This helps set the scene for the interviewer.
Describe what it was you were to do or what you were aiming to achieve. Eg “I had to resolve a disagreement within the team”
Describe what you did, how you did it, why you did it.
This is the most important part of your answer as it is your chance to show your actions and demonstrate your abilities.
Remember to talk about what you did not the company or group as a whole. Use “I” not “we”, the interviewer is interested in you!
What happened? What was the outcome?
A “result” can be a number of different things from achieving a goal, or hitting a target to getting positive feedback or learning something new.
It’s always a good idea to try to give an example with a positive result!
I hope the STAR technique works for you and if you have any top interview tips you’d like to share please use the comments field below or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org