How To Pass a Star Behavioral Job Interview

Are you looking for a new job?  Have you heard about the STAR behavioral job interview?  Do you want to nail it?  Well, here are some tips to help you score better and impress your future employer:

  • Prepare to tell good stories.  Think about your previous job experiences.  List down at least 10 of them.  Concentrate on the ones where you have accomplished something really positive, productive, or worthwhile.  Think on how those stories can effectively reveal much about your skills and abilities.  Make them varied as much as possible.  For example, share how you where able to negotiate with a big supplier and close a deal with a lower rate or how you assisted a co-employee in completing a project.
  • Structure your stories.  Challenge yourself to adhere to the STAR format.  Write down your stories following this outline: Situation or Task, Action, and Result.  The STAR format is integral in a behavioral interview.  How do you work it?  Here is an example.  Begin with the Situation or Task: “My co-employee recently joined the team.  He wasn’t familiar with our new product.  Since he had to contribute in fulfilling our plan, I had to brief him about our new product.”  Follow it up with the Action:  “I designed a training module to let my co-employee understand our new product by heart.  I ran the said training module for three days.  I personally made myself available to answer all his questions and clarification points.  And then, finish with the Result:  “Our manager met my co-employee.  Our manager was impressed because my co-employee was able to speak confidently about our new product.  My co-employee readily managed to handle his assigned tasks.  Our manager congratulated me.”  
  • Study your stories.  Zero in on the specific effects your stories had on your co-employees, your immediate superior, your valued customers, your business partners, your division or your company, and of course, yourself.
  • Be prepared to give details.  A behavioral interview usually attempts to assess how you have demonstrated some of your traits.  So, be direct in stating your answers.  Make sure that the facts that you bring out are consistent with your stories.  Tell them logically.  Note the timelines and be guided by them.  Bear in mind that each story becomes necessary in getting to know your skills and abilities.  Be alert and attentive.
  • Ask a friend to do a mock interview with you.  Practice by telling your stories to your friend.  After listening, instruct him to raise questions.  He should be able to simulate the interview and encourage you to try giving out good answers.  You may ask him to comment about your overall demeanor.  He should also be able to give a feedback if you answers made sense.  If not, ask for some suggestions.  You can even brainstorm and think of ways how your answers are going to sound more impressive.

Since you have the leeway to choose the stories to tell, plan things carefully.  Select the stories that are going to reflect your positive side.  Don’t tell stories that are simply going to humiliate you.  Even if you were asked to share about an embarrassing moment, think of a situation that eventually revealed your good side.


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