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  • FIRST POST
    • Op89
    • By Op89 4th Mar 18, 5:05 PM
    • 8Posts
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    Op89
    Interview with STAR method
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 18, 5:05 PM
    Interview with STAR method 4th Mar 18 at 5:05 PM
    Hello
    Long time thread observer but not created an account until today!

    I have an interview on Thursday and it is my first in 9 years. It is a similar role to what I do now but brand new company and instead of focussing on one stakeholder, it will be multiple. I have been given the information on the competency based questions which will need to be answered in the STAR format.

    I have had a look online but the examples given don't seem particularly detailed so I am having a bit of a panic. I don't have anyone I can discuss it with at home/work/friends.

    Has anyone used STAR before and what sort of responses did you give please? Any other general tips?

    Thanks

    Olivia
Page 1
    • hcb42
    • By hcb42 4th Mar 18, 5:09 PM
    • 5,805 Posts
    • 3,520 Thanks
    hcb42
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 18, 5:09 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 18, 5:09 PM
    I would tend to look at the competences for the role e.g. planning, leadership, managing time, project work, working in a team, complaint handling etc, then work up plenty of examples in a notebook beforehand so you can recall them.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 4th Mar 18, 5:19 PM
    • 29,256 Posts
    • 74,720 Thanks
    Mojisola
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 18, 5:19 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 18, 5:19 PM
    I have been given the information on the competency based questions which will need to be answered in the STAR format.

    I have had a look online but the examples given don't seem particularly detailed so I am having a bit of a panic. I don't have anyone I can discuss it with at home/work/friends.
    Originally posted by Op89
    Isn't it just a fancy way of describing the way interview questions have always been answered?

    The situation was xxx (eg. customer returned item and complained about quality);
    the task (or target) was to xxx (get the facts, placate the customer, establish whether a replacement or refund was wanted, etc);
    the action was to xxx (give refund);
    the result was xxx (customer was happy, gave good review of service on FB page, poor quality item was reviewed by manager and replaced with a better product).
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 4th Mar 18, 6:26 PM
    • 747 Posts
    • 2,332 Thanks
    Detroit
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 18, 6:26 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 18, 6:26 PM
    Put the advice given by hcb42 together with Mojisola's.
    The interview questions will be based on the competencies for the role, and you will need to demonstrate how you meet them with examples from your previous experience.
    The STAR approach, as explained by Mojisola, is just the way they want you to structure your examples.
    Good luck!


    Put your hands up.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 4th Mar 18, 6:28 PM
    • 3,427 Posts
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    marlot
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 18, 6:28 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 18, 6:28 PM
    Think of a handful (4-6) of really good examples where you made a positive impact at your company. Use the most relevant one for each time you're asked about a competence.

    You need to briefly outline the S, spend most of the time on the T and A, and don't forget the R. Make it snappy and a change to show them why you are the person who will be effective in the role.
    • tgon
    • By tgon 4th Mar 18, 6:28 PM
    • 570 Posts
    • 283 Thanks
    tgon
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 6:28 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Mar 18, 6:28 PM
    As above, Situation, Task, Action, Result. It's quite easy and commonplace. E.g. There was a problem with the boiler, I identified it was a blocked condensation pipe, I poured hot water on the pipe, that unblocked it and the boiler works again.

    It's more about how you problem solve in a logical planned manner.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 4th Mar 18, 7:42 PM
    • 3,427 Posts
    • 2,543 Thanks
    marlot
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 18, 7:42 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Mar 18, 7:42 PM
    As above, Situation, Task, Action, Result. It's quite easy and commonplace. E.g. There was a problem with the boiler, I identified it was a blocked condensation pipe, I poured hot water on the pipe, that unblocked it and the boiler works again...
    Originally posted by tgon
    this is good, but would be even better if the result can be expressed in terms which adds business value. Such as 'the store was able to open on time and we made 1000 of sales that morning that we'd have missed if we'd been closed'
    • Les79
    • By Les79 4th Mar 18, 11:08 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 270 Thanks
    Les79
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:08 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Mar 18, 11:08 PM
    I had an interview the other day, a job I really really want. Panel of two interviewers and they were lovely, and it helped me to recognise the importance of the STAR method! Effectively, I had a smallish window to talk to them and it was important for them to be able to follow what I was saying.

    I identified 5+ scenarios based around the job outline and practiced them quite a bit in the week before the interview. I made structured answers against their likely questions.

    One STAR example was effectively:

    S = My current employer + brief outline of the role
    T = Setting up a team in a new department
    A = What I did to set the team up
    R = Achievements directly related to my input (positive feedback, improvement on business performance)

    Another example

    S = The need for a specific report to be produced
    T = Creating the report, (using Excel etc)
    A = What I did (VBA, Macros etc)
    R = What impact it had on the business

    I might not get this job, but I have to admit that the STAR method really helped me. I was constantly thinking about it in the interview, and effectively structured my answers like that. The "S" and "T" sometimes merge into one, or overlap a lot, but that's absolutely fine! I think SAR is also absolutely valid as well.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 5th Mar 18, 8:56 AM
    • 8,362 Posts
    • 6,178 Thanks
    pmduk
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 8:56 AM
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 18, 8:56 AM
    OP, don't panic. STAR sounds very complex, but in reality, just helps you describe a situation in a logical straightforward manner Once you've practiced it, you'll never look back
    • elsien
    • By elsien 5th Mar 18, 8:59 AM
    • 16,399 Posts
    • 41,445 Thanks
    elsien
    The answers you give don't have to be work related either, if you're struggling to think of something.
    So if one of the questions is about something you've not encountered in a work role but you have a good example from your personal life you can still use that.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 5th Mar 18, 9:23 AM
    • 1,906 Posts
    • 2,801 Thanks
    shortcrust
    Isn't it just a fancy way of describing the way interview questions have always been answered?

    The situation was xxx (eg. customer returned item and complained about quality);
    the task (or target) was to xxx (get the facts, placate the customer, establish whether a replacement or refund was wanted, etc);
    the action was to xxx (give refund);
    the result was xxx (customer was happy, gave good review of service on FB page, poor quality item was reviewed by manager and replaced with a better product).
    Originally posted by Mojisola
    Yes but I think you often need an extra bit for competency based interviews. If there's a competency framework and you've been given detailed information on it you need to make explicit and detailed reference to it in your answers. I'd be ending every example with "and this demonstrates by ability to [insert as many relevant competencies as possble!] whilst also [add some more!!] etc". Yes it seems clunky and forced, and is best accompanied by a knowingly semi-apologetic expression, but thats the game and in my experience interviewers light up when they realise you're going to use their 'code'. They've got a tick list in front of the them so making it easy for them benefits you.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 5th Mar 18, 1:11 PM
    • 16,627 Posts
    • 9,815 Thanks
    motorguy
    One thing i would add to STAR is its common to say "customer had an issue, i had to fix it, i fixed it and got it working again", however often people dont add that they confirmed with the person raising the fault / situation that it was resolved to their satisfaction and they had confirmed it was fixed.

    So i'd consider it STARR, where the second R is Review.
    "We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."
    • Op89
    • By Op89 5th Mar 18, 6:01 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Op89
    Thank you everyone! I am using the personal spec competencies and getting some examples for example - times I've had to adapt, times I've provided excellent service, difficult colleagues etc.

    Please keep your fingers crossed and I will update you once I hear the outcome!
    • Op89
    • By Op89 9th Mar 18, 7:31 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    Op89
    Hello everyone,

    I have an update as promised.

    I was offered the role this morning!!! I am very grateful for everyone's advice and input on this. There were a couple of questions which I wasn't expecting and don't believe I answered using the STAR method but it clearly worked!

    Thank you again
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 10th Mar 18, 7:49 AM
    • 8,362 Posts
    • 6,178 Thanks
    pmduk
    Well done!
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