What is the STAR Method

The gold standard for answering behavioral interview questions

Behavioral Based Questions

Behavioral based questions are designed to determine your likely future behavior given specific experiences from your past. Employers will generally ask behavioral interview questions which are designed to test your level of career readiness. Your goal prior to the interview is to anticipate your answers to possible questions by thinking of personal examples you can use to explain how you have responded to specific scenarios. Let's go over some sample questions you might be asked in an interview.

Question 1: Tell me about a difficult decision you have made.

The interviewer is most likely asking this question to understand your thought process and to better understand how you make decisions. What factors did you consider when making this decision? What alternatives to the decision you chose did you consider? Did you think about timelines, deadlines, quality, budget, etc? Be sure that your example is detailed, professional and places you in a positive light.

Question 2: Describe a situation in which you went above and beyond expectations.

In this question, the interviewer is trying to measure your initiative and energy. Are you willing to do more than the minimum? What do you consider to be more than expected?

Question 3: What kind of role do you play on a team?

Your answer to this question reveals how successfully you are able to interact with others. How did you make a difference on the team? What is your leadership style? What are your main contributions to a team? Try to think of a specific example in which you played a key role on a team highlighting not only what you accomplished personally, but how you worked as a team to get there. Remember you should always be the hero in your story.

Question 4: Tell me about a time when you encountered a difficult customer or co-worker.

This specific question is asking how you confront conflict. Focus more on the resolution and your role in effectively managing the situation. Make sure to focus on the positive resolution of this difficult situation or experience.

The STAR Method

Before answering these questions we recommend that you consider the STAR method. STAR stands for Situation Task Action Result. For every example you give it is helpful to follow this model.

  • First S-situation, set the scenario for your example.
  • Next T-Task, describe the specific challenge or task that relates to the question.
  • A-action, Talk about the actions that you took to accomplish that task.
  • Lastly R - Result, present the results that followed because of the chosen action.

In all of these examples remember to choose the ones where you are the hero of the scenario. Lastly, remember if you would like to sharpen your interview skills set up an appointment to meet with one of our career advisors for an interview prep or an interview practice through our Handshake platform.

The content above is based on information provided by Arizona State University in their video "Behavioral Interview: Questions and Answers".

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