The job interview is a crucial step in the hiring process, where you have the opportunity to present yourself and showcase your skills and qualifications. To stand out from the competition, it's important to prepare thoroughly and effectively respond to interview questions. And we have just the right hack for you!
Ever heard of the STAR method? No? Well then hold on to your coffee cup, lean back and learn.
Preparing for the Interview
Research the Company and Job Position
Let’s divide into these two points:
Understanding the Company's Values and Culture:
Conduct in-depth research to gain insights into the company's mission, values, and work culture. This knowledge will help you align your responses with the organization. And we all know that the question of “what do you know about our company” will come for sure.
Gathering Information about the Job Position's Requirements:
Study the job description and similar ones to identify the key skills and qualifications required and anticipate interview questions. This information will help you tailor your responses to meet the specific needs of the role and position yourself as the ideal candidate.
These steps probably sound easy and unnecessary but trust us they are. This shows not only your interest and commitment but also your ability to pay attention to small tasks.
Work on Your Personal Branding
After you have completed the above steps, you can work on your "Personal Brand". This means highlighting your strengths and Unique Selling Points. For that, you should identify what you stand for and the attributes that differentiate you from other candidates. Craft a compelling elevator pitchto effectively communicate your personal brand during the interview.
Plan Effective Interview Responses like a “STAR”
The STAR Method Explained
This Interview Method is the format for providing a structured and full response to a possibly complicated topic. In simple words, it helps you create a storyline around your answer to paint a clear picture of the situation.
What STAR stands for you ask? Just continue reading...
Situation: Describe the circumstance you were in or the task you had to do. You should explain a specific occurrence or context, not a broad summary of your prior actions. Make sure you provide enough information for the interviewer to grasp. This specific situation might be from a previous job, volunteer work, university project, or any other related event.
Task: Clearly describe the specific task or objective that needed to be accomplished.
Action: Outline the steps you took to address the situation, highlighting your skills and decision-making abilities. Describe what you did to handle the issue in sufficient detail while keeping the spotlight on YOU. What actions did you take, and what was your specific impact? When discussing a project, be mindful not to explain what the team or group accomplished, but rather what you did. When discussing acts, use "I" rather than "we."
Result: Share the outcome of your actions, emphasizing the positive impact you made. Don’t be afraid to brag a bit and take responsibility for your efforts.
What took place?
How did the event come to an end?
What did you achieve?
What did you discover?
Make sure your solution covers a variety of good outcomes.
Great Example of How To Use The STAR Method:
Interview Question: Would you describe yourself more as a follower or leader and an out-of-the-box thinker?
I guess I am a good balance between both. I am very comfortable with following the rules and tasks that are set out but I also try to constantly improve systems and processes.
S: For example, my previous company was having some trouble acquiring new clients during the pandemic and I was asked to support the client acquisition team.
T: Since we were in a critical situation we were under a lot of time pressure to gain new clients. So it was important to come up with a good strategy with fast results.
A: Instead of going the usual road of contacting as many clients as possible I decided to focus on only a few but bigger potential clients. My idea was to rely on relationship building to gain one major client rather than hoping to catch some little fish.
R: With the support of the marketing team, I was finally able to attract 3 new customers that brought us more profit than if we had acquired 7 small companies. One of them even resulted in a contract worth 90,000 €, so in the end I was glad I had made the decision to change the usual strategy.
Interview Question: How do you deal with difficult situations?
I would say that I deal quite well with the unknown and difficult situations.
S: In one of my previous jobs the company was unfortunately on the brink of bankruptcy, which created a lot of fear, tension and conflict in the team.
T: Still we had to work hand in hand to deliver a good service to our clients.
A: After a day of processing I proactively called the team together to talk it out and see how we can support each other to stay motivated and work together as a team. Also going to the personal level of seeing how we could support each other in finding new opportunities after our contracts.
R: This really helped us all to come back to our great team spirit and helped especially the more shy team members to open up.
Special Collection of Common Interview Questions
Here you can find possible questions that recruiters might ask you during a job interview. The questions are divided into two major topics, namely Behavioural and Leadership questions.
"Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation at work."
"Describe a situation where you had to work in a team to achieve a goal."
"How do you handle unexpected challenges?"
"Tell me about a time when you had to make a tough decision."
"Describe a situation where you had to take charge and lead a team."
"Tell me about a time when you had to resolve conflicts within a group."
To Wrap it Up
Mastering the art of presenting yourself in an interview requires intensive preparation and effective communication. By leveraging the STAR method, you can provide structured and impactful responses that showcase your skills, experiences, and qualifications. Remember to tailor your responses to different question types, and practice mock interviews to manage interview stress. With these strategies, you'll be well-equipped to kick butt in your next interview and increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams.