2019 HBCU Careers Magazine

HBCU Careers Magazine

The STAR Method of Interviewing: Be a Star on Your Interview By: Amy Soricelli Vice President, Career Services Berkeley College

There are a million and one ways to get a job ‘these days’. We probably know about all of them; networking, social media, company websites, research, career service offices, staffing firms, your best friend, and your mom. The bottom line with all of these wonderful avenues of opportunity is interview survival. Without the skill, the dazzle, the winning answers… your amazing resume, and robust LinkedIn profile will be a worthless exercise. How does one get through the interview ‘these days’? Is the interview process different than it was years ago, and if so, how has it changed and

how can you prepare for it? While the world of recruitment might be making every attempt to be kinder and gentler, the old ‘rules of the road’ will always prevail, and one must be super-prepared in order to beat out the competition. What do we know for sure? We know that you will probably not be asked the same questions as you might have been years ago. Recruiters are less interested in YOUR five year plan and “where you see yourself” than they are in your ability to handle a crisis. Your vision of yourself in five years is less important to them than how you see yourself fitting into the role that is available. What can you tell them about your past experience that talks to the special skills and talents you have? How can you convince them that you are not new to the scenarios of working life –what examples can you use to illustrate that you can fill their requirements? Many employers use the STAR method of interviewing to fill their positions and the answers to those critical scenarios can determine a candidate’s success or failure in the process, and on the job. So what is the STAR method exactly? It’s pretty straight-forward actually, and when employed correctly, can actually expedite the interview process and make it fruitful for all parties. STAR is Situation, Task, Action, Result. Situation asks you to explore an event or happening that you were involved in. At this point you need to ‘be in the moment’ and do some hard and fast thinking; remember to keep PROFESSIONAL and APPROPRIATE forefront in your mind at all times. Explain the Task you were asked to complete. Try to be specific but not painstakingly granular. Action describes the actions, the method, you used to complete the task. The result wraps this up with the results of this ‘journey’ and hopefully brings the recruiter to a satisfying conclusion regarding your candidacy. What are some examples of STAR Interviewing? “ Please share an example of a time in your career when you had a deadline to meet and you were working with a team – how did you approach this group?” “Share a time when you used Data to make a recommendation” “Share a time when you failed – what was that about and what did you learn from the experience? ” These types of questions ask the candidate to ‘think’ and to connect the dots of their previous experience with the needs of the current role. Additionally, it is a nice way for the candidate to highlight his/her special talents without running off a list of accomplishments which is a huge turn-off in the interview process. A successful STAR interview allows the candidate to walk the recruiter through a particular accomplishment or task that enabled the candidate to learn, grow. Nothing is better than ‘natural conversation’ on an interview. You can do this. Go be a STAR.


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