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Interview tips..what is the STAR approach?

(10 Posts)
Allthingspretty Wed 17-Jul-13 14:00:50

I read about this on here. Can someone tell me more about it please?

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Wed 17-Jul-13 14:05:10

It stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. It's a good way to give examples when you're asked question in interviews. Basically if you cover all four areas you'll give a full example. I have interviewed people a lot for my job and my tip would be not to forget the Result because that's what a lot of people do.

Allthingspretty Wed 17-Jul-13 14:09:57

Thanks Orange.
Hiw many examples ahoukd I give? Shoukd i take them personal statement?

K8Middleton Wed 17-Jul-13 14:12:58

It's a method for answering competency based questions. I prefer to think of the T as Target instead of task but it doesn't really matter.

Agree with BigOrange that people often forget the Result bit. They can also waffle on for a long time over the Situation bit. That's just context and scene setting. The important bit is what you did (or would do if you have no direct experience) and what you achieved so keep the Situation bit short and to the point.

Repeatedlydoingthetwist Wed 17-Jul-13 14:18:46

Good tip from K8, don't waffle on about the situation, this doesn't really add much to your example. Normally each question will be geared towards a specific competency so I would expect you to give one strong example for each. It's a good idea to think of times when you have done certain things and practice talking about them in this way, rather than trying to think of things on the spot in your interview.

Allthingspretty Wed 17-Jul-13 14:29:36

Thank you both. What about the any questiona for us part I always get atuck on that part. Havw you both got any tips?

K8Middleton Wed 17-Jul-13 14:32:25

You should only give one example per question. If they want more they will ask. They should usually be from your work experience but could be from your personal life or voluntary experience.

For example: Tell me about a time when you have dealt with a difficult client?

Situation: We have a longstanding client who has a very quick temper. He is well known for shouting if he feels anything is not perfect and has had colleagues in tears before. On this particular occasion he had not been received an important email (that i knew had been sent) and he was extremely unhappy.

Target/Task: I needed to calm him down, investigate what had happened and find a solution that was to his satisfaction and get back to him as quickly as possible.

Actions: So I remained calm myself while he let off steam and i checked his account and the email system. I also apologised that he had been inconvenienced. I then gave him the choice of staying on the line while I found out what had happened or calling him back. I investigated and then politely explained that the email had definitely been sent but I would forward the sent email again right now and extend the deadline for him as a valued client.

Result: The client was placated and felt important and valued. It was also clear that we had not been negligent without any blame being passed to the client. We retained his business and he called my manager to say how helpful I had been.

Any questions for them depends on what industry and sort of organisation it is. I usually like to ask about how they view the culture of the organisation from the inside but I'm in HR so that's interesting for me!

WF Wed 02-Oct-13 05:39:35

This was interesting. Do most places use the STAR approach to interviewing these days?

BikeRunSki Wed 02-Oct-13 06:10:36

I think of it as STARR, where the last R is "review or recap",ie summarise what you have said to make sure the interviewer has got the points you are making.
V common interview technique in public sector.

EBearhug Wed 02-Oct-13 22:02:24

"Questions for us" - remember that interviews are two-way. You're also finding out if you want to work for them. So think about the things which are important to you and what you want from a job, and base questions around that. You could ask questions about:
- flexible working (can you work from home?)
- is there much travel to other sites or overseas?
- how many people are there in the team?
- why is there a vacancy (they'll probably not tell you the complete truth if it happens to be, "Because we've got a nightmare manager and a really high turnover as a result.")
- what opportunities are there for training?
- what benefits are there? (Private health, pension, gym, that sort of thing.)

There could be questions which are particularly related to the role in question, or the industry. In my case, because of my line of work, I tend to ask things like,
- Is there any datacentre work?
- What's a typical on-call week like?
- Are there any women in the department?
But they're not questions which will be relevant to every job. Maybe a school job, you could ask questions about policies on uniform, punishment, homework, whatever.

Try to avoid things which are easily found on their website, unless it's in terms of, "I saw on the website that you offer X - can you tell me more about that, please?" Obviously, you can only avoid that sort of thing if you know what is on their website, and if you're going for an interview, you should have done that research.

It's also okay not to have questions, particularly if you can phrase it along the lines, "I did have some queries about the grading structure, but you already covered that when you were talking about typical career paths," because that shows you had had some questions prepared.

Just think about what would make it a good job for you, and as the interview progresses, consider whether you're getting an idea of whether those values/needs in you are likely to be met, and if it's not clear, then ask questions which will help clarify it. If you've got a pen and notebook with you, you can always make a note to yourself if something comes up you want to find more detail about.

Obviously if it's a case of, "I don't care, I just need to have an income again," try not to let desperation show!

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