Hey there cultivator! In this article, I want to jump into how to use the STAR method to answer behavioral questions in an interview. If you’re in the workforce, you can bet these types of questions will come up in any interview that you go on. While hiring managers and recruiters are trained to deliver these questions, they’re also trained to listen for a very specific type of response. So without further ado, let’s dive into learning how to identify and answer these types of questions. Watch the video below, or continue reading along!
Answer Behavioral Questions in an Interview with the STAR Method
What Exactly Is A Behavioral Question?
Let’s start by just explaining what a behavioral question is to begin with. Behavioral questions are really aimed at getting a sense of your logic, personality, abilities, communication skills, and how you handle yourself in certain situations. They might start by asking about past experiences or behaviors. There’s a saying that goes, “your past experience is a predictor of your future experience.”
You can identify these behavioral questions because they usually start off with something like, “tell me about a time…” or “how did you handle…” or “share an example of…” So again, these are all questions that are asking about something that happened in the past. Knowing this, once you can identify that you’ve been asked a behavioral question, you can then go into the four-step formula that all of these recruiters and hiring managers are trained at to listen for.
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What is the STAR Method?
This simple formula is called the S.T.A.R. method. It stands for situation, task, action, and result.
When to Use the STAR Method
So let’s jump into an example of a behavioral question and an appropriate answer so you can start to have the framework to develop your own answers. Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re in an interview and your interviewer asks you, “tell me about a time that you fell short of a goal.”
In this particular case, you’re now going to follow the framework of explaining:
• The Situation – Where did I fall short of the goal?
• The Tasks and Actions – What did I do to overcome my shortcoming?
• The Result– What was the ultimate positive result that stemmed from the tasks and actions that I took?
How to Use the STAR Method
Let’s break this down further with an example of what each of these points might sound like specifically.
After interviewing hundreds of people, I’ve noticed many people do a good job explaining their situation and the tasks and action they took, but leave out the ultimate results, which happens to be the most important part. So again, aim to land on a big positive that shows you took that experience as a learning opportunity.
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As you can see from that S.T.A.R. example, I really painted the situation. I talked about the specific tasks and actions and I also demonstrated my positive optimistic personality despite not meeting a goal to set out with. What employer doesn’t want somebody who’s optimistic on their team? Demonstrating flexibility, adaptability, and positivity will go a long way in your interview. So your goal is to respond within the S.T.A.R. framework in the most concise but powerful way.
Behavioral questions can be quite simple to answer as long as you can identify it and then follow the formula. And even if you don’t have the answer prepared for that specific question, you can still think on your feet and just follow that four-step process!
Don’t forget to sign up for the free resource library! In the library, you’ll get access to the 25 most common behavioral questions list as well as a ton of other resources to help you with your job search.