5 Star Interview Process
A successful job interview should begin even before you shake hands with the interviewer. Many employers favor a behavioral interview structure to qualify successful candidates. They ask behavior-based questions in an attempt to predict prospective employees’ performance based on their past behaviors. Job seekers have used the 5 STAR method of interviewing to effectively respond to behavioral questions during interviews.
Identify a Situation
The STAR acronym helps you remember the outline for responding to standard 5 star interview questions. “Situation” refers to an actual problem that required resolution. Interviewers like to hear about a challenging situation that went awry, which gave you the opportunity to be a problem-solver. Job candidates can seize this part of the interview as a hook to engage the interviewer and set the stage for detailing skills that the employer seeks. Share situational examples – in order of desirability – from your professional experience, school or community involvements.
“Task” is the next step in the 5 STAR method of interviewing. This step allows you the opportunity to describe your particular role in the problematic situation and how you developed strategies to resolve the challenge. Devote about 20 percent of your STAR time to the combined situation and task steps. This is not the time to discuss your joint efforts as a team, but to describe your specific tasks as an individual and how your contribution promoted resolution. For example, did you make a recommendation, prepare a data spreadsheet or coordinate a team’s efforts?
Describe Action Taken
The “Action” step of the STAR method of interviewing allows you to discuss the specifics of your task in a concise step-by-step sequence. Give this step about half of your total STAR time. Without straying off topic, utilize this time to explain how you linked your specific tasks to the overall strategy. For example, if your contribution to the task step was to design a spreadsheet, explain how you compiled data and from which sources. Explain to your prospective employer the actionable steps you took without veering into what you would have done or what you would do in the future.
Emory stresses the importance of of specificity when describing results. Avoid answers that are vague or perfunctory. As in the other steps of this interview model, concentrate on your results instead of diluting your contribution as part of a team effort. Whenever possible, quantify your results. For example, include a certain percentage of growth or profit margin that you were able to achieve in a sales job. Or you might focus on the successful outcome of an initial problem and how your leadership led to conflict resolution.
Ask Specific Questions
Arizona State University, or ASU, explains that the fifth and final step of a job interview is when the interviewer invites the applicant to ask questions. You should come prepared with a few questions about specific job duties, company culture or advancement opportunities. End an interview by being enthusiastic, projecting confidence and shaking hands. Asking for the interviewer’s business card and following up with a thank-you letter is basic workplace etiquette.
Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist and a professional writer who has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, horticultural articles, and magazine and newspaper articles. After studying botany and microbiology at Clemson University, Blackstone was hired as a University of Georgia Master Gardener Coordinator. She is also a former mortgage acquisition specialist for Freddie Mac in Atlanta, GA.