I am often presented with this question – ‘Any tips on how to answer questions during an interview?”
My advice would be this: Give examples. Examples are the lifeblood of a good interview. Interviewers love to hear specific examples of your experiences. If you were hiring someone for a leadership position and one candidate claims to be a good leader, but another candidate claims to be a good leader and gives you examples of his leadership success. Who would you more likely to choose?
Career consultants recommend using the S.T.A.R. acronym when describing your experiences. S.T.A.R. stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Begin your example by briefly explaining the Situation you faced. Then, describe the Task you are assigned or took on. Next, describe the Action you took or implemented for that situation. What exactly you do or delegated to your team? And finally, tell the interviewer about the Result you reaped.
Here I give you 3 examples of 3 different candidates:
Scenario: The interviewer has just said, “Tell me a challenging teaching situation you’ve experienced.”
I was hired by a bank to conduct customer service training for all of the bank tellers, regardless of their performance. It was a mandatory training, and the leadership team warned me that many of the tellers would not want to attend, meaning, they’ve feel like it was just a giant waste of time. So I started by asking the leadership team for the customer service data, and then I built a concise, but strong case, that service wasn’t as great as it thought to be. In fact, 15% of customer loss was directly related to service problems. I began each training seminar with that data, and then I also built-in-tons of role-play situations so tellers would realize just how challenging it is to provide consistently good service. In fact, we filmed them as they role-played, and as they watched themselves, you could see this new awareness on their faces. The evaluations by the participants
at the end of the training were outstanding, 4.8 on a 5 point scale. But what I’m really proud of, is after the training, customer satisfaction increased by nearly 20%.
I was a teaching assistant in a daycare center for almost 3 years, and the kids were out of control, especially at nap time. We tried our best to keep things under control.
In my department, we hired ten interns every year, and each one has to pass a rigorous skills test before we let them have access to any of our open accounts. And that passing rate on first attempt used to be 50%, and since I took over, the pass rate is now 87%.
Now, how would you rate these 3 candidates? Did you have Candidate #2 the worst? I did, because she didn’t share a specific example. She briefed her job position/the role that she had but doesn’t actually described any of her action. We don’t hear if she was successful with those unruly children.
Who did you have as better but not best? I put Candidate #3. Her response was relevant, and she described a specific situation and her result.But we don’t know what she did to contribute to these results. Finally, we have Candidate #1, with the best example. She hit all four of the S.T.A.R. criteria, Situation, Task, Action, and Result. She gave specifics, like a 20% in her satisfaction feedback, and her 4.8 average increase in customer rating. We know what activities she did to create the successful training results. She built a strong case for training and used role-plays.
Use the STAR format and be a star in your next interview. All the best to you from Elizabeth Image Branding.