You’re a ‘STAR’

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When sending candidates to job interviews, we try to advise them, as best we can, to ensure their best chance of success. In an interview, your interviewer is trying to predict how well you will be able to perform a role.  Demonstrating your competency will show the interviewer how your talents fit the requirements of the job.

A workplace competency describes a skill, attribute or behaviour which a jobholder must possess in order to perform the role effectively. Prior to an interview, make sure you know what skills and competencies are required for the role. Some job specs may be vague so spend some time trying to figure it out or get some advice from your Recruiter (if relevant).

Identify examples from your past experience which you can use to demonstrate that you possess the skills and competencies that you are being asked about. You do not have to find really complicated examples or describe really exciting situations . You have to show that the part you played was substantial.

Practice narrating the story using the STAR method. This means setting the scene, explaining how you handled the situation by placing the emphasis on your role, and detailing the outcome/result.

The acronym STAR stands for

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

Step 1 – Situation/Task

Describe the situation that you were confronted with or the task that needed to be accomplished. Set the scene, put it into context.

Step 2 – Action

This is the most important section as it is where you will need to demonstrate and highlight your skills and personal attributes that the question is testing. You need to explain what you did, how you did it and why you did it.

Step 3 – Result/Reflection

Explain what happened eventually – how it all ended. Also, use the opportunity to describe what you accomplished and what you learnt in that situation. This helps you make the answer personal and enables you to highlight further skills.

Preparation is key to success in job interviews. It is worth preparing at least two examples for each competency listed in the job spec. Many interviewers will have been trained to use this method. Even if they haven’t, they will recognise its value when they see it. The information will be given to them in a structured manner and, as a result, they will become more receptive to the messages you are trying to communicate.

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