Throughout your professional life, you will encounter many behavioral-based questions in job and internship interviews. All of these questions can be answered perfectly with the STAR method. If done correctly, this structured manner of responding to behavioral-based questions is guaranteed to impress employers.
So…what is the STAR method?
To demonstrate this technique, we will use the following example behavioral question: “How do you handle and respond to conflict when encountering a difficult person?”
SITUATION: Detail the background and provide a context. What happened? Where? When?
Example: “Last summer as the head lifeguard of my local public swimming pool, one of our pool patrons was unhappy with the fact that the I heard lightning and wouldn’t allow them to be in the pool.”
TASK: Describe the challenges and expectations. What had to be done and why?
Example: “It was difficult because the patron was extremely upset, saying that she had drove 45 minutes and promised her kids that they could swim. I needed to find a way to calm her down and explain why we couldn’t allow them in the pool due to safety reasons.”
ACTION: Elaborate on your specific action. What did you do? How? What tools did you use?
Example: “At first, I tried to explain the safety hazards in a polite, calm manner in order to reason with her. When this didn’t work, I had my manager come and speak to her, to provide an additional opinion and perspective. Finally, the patron understood, but was still upset. To make up for this, I offered her a free-admission pass to the pool for next time.”
RESULTS: Explain the results, accomplishments, recognition, savings, etc. What did you get out of this experience?
Example: “In the end, the patron was happy and understood that I had to follow safety rules. She was appreciative of the customer service and ended up leaving me a good review on our staff page. I learned to be patient, reasonable, and poised while dealing with a difficult client.”
This sure-fire technique will help you answer behavioral questions and will help your interviewers understand who you are. Take advantage of the STAR method.