Last week we talked about branding yourself and introduced the six leadership skills. An essential element of branding yourself is being able to articulate the qualities and characteristics people know they are always going to get from you. Today, we are going to review the STAR Method, which is a structure for answering interview questions and talking about your leadership skills.

The STAR method stands for situation, task, action and result.

  • Situation: describe the situation you were in
  • Task: explain what you needed to accomplish
  • Action: detail the steps you took to accomplish that task
  • Result: tell what happened because of this experience

The CLDC has a worksheet designed to help you develop STAR stories for the six leadership skills that we introduced last week. In last week’s blog post, we suggested you make a list of situations you were in where you had to use the leadership skills. Now, go back to that list and you can begin constructing your STAR stories. Let me give you an example from my own life and experience using my problem-solving skills.

I am the social media director at The Post and during fall semester we were in a situation in which we were trying to discover ways to get more views on our website. We discovered that some of our Twitter accounts for different sections of the paper weren’t being used very often and that could be a potential solution to our problem. I was given the task of finding ways to make those accounts more active. I took the action of reaching out to different section editors and asking if any of their writers would be interested in helping run these secondary Twitter accounts. This resulted in writers volunteering to learn how to use these accounts and in turn they became more active, which respectively increased our views on our website.

Now I have a story that I can tell in an interview that showcases my problem-solving skills, but does so in a concise and organized manner.

Take some time to fill out this worksheet and examine the other leadership skills you possess. There is also room for you to add your own skills and strengths and reflect on situations in which you used them. Being prepared to answer questions like this an interview shows not only that you are serious about the position, but that you also know who you are and are confident in your experiences which is an important part of branding yourself.

By Kate Ansel, CLDC Social Media Intern

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