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Master your interview with the STAR method

You're in the middle of an interview for your dream job and everything is going great. You're making a great first impression on the interviewer. But suddenly you hear the dreaded words: “Tell me about a situation in which you...” and all your self-confidence wanes.

Does that sound familiar? Don't worry, we've all experienced it!

These types of questions are called behavioral/behavioral questions and they're difficult to answer. But don't worry, we're here to help you master these types of questions in your next job interview.

The behavioral interview was introduced by industrial psychologists in the 1970s. The idea behind these types of questions is that the best way to predict future performance is to look at the past tense in a similar situation. Therefore, you'll be asked to provide a real example of how you've handled a particular situation in the past.

Some examples of these types of questions include:

  • Give an example of when you had to..?
  • Tell me about a situation in which you... had to?
  • What have you done in the past to..?

Although these questions may seem difficult to answer, it becomes easier when you use the STAR method.

But wait 🤔...

What is the STAR method?

The STAR method provides a framework that allows you to tell a meaningful story about your past experiences in a structured way. This allows you to show the recruiter that you have the necessary skills and abilities for the job, supported by a real example.

SSituation: Depict the scene of the situation you were in

Task (task): Describe your specific responsibilities

AAction: Explain exactly the steps you've taken to solve the problem

Result (result): Share the result of your actions.

Let's take a closer look 🔎

The STAR method in action

We'll break up the STAR method with an example, but before we do, an important note: prepare examples in advance!

It's impossible to know what the interviewer is going to ask you. However, we recommend having a few stories ready from your past experiences so that you can prepare yourself for various questions. In an interview, don't worry if you have a few seconds to think about it and structure your answer correctly.

Once you've got your example in mind, it's time to use the STAR method!

Example question: What was the most challenging sale you made?

1ST SSituation

Start with that Describe a specific event or situation. Try to get straight to the point and avoid unnecessary details that aren't relevant to the final outcome. Your goal in this phase is to create a clear picture of the situation you've been in and to highlight the difficulties and challenges you've faced.

Example (situation): “In my last role as account executive, I spent five months negotiating back and forth with a client who had the potential to be the biggest deal in the company's history. That was significant because our sales cycle was usually never longer than two months. They had a lot of decision makers and were very selective when choosing the product they wanted to invest in. When I thought the sale was complete, someone came up with new concerns and we had to start over.”

2nd task/task

In this phase Describe what your responsibility was in this situation. In other words, discuss the goal or task you've been given. The interviewer must understand what role you had at that moment. This section requires much less time than explaining the situation. Just consider one or two points that best represent the task you had to complete.

Example (task/task): “I had not started the year well and was far from my half-year quota. This customer would represent almost my entire annual revenue quota. I was the only account executive responsible for the deal and 100% responsible for closing the sale.”

3rd action

Here is your chance to shine. Explain what you've doneWhat steps you've taken to solve the problem and which processes you've used. This is about proving that you have the skills and abilities required for the job.

Example (action): “I decided to focus fully on this customer. I slowly identified my advocate within the company, built a relationship of trust through meaningful interactions, and worked with her to understand the company's internal dynamics and find my way through every stakeholder involved. I was up to date but not intrusive and adapted my approach to each and every stakeholder I interacted with and their specific pain points. It was hard work but also a lot of fun.”

4th result

Describe the outcome of your actions, both positive and negative. The goal here is to show the interviewer what was achieved as a result of your actions and how it affected the situation. Also explain what insights or experiences you have gained from this situation and how you will apply them in the future.

Example (result/result): “After 5 long months, we finally signed the deal. It was the biggest deal in the company's history and a huge learning curve for me personally. I had never had to go into more detail to close a sale and I really understood what it took to take on a complex sales process.”

In summary, the STAR method is a useful tool to be prepared for behavioral questions in job interviews. It helps you to give a structured and concise answer by describing the situation, task, action, and outcome. With a bit of preparation and practice, you can be sure that you are prepared for every behavioral question and can present your best self.

We've helped hundreds of people get their dream jobs in tech sales even people who had no previous experience or previous history, and the STAR method is by far our most efficient interview technique and the one candidates love the most.

We really recommend that you practice them before every interview. Write down a list of possible questions and review them with a friend or in front of the mirror. Trust us, if you use them well, recruiters will be impressed!

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