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Ask the Recruiter: Preparing Your Interview Answers

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Aug 06, 2018

It's interview time! Make sure you prepare your interview answers by following these helpful techniques from a recruiter. 

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Congratulations! You have made it to the interview, but now what?  Whether you had an interview yesterday or have not interviewed in the past twenty years, it is a stressful situation and preparation is key.  Luckily, there are many interview techniques that can help candidates prepare.  Even though you will not know what questions will be asked, there is one technique in particular that you can use to help take your answers to a new level when answering questions.  The technique is called the S-T-A-R Method, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.  By placing answers in the S-T-A-R Method, it will walk the interviewer through the stages of your answer to help them follow along!

S - Situation
The situation is given to you by the interviewer, and it is your job to take that information and use it to your advantage.  When the interviewer asks the question, they are giving you context about the topic they would like you to discuss.  So, take the question and rephrase your response by restating the question and answering who, what, when, and where.

 

T - Task
The task is where you describe what you were tasked to do in the situation you just discussed.  Explaining what you were responsible for can paint a good picture of the level of work and scope of the project.  Was it a high-level project, or does it relate to the role you are interviewing for? 

 

A - Action
The action refers to what was completed and how you did it.  This is giving the interviewer an idea of how you work.  With this section, it is important to talk about what you did specifically.  Many people get caught in a trap here and talk about what their team accomplished.  Unless the question involves a team, it is important for the interviewer to know what YOU did to help the team.  The action is going to be the largest portion of your answer, so be sure to take the time to describe the steps that you took.

 

R - Result
The result is the final portion of your answer, so it is important to wrap up and make it full circle.  The result is when you let the interviewer know if the goal was accomplished, but it doesn’t stop there.  It is critical to discuss what you learned from the project, good or bad, as it shows that you reflected on your work and took away information in order to move forward.  This can be an opportunity to discuss what you would do differently if it was not the outcome that you were hoping for. 

Be sure to pick answers that are going to best showcase your skills.  Using this method will allow you to have an organized and concise answer.

 

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