Job Interview Guide
Looking to ace your next job interview? This guide will help you prepare for various types of job interviews, review common interview questions, and learn essential interview techniques.
Job Interview Guide

Behavioral Interview Techniques - STAR Method

Whenever you are asked a Behavioral Question, always use the STAR method in your response.  (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

Behavioral interview questions can sometimes feel intimidating, and make you feel uncomfortable.  However, most recruiters use this type of questioning to assess whether the candidate has used the skills and tasks relevant to the specific job in consideration.  They want to understand how you may have handled certain situations that you may encounter in the new job.  By preparing a few examples, prior to the interview, you will easily respond to any question presented.  Think about times when you have performed tasks similar to the job description.  Review the job requirements and consider events in your work experience that match up with their stated responsibilities. They will want to know if you have experience in specific job scenarios, and whether you understand what this job actually is.  Usually they will ask about a problem that may have surfaced in a job to learn more about your approach to certain situations; whether you have self-awareness and how you deal with feedback.  (It is not appropriate to gossip, or bring up personalities that may have surfaced during an unpleasant work incident.)  You need to provide examples, mainly, to show how you handle stress and remain on task.

A great example to demonstrate a common behavioral question and the STAR  (Situation/response) method:

Can you share an example of a situation where you had to resolve a conflict within your team? How did you approach it?

This question is asked to find out about the candidate’s interpersonal skills.  Conflict resolution abilities are often revealed in how a candidate responds.


In my previous role as a project manager, there was a situation where a conflict arose between two team members.  The conflict was affecting our team’s progress, so I knew it needed to be addressed promptly.  The team was working on a high stakes project within a tight deadline.  There was a difference of opinions about how to approach the project and conflict, which was causing tension and low morale in the group.


My task was to find a resolution that would allow us to move forward with the project, while ensuring that everyone was heard and all concerns respected.


In order to address the conflict I held a few meetings and attempted to identify common ground between teams.  I implemented mediation and conflict resolution strategies, and regularly followed up with all involved.


As a result we not only successfully resolved the conflict, but we also improved collaboration between the teams.  The project continued without further disruptions, and we even finished ahead of schedule.  This experience taught me the importance of active listening, mediation skills and finding common ground when conflicts arise.  I also learned that addressing these issues early will result in a stronger team and better project outcomes.

Another example might be:


In my previous role as a sales representative at (Company), I encountered a challenging customer situation. 


My responsibility was to address the specific concerns stipulated by the customer, resolve the issue and ensure that they left with a positive impression.


I calmly listened to the customer’s complaint and validated their frustration. I asked questions to fully understand the issue, and I proposed a solution that involved a refund for a faulty product. I also offered to replace the item in an expedited manner.  I also assured the customer that we would investigate the issue so that it would not happen again.


As a result, the customer’s anger was diffused and they were grateful for my assistance. They left the company satisfied with how we resolved their concerns. They also stated that they would return to purchase more products.

Other common behavioral questions that are often asked include:

Tell me about a time you were a leader.

What is your greatest strength?

What is your greatest weakness?

Tell me about a time you failed.

Tell me about at time when you had to learn something quickly.

Tell me about a time you stepped outside of your comfort zone.

Preparing these, or similar, questions, in advance of the interview, using the STAR system, will provide you with an excellent foundation for a very successful interview.