How to Prepare for a Behavioural Structured Interview like a STAR

Structured interviews are one of the best ways for employers to assess applicants’ job related skills since they standardize the interview process. There are several types of questions that can be used in a structured interview. One type of question asks specifically about past behaviour. Behavioural questions in a structured interview ask for examples of your past behaviour to understand how you would behave in similar situations in the future. 

Examples of behavioural questions you might be asked include:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to interact with a challenging client.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to balance competing deadlines.

Behavioural questions are fantastic at predicting future job performance. However, they can be a little bit awkward if you aren’t sure how to approach preparation. If you have an interview coming up, and you are not sure how to answer behavioural questions, you are in the right place. We will give you the tools and tips you need to interview like a STAR.

You may have heard about the STAR method before, but we cannot emphasize enough how important it is when you want to thrive in a interview. STAR stands for:

Situation

Task

Action

Result

The STAR method is a structured way to answer behavioural questions. Start by explaining the specific situation you were in. Then, explain the task that you were working towards. Next, discuss the specific actions that you took. Finally, explain the outcomes of your actions. Don’t be shy here, make sure you take credit for what you accomplished! When responding to a question using the STAR method, make sure that you choose one example, give specific details, and focus on what exactly you did. 

Once you feel ready to use the STAR method, check out these tips for nailing your behavioural structured interview questions:

  • TIP: Look for keywords in the job description to figure out what skills the hiring team is looking for. Before your interview, come up with examples where you have used these skills in the past, and practice your responses using the STAR method.
  • TIP: When thinking about what past experience to share, make sure you choose good examples where you can include a lot of detail!
  • TIP: Focus on using “I” statements rather than “we” statements to make it clear what great work you, specifically, have done.
  • TIP: Practice using the STAR method with a friend or family member, or by recording yourself before your interview, to get feedback and get the hang of responding like a STAR.

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