Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method of Answering Interview Questions

About Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method

Behavioral Interviewing is a style of interviewing that is becoming more and more popular with organizations in their hiring process. The basic premise is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is understanding past performance in a similar situation. It focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related.

The STAR method provides a logical approach to answering questions by describing one of your past successes in responding to the question.

What is STAR

STAR = Situation or Task – Action – Results

Situation or Task
Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. from a previous job, volunteer experience or any relevant event. Make sure you describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Action you took
Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved
What happened? What was the outcome? What did you learn? Discuss how the task was successful as a result of your action.

Different Video Resume Styles

Today’s topic… Video Resume Styles.

I get a lot of questions about different styles and features for video resumes so I’ve broken it down to 3 categories (really 2, but we’ll call it 3).

1. Standard
2. Interview
3. Custom

The Standard video resume is basically a person (typically head & shoulders) telling about themselves. This usually includes an introduction (your 20 second elevator pitch), a minute or so about your experience and skills, a short summary (why they should hire you), and your contact information.

The Interview style is different, in that the video is more like a conversation. You have someone either on or preferably off camera asking standard interview questions like “Tell me a little about yourself”, and “What is your favorite accomplishment and why”. The subject then answers the questions much like they would in a job interview, only with the benefit of knowing the questions in advance and having the opportunity to do re-takes. :)

The Custom video resume is very similar to the standard video resume in that the subject typically recites a script (pretty much the same as described above). However, portions of the script are used as a voice over, while a photo montage and/or additional video clips are used to showcase what the subject is saying.

There are also features that are often used in a video resume, such as background music (great if you lack enthusiasm in your tone of voice), green screen background images (adds some pizzaz that you don’t get with a plain background), scrolling summary (perfect for emphasizing your credentials if you have a lot of experience), displaying contact information (a must for everyone) and many others.

So what’s the best style for you?

Recent graduates or those who have less on the job experience in the field of work they’re applying for do well with a standard video resume. Discuss organizations, projects and other accomplishments. Throw in a few features for something really impressive.

People who have more experience or do creative work would do best to create a more custom video resume with video clips and a photo montage that showcases skills and accomplishments.

Anyone having difficulty coming up with a script they like, or prefer to talk about their projects and accomplishments (that can’t very easily be shown with photographs), would benefit from the interview style video resume. This gives them the opportunity to talk about and describe their accomplishments in a conversation style setting.

Regardless of what style you go with, ALWAYS remember to thank the viewer for taking the time to watch.

I hope this helps.

Confident Posture – why and how

Today’s topic is on Posture.

You can tell so much about a person, (how they’re feeling, how they feel about themselves, their surroundings…). It can even effect how others respond to you, so A confident posture is imperative when recording your video, during a job interview, or networking with others.

To help achieve good posture while looking relaxed and confident:

Take a deep breath and pull your shoulders back while sitting (or standing) up straight. Then relax your shoulders and exhale. Do this more than once if you’re particularly nervous. It gives you a burst of confidence and allows for good breathing. It can also help you to avoid or reduce feelings of nervousness and discomfort.

While attended a huge networking event in St. Louis at Bar Italia in the central west end, I ran into a friend I’ve known for a while, but have never met in person. He suggested that you take both arms and put them straight up in the air while taking a deep breath. (come on, those of you reading this… get those arms up). Now slowly drop your arms down to your sides while exhaling. (feels good, doesn’t it?). This is also a very effective way to relax and show good posture, though you may not want to do this one in the lobby while waiting for your interviewer. ;)