Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method of Answering Interview Questions

About Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method

Behavioral Interviewing is a popular method for finding the right fit for an organization. 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 – Task – Action – Results

Situation 
Describe the situation that you were in (what was the problem you needed to solve).  This can be from a previous job, volunteer experience or any other relevant event in your personal life. Make sure you describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Task 

What was the task that you needed to accomplish (the solution to the problem)

Action

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.

This gives the interviewer a story that tells them about you and what kind of employee you are, which is much  more powerful than just telling them.

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 the candidate (typically head & shoulders)

  • introducing yourself (20 seconds of who you are and what you’re looking for),
  • explaining why you do what you do (20 seconds of why you love the type of work you’re looking for),
  • giving an example of a successful assignment or relevant project (30  second story that describes the situation, what you did, and the result), and
  • giving a short summary/call to action (15 seconds inviting them to contact you, check out your LinkedIn profile…)

The Interview style is different because it’s more like a conversation. You have someone either on or preferably off camera asking  questions about the things you would discuss in a standard video resume.

  • “Tell me a little about yourself”, and “What kind of job are you looking for?”
  • “Why are you looking for this type of work?” (or what interests you in this type of work)
  • “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 candidate typically tells their story (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 previous projects and experience.

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 feel about you and respond to you!  So A confident posture is important.

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 networking event in St. Louis, I ran into a friend I’ve known for a while. 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. ;)