Top Interview Tips

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Top Tips to get you Interview ready   

Ok, so you’re through the initial shortlisting, you’ve passed the telephone screening … now comes the hard part, the main interview. 

Preparing for an interview can be very daunting.  When faced with questions about your career history and achievements it can be tricky to remember what you did and how you did it.  If only there was an easier way to handle these types of questions… 

The STAR Technique 

Welcome to the STAR technique! The STAR technique is a method that has been developed as a way of answering competency-based job interview questions in a simple and consistent way. It consists of four, easy to remember steps that guide you through the best way to answer the questions.  

First, select a work-based example that fits with the question you are being asked.  Then, proceed through the following four steps: 


Here you describe what happened and when. 


Next you describe what you were trying to achieve at the time. 


Then you explain what you did to resolve the issue or to complete your goal. 


Finally, you describe the result of your action and say what the outcome was. 

Smiling Account Managers Sitting At Table And Talking In Office

When should you use the STAR Technique?

In general, the method is appropriate to use for any question that asks you to describe a situation where you demonstrated one of the competencies necessary for the job.  

For example, you could be asked to describe a time when you worked in a team (teamwork). The following scenario could be applied: 

  • Situation – describe where you were working, what your role was, who was in the team and what you were trying to achieve. 
  • Task – explain more about the task you were working on, what your responsibilities were and whether there were any issues. 
  • Action – describe what action you took to solve the problem – did you do it alone or as part of a team? Why did you do it? How did you feel about it? 
  • Result – finally, explain what the impact of your actions was. Did it resolve the situation? What feedback did you receive? What did you learn from the situation? 

Remember to be honest in your answers and not to exaggerate. The interviewer is interested in the positive behaviour you demonstrated, even if the result may not have been a total success. Even if things didn’t turn out to plan, it is important that you say what you learnt from the situation and how you might do things differently next time. 

Smiling Account Managers Sitting At Table And Talking In Office

What is a Competency-Based Interview? 

Competency-based interviews will focus on the competencies or skills required for the job and ask you to provide evidence for each one.  

It is important that you familiarise yourself with all the competencies that you may be questioned on. These will be listed in the Job Description and any Job Profiles. 

Take each competency and try and think back to an example you can use, where you can apply the STAR technique. If you don’t have any examples within the workplace there may be examples from school, college, or voluntary work that you have done that could be appropriate. 

Examples of questions where you can apply the STAR technique include the following: 

  • Describe a time when you faced a difficult moment at work. How did you sort the problem? 
  • Tell me about a time you were under pressure at the workplace. How did you handle it? 
  • Share about a mistake you made at work. What did you do about it? 
  • Tell me about a time you worked with another department on a joint project. What did you do? 
  • Share about a time you set a specific goal and achieved it. 

Remember to take your time when answering. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your strengths and why you are the best person for the job! 

We hope you have found these tips useful – please share them with your friends and contacts and don’t forget to follow The Best Connection on social media for more expert advice! 

The Best Connection is one of the UK’s leading providers of temporary workforce solutions. For over three decades we have proudly served and supported our clients and candidates across multiple industry sectors, delivering our best-in-class customer service.

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