Preparation6:59 with Pasan Premaratne
Succeeding at an interview requires careful preparation. Taking the right approach to interview preparation can make a world of difference. In this video, we go over a popular interview methodology and how to be best prepared.
Sample STAR Questions
- Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgement and logic in solving a problem.
- Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
- Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks.
- What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.
- Give me an example of a time when you tried to accomplish something and failed.
- Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or coworker.
- Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative and took the lead.
- Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
- Tell me about a time you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
- Give me an example of a time when you had to conform to a policy or decision that you didn't agree with.
Once you get past the phone stage, depending on the situation, 0:00 you can either have a second phone interview or go straight through 0:03 to the in-person interview. 0:07 Some of the initial preparation for both interview types are similar, 0:09 so we'll prepare for both using the same method. 0:12 Being prepared for the interview makes a world of difference. 0:14 Now that might seem like a silly comment. 0:17 Of course, you're going to prepare for a job interview. 0:20 But the problem is that most people don't know how to prepare for interviews. 0:22 An interview is a sales pitch of yourself. 0:26 You may know all your stuff, but you also need to show that you know it. 0:29 Answering questions in a succinct but detailed manner shows the interviewer 0:33 that you not only know your stuff, but you know how to explain it in detail. 0:38 I'm sure there have been times when you walked out of an interview 0:42 thinking, I had a situation relevant to that question, if I had only remembered it then. 0:45 Those mischances may cost you the job. 0:50 In this video, we're going to go over an interview methodology that is 0:53 very common today, how to best prepare for it, and make sure that when 0:57 you pitch yourself as the best candidate for the job, 1:01 you are covering all your bases. 1:04 One of the most common interview methods used by companies 1:06 worldwide is the STAR method. 1:09 Now you won't see this referenced anywhere in the interview description, 1:11 but preparing for an interview using the star methodology will 1:14 ensure that you are thorough. 1:17 STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result, and is an interview methodology 1:19 that supposedly offers more insight into a candidate's on-the-job ability 1:26 than any other interview techniques. 1:30 In the star method, you respond to behavioral interview questions 1:32 by discussing a specific situation that revolves around a certain task 1:36 and the actions you took with that task to arrive at a set of results. 1:41 Being aware of what type of answer the interviewer is looking for, 1:45 you can craft your responses early on to match up to what the interviewer wants. 1:49 Basically, the interviewer asks you a question, and you follow the STAR method 1:53 to give a brief but detailed answer that satisfies the requirements of the question. 1:59 Let's go over how a STAR method is structured 2:04 and how you can answer questions with it. 2:07 Here's what each acronym in STAR means. 2:09 First up, we have S for Situation. 2:12 When crafting a response, you start by describing the situation 2:15 that you were in that relates to the question or the task that you needed to accomplish. 2:19 When responding to the question, offer a specific situation or event 2:24 and not a generalized description of your work in the past. 2:29 The situation should be detailed enough that the interviewer 2:32 understands that you have the experience dealing with the issue 2:36 that the question raises but not so long that you're just rambling on. 2:39 The situation can be from any area of life that offers that experience. 2:43 It could be a previous job. or a volunteer experience, or any other part of your life. 2:47 Next, you have the Task. 2:52 In your situation described, what was the exact goal you were working towards? 2:55 A is for Action. 2:59 Describe the actions you took to resolve the task at hand. 3:02 Keep the focus on yourself, and provide sufficient detail. 3:05 What specific steps did you take, or how did you contribute to solving the problem? 3:10 Remember, this is about you. 3:15 So don't use phrases like "we did this" or "as part of a group." 3:17 An interview is a sales pitch on you. 3:21 So don't let others creep in. 3:24 For once, it's okay to talk about yourself. 3:26 Finally, we have Result. 3:28 Describe the results of your actions using specific and measurable statements 3:31 that highlight the outcome of the situation. 3:35 Make sure you cover what happened as a result of your actions, 3:38 what you accomplished, and what you learned from that situation 3:42 that you can now apply to similar situations. 3:45 When answering questions, make sure you hit all points of the STAR method, 3:48 and be as specific as you can be. 3:52 Sometimes candidates get stuck on describing the action they took 3:54 and forget to fully elaborate on results. 3:58 When coming up with actions to STAR questions, try to stick to examples 4:01 that paint you in a positive light. 4:05 But also remember that you can show strengths 4:07 by highlighting how you overcame a negative situation. 4:10 Let's look at a sample question and the STAR response to go with it 4:13 to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. 4:17 >>Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you had to prioritize your tasks. 4:20 >>Okay, well, in a previous job, I was an iPhone developer for an insurance company. 4:24 And we actually had to go in and redesign an app. >>Tell me about that. 4:28 >>Well, we've actually low-balled some of the timeline estimates and ended up missing quite a few of the initial deadlines. 4:32 There were many features that I wanted implemented, 4:36 but certain core set of features that was absolutely needed. 4:39 The goal was to prioritize the tasks and complete the needed ones 4:42 within the designated timeline date, and if we had time to work on 4:45 the rest, we would, but it wasn't crucial to the project's success. 4:48 I took all the tasks at hand and assigned a priority value between 1 and 3, 4:51 1 being the highest, and I brought more people on the team and assigned the tasks to everyone. 4:57 With the majority of the development and design effort, 5:01 including myself, tasked to the priority 1 items. 5:03 We completed the priority 1 items well within our time limits, and we actually had enough time 5:06 to go back and complete the task 2 and task 3 items. 5:11 The app was rewritten to be much more efficient than the previous one. 5:14 And I learned, actually, a lot more about being an efficient manager 5:19 to a development team and estimate deadlines and prioritize tasks efficiently 5:23 and complete a project. 5:29 >>Now you may be thinking, how in the world am I going to recall 5:31 all that information when I'm on the spot like that at an interview? 5:34 The key is preparation. 5:37 Let's go over how we can do that. 5:40 Sit down and think about your career and experiences. 5:42 Try and recall as many recent situations as you can 5:45 that show favorable behaviors or actions. 5:49 Now these could be anything that show work experience, leadership, 5:52 teamwork, or planning. 5:56 Write down a short description of the story, including bulleted details 5:58 on the facts you want to highlight. 6:02 Structure the story based on the STAR method, with a situation, 6:05 task, actionable items, and results. 6:08 Try and use different examples from all areas of your life. 6:11 Look over different questions, and get an idea of how to match up 6:15 questions to examples in situations. 6:19 This way, when you're asked a question in an interview, 6:21 you'll have lots of examples off the top of your head. 6:24 To give you an idea of the different types of STAR interview questions 6:27 that could come up, I've included a list of questions as an attachment in the Downloads section. 6:31 Definitely check it out. 6:35 STAR interviews are a popular method, but in technology, a key part of the interview 6:37 is testing your technical knowledge. 6:42 STAR-type questions might be more common in initial screening or phone interviews, 6:45 whereas in the actual in-person interview, you're going to have to prove your technical prowess. 6:49 Let's go over how you can best prepare for that. 6:54
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