Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Preparing for interview, part of Communication Tips Weekly.
- Examples are the lifeblood of a good interview. Interviewers love to hear specific examples of your experiences. If you were hiring someone for a leadership position and one candidate claims to be a great leader, but another candidate claims to be a great leader and gives you examples of his leadership success. Who are you more likely to choose? In our communication tip today, I'll discuss how to choose and describe the best examples for your next interview.
Career consultants recommend using the STAR acronym when describing your experiences. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Activity and Result. Begin your example by briefly explaining the Situation or context of your story. Then, describe the Task you are assigned or took on. Next, describe your actual behaviors. What exactly did you do? And finally, tell the interviewer about your positive results.
Watch as three candidates interview for a software trainer position. Rank order their examples. Have a worst, better and best. The interviewer has just said, tell me about a challenging teaching situation you've experienced. - I was hired by a bank to conduct customer service training for all of the bank tellers, regardless of their performance. It was mandatory training, and the leadership team warned me that many of the tellers would not want to attend, meaning, they'd feel like it was just a giant waste of time.
So I started by asking the leadership team for the customer service survey data, and then I built a concise, but strong case, that service wasn't as great as it could be. In fact, 15% of customer loss was directly related to service problems. I began each training seminar with that data, and then I also built-in tons of role-play situations so tellers would realize just how challenging it is to provide consistently good service. In fact, we filmed them as they role-played, and as they watched themselves, you could see this new awareness on their faces.
The evaluations by the participants at the end of the training were outstanding, 4.8 on a 5 point scale. But what I'm really proud of, is after the training, customer satisfaction increased by nearly 20%. - I was a teaching assistant in a daycare for almost three years, and the kids were out of control, especially at nap time. We tried our best to keep things under control, but it was tough. - In my department, we hired ten interns every year, and each one has to pass a rigorous skills test before we let them have access to any of our open accounts.
And that pass rate on first attempts used to be 50%, and since I took over, the pass rate is now 87%. - How did you rank the candidates? Did you have Candidate B as the worst? I did, because she didn't share a specific example. She gives her title, or the role, that she had, but doesn't actually describe any of her behaviors. We don't hear if she was successful with those unruly children, and it isn't the most relevant example.
Who did you have as better, but not best? I put Candidate C here. His response was relevant, and he described a specific situation and his results. But we don't know what he did to contribute to these results. Perhaps his learners were just incredibly talented. Finally, we have Candidate A, with the best example. She hit all four of the STAR criteria, Situation, Task, Activity and Results.
She gave specifics, like a 20% in her satisfaction, and her 4.8 average. We know what activities she did to create the successful training results. She built a strong case for training and used role-plays. Use the STAR format and be a star in your next interview.
- Understanding introversion and extroversion
- Persuading people
- Negotiating your needs
- Making small talk
- Saying no
- And more…
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