When I was at Kellogg going through on campus recruiting for my summer internship, I learned about an interview technique called the STAR method. I consider it to be one of the most useful frameworks for effectively answering interview questions and pass it on to all of my clients.
The STAR technique can be applied when asked “situational” questions.
“Tell me about a time you…”
“Tell me about a time you failed.”
“Tell me about a time you came up with an innovative solution.”
“Tell me about a time you managed a difficult project.”
“Tell me about a time you led a team.”
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.
The power of the STAR method is that it allows you to formulate a very complete answer, but keeps your answer organized and keeps you from rambling on and on…a common occurence in interviews.
Situation – “Product A was losing market share to a new competitor.”
Task – “I needed to create a plan to regain our lost share.”
Action – “I led a team to implement tactics A, B and C.”
Result – “We regained lost share, plus 10%”
And then you stop.
Often, the interviewer will probe further, asking for very specific details related to your story, so you need to be prepared. But just start with the basic elements of your story – STAR will help you get there.