Star Power: Soar Above the Rest with Interview Answers That Shine
Why are job interviews so terrifying? Is it because so much is at stake? Or perhaps because you’re afraid you’ll make a fool of yourself? Scared you’ll blow it and miss out on the job of your dreams?
All of these conditions create a volatile mix of emotional overwhelm. But most interview anxiety stems from one source: you have no idea what you’re supposed to say.
It’s true that most hiring managers ask similar questions at every interview:
Tell me about yourself.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Why’d you leave your last job?
Why do you want to come and work for us?
But what are you supposed to say? What do managers really want to hear? Often, the candidate that wins is the one who answers the questions behind the questions. Instinctively, the winning candidate hears what employers are really asking with these formulaic, stale questions.
What would it mean to you to gain the same advantage?
Luckily, you’ll have that advantage in the next ten minutes. Want to answer the question behind the question and get to the heart of what your interviewer really wants to know? Keep reading, and I’ll show you how.
What Most Interview Answers Lack
Part of the problem with the interview process is that some managers don’t ask great questions. They rely on you to accurately guess what they really need to know about you and count on you to present it to them.
Want do you say when an employer asks, “Tell me about yourself?” If you’re like most, your mind will instinctively shout, “What do you want to know?”
If only managers would be straightforward and tell you. The problem is that they don’t usually know what kind of answer would satisfy them, either. They’re trying to get through the interview process with a safe hire that won’t wreck things, while helping the team to function better. They’re feeling you out to see if you’re that safe hire.
Be a Star
What does this mean to you?
You have to take the initiative. You have to answer the questions you’re asked in a way that points to your strengths. You have to connect your strengths with the needs of the organization interviewing you.
With “STAR” interview answers.
STAR is a simple acronym that helps you to remember the key ingredients of powerful interview answers. Once you start thinking like a STAR, you’ll appear more confident and qualified at every interview.
STAR stands for:
Here’s how it works. Before your interview, think of the most common questions you’re likely to be asked. As you prepare your answers beforehand, remember to incorporate the STAR elements to give your interviewer exactly what she needs.
So, what are your strengths?
Maybe you’re a people person. Here’s the problem: everybody says they’re a people person in interviews. So?
Think of a specific situation (S) in your history that required your people skills.
What task (T) were you trying to accomplish? What was the goal? What was the problem you were solving?
What actions (A) did you take to solve that problem, that demonstrated your people skills?
What was the fantastic result (R) that followed from the actions you took?
Here’s what that looks like:
“I love people, I’m a problem-solver, and I know how to get things done. Once, my workplace experienced a downturn in the performance of the sales staff. I gathered the team together and created an atmosphere that allowed them the freedom to share ideas about what wasn’t working.”
“This led to an open dialogue, where we discovered a bottleneck in our ordering process that was causing frustration with our reps and customers. With the skill to bring people together and listen, I helped to uncover the problem and implement a solution. Our sales doubled the following quarter, and our team found it easier to do their jobs.”
Who’s going to get the job? The candidate that says, “I’m a people person?” Or you, when you demonstrate what makes you great with a specific answer like that?
That’s the language that tells a hiring manager you’re here to win, and you’re ready to get to work to make her organization better.
Try it today. Rehearse for your interview, making your answers detail a situation, task or problem, actions you took to make it better, and the awesome results that followed from what you did.
Before long, you’ll stride confidently into your next interview. You’ll soon land the job offer you’ve been hoping for when you present your star power.
Make an investment in your future with a resume / CV and cover letter written by Vivian Adkins, CPRW of Foremost Resumes. Foremost Resumes offers affordable resume writing services – resume prices are published here. If you have any questions about my resume services, call or text 1-321-442-7994.
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—Vivian Adkins, Resume Writer at Foremost Resumes