Ways and Means


How To STAR In Interviews
Okay, you have finally landed an interview for the job you want. You have picked out your outfit, polished your resume, and planned your route to the office. What else do you need to do to get ready?
A good way to spend your time is to imagine possible interview questions and practice how you would answer those queries. Many companies use behavioral based interview questions to gather information from you.

Here are some examples:
“Tell me about a time when you and a co-worker had different ideas about how to move forward on a project. How did you influence her to proceed with your idea?”
“Describe a situation where you had competing priorities and you had to decide which tasks took precedence.”
“Give me an example of when you took the lead on a project.”
“Tell me about a time when you worked on a team to make a project successful.”

The STAR formula is the secret to answering these questions.
S=Situation What was the situation that you found yourself in?
T=Task What was the task at hand?
A=Action What actions did you take?
R=Results What did you accomplish? What did you learn?
Even if your interviewer is not using behavioral based questions, the STAR approach is a useful model to use as you are helping the interviewer appreciate your skills and experience. After you have practiced, ask a friend to try some other questions so you can respond “live.”

You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression
Think about a close friend you met in college. How long did it take to decide you wanted to spend more time with this person? Research shows it takes the blink of an eye to make your mind up about someone you meet for the first time. The same time frame holds true with job interviews. Your potential employers and human resources professionals form their opinions quickly when they meet you and use the interview to cement those impressions or to consider new ones.

Are you nervous now? No worries – you can use this information to your advantage. Be sure to arrive at your interview at least 10 minutes early so that you have time to relax and breathe. Be friendly with the receptionist as she may be able to share helpful information with you. She may also be asked her impression of you.

When the interviewer comes to greet you, be sure to smile, maintain eye contact, and shake her hand. During the interview, maintain a balance between listening to what the interviewer has to say about herself and her company and telling your story about your interests and skills.
Remember that job interviews are like dating and you are also forming your first impressions. Pay attention to how your potential employer treats you during the interview process. Is your interviewer on time? Is he friendly? Does he pay attention to you during the interview or is he on email or the phone? Does he share with you all the wonderful aspects of his company? Do the day-to-day job responsibilities appeal to you? Can you see yourself in the job?

The interview process may sound challenging but try to enjoy the experience.
This first interview “date” may lead to your wonderful career.