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How to Answer a Behavioral Interview Question

When practicing answers for behavioral interview questions, it can be helpful to follow what is sometimes called the STAR interview response technique.

It is a four-step technique for answering questions about past behaviors at work. Below are the four steps:

  • Situation: Describe the situation, or set the scene. Explain the place you were working for, or the task you were working on.
  • Task: Describe the issue or problem you were confronted with.
  • Action: Describe the action that you took to intervene in the situation or solve the problem. This should introduce the key asset you would like to illustrate.
  • Results: Describe the results that were generated by your action. Explain how you helped solve the problem or helped improve the company in some way.

Imagine an employer asks you the behavioral interview question, “Tell me about a time that you used your organizational skills to improve a situation at work.” Below us a sample answer to this question, using the STAR technique:

When I took on the job as an assistant at Marketing Solutions I soon learned that there was no easily accessible system for retrieving information on past campaigns. Each of the five consultants had their own computer files. I suggested to the director that we set up a shared online filing system with past campaign materials that would be accessed by all staff. I interviewed each of the staff to get input about how to categorize the files and proposed a system which was implemented. The system was a success; it is still in place four years later. My supervisor mentioned this accomplishment as one of the reasons for my raise at my recent performance review.

The Express News 

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