Whether you have just graduated and are trying to make some headway applying for jobs; or you have an interview coming up; or you have just got your A-level results and you are going to use the summer to get some work experience... then this post is a must read for you!
Some of you may already be familiar with the SMART guide to creating yourselves objectives, this STAR approach helps you prepare your CV and ultimately for an interview. It's designed to get you to focus on your core competences.
It will not only give you structure, but will help avoid having to think on your feet!
Start by going through some basic questions which may come up:
• “Tell me about a recent example of when you needed to make an important decision.”
• “Have you ever had to deal with a difficult person?”
• “How do you like to work // what style of working do you fit into best?”
• “What strengths will you bring to our team?”
Situation / Task
Here you want to give recent examples of what you handled (and handled well!) along with the tasks you performed. Make your examples similar to that of the target job you applying for.
Tip: Recent = last 3 years.
Write down four things you 'did', 'said' and the steps you took.
Everyone appreciates a good end to a story! This is your chance to prove you can add value and make a difference. Make a note of the effect your actions had on the outcome and the situation. What impact//benefit did you have? What increased//decreased?
Tip: Make sure that these examples are measurable.
Lastly, make a note about how you felt about the situation... Were you proud? Satisfied? Did you enjoy the experience?
Tip: It is important here not to provide any negative feelings as the interviewer//potential employer will use this reaction to guage your 'fit' within their organisation.
We would suggest you try and come up with three examples (going through each of the STAR points above) and complete for each competency you have highlighted from the job spec//person specification.
Interviewers may even be using the same format to help ensure they have the full picture of your approach to situations and tasks and enable them to make an accurate evaluation of your suitability (or ‘fit’) and performance.
The main thing is... prepare, prepare, PREPARE!