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What is the STAR Format for Behavioral Interviews? | Video

What is the STAR Format for Behavioral Interviews? | Video

InProject Management job interviews often include competency or behavioral questions. An effective way to frame your response is with the STAR Format.

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Behavioral Interviews (or Competency-based Interviews)

Your interviewer will want to assess your experience and how you actually handle situations – rather than your theoretical understanding of them. You should respond to these types of interview questions with a story-like response.

But the challenge is to keep your story focused on answering the interviewer’s question. This is when you can use the STAR technique.

The START Format

The STAR Format is a proven method of answering tricky situational questions in a systematic way that allows you to give all the essential details.

The STAR format for answering questions has four steps:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

When you are answering questions, be as specific as you can, without rambling or including too much information.

How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

Here are our tips for preparing to use the STAR format in your next behavioral interview…

  • Review the role you’re applying for. What competencies are the interviewers most likely to want evidence for?
  • Recall relevant situations that illustrate important PM competencies.
  • Prepare a short description of each situation.
  • Choose actions and approaches that best demonstrate your capabilities.
  • Be honest. Don’t add to, change, or remove elements from the story.
  • Be specific. Don’t over-generalize your experience.
  • Choose examples from different projects and experiences.
  • Practice giving your STAR format answers for each of your stories.

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About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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