Hey, have you heard about the S.T.A.R. Method?
It's the best technique to use for hard questions during a job interview.
Do you get nervous during job interviews? Do you find it hard to give concise answers whenever there’s an open-ended question? Do you want to make sure that you can share your achievements without sounding boastful? Learning the STAR interview method can help!
What is the STAR METHOD?
Your interviewer wants to see that you can show evidence of your relevant experience in the past and that you have skills to offer. You need to show this during your interview.
The STAR interview method is a technique that helps candidates take control of the job interview —by fully addressing the questions that determine whether they will be able to handle specific situations associated with the job.
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Situation is where “you tell the story” and set the stage by sharing the context around the situation or the challenge you faced. Where did it happen? When did it happen? Why did it happen? Who were the people involved? All the basic details.
Task is when you explain what you needed to do, what you had to do, or what you were asked to do. Describe your responsibility or role in the situation.
Action is what you did to resolve the problem. What steps did you take? Explain how you handled the situation or overcame the challenge.
Result is what happened after. What was the outcome you reached through your actions? What did you learn from the experience? As much as possible, quantify your success or provide concrete examples of the effects of your efforts.
How to use the STAR METHOD during your BPO or Call Center job application
The key to your success in a BPO or call center position is your customer relationship management skills. Some examples of questions to test this might be:
“Describe a situation when you had to calm down an upset customer."
“Describe a situation when you had to deal with demands from an unreasonable customer."
“Tell me about a time when you went the extra mile for a customer."
Here is an example of how you can answer the first question using the STAR METHOD:
“I was working as a service crew in a fast food restaurant and there was a customer who approached the counter and impatiently asked for his order.”
“I knew I had to calm him down immediately.”
“So in a friendly and professional manner, I let him know that I understand how he feels, assured him that I will do my best to get his order ready A.S.A.P. and thanked him for his patience.”
“After a few minutes, I handed him his order. He has already calmed down by then and thanked me for my assistance before he left the counter.”
Emphasize your ability to calmly handle demanding customers and focus on how you eventually developed a good relationship with them. Describe how you made the extra effort to listen and understand the customer, and how you gave high priority to meeting their needs by asking the right questions.
The STAR METHOD application on TEAMWORK
Everyone gets involved in some degree of teamwork, so expect some behavioral questions that explore your ability to efficiently and effectively work as part of a team.
Some questions may be:
“What role have you played in team situations?”
“Describe a situation when you felt a team member was not contributing enough. What steps did you take to handle the issue?”
“Tell me about a time you worked well as part of a team."
A sample answer on the last question is:
“When I was in my senior year in college, I worked on a research project for a marketing class.”
“I and my three other groupmates tried to find out the marketing practices in different social media platforms and make recommendations for alternative approaches. We initially had a hard time finding a focus as the topic was too broad.”
“I suggested that we focus on Facebook since most Filipino netizens have FB accounts. I led a discussion about its pros and cons and encouraged the other members to voice out their opinions.”
“Shortly after, we unanimously agreed with my suggestion, and later on successfully conducted the study.”
In your example, focus on your efforts on effectively working with other people towards accomplishing the goal.
The STAR METHOD used on EFFICIENT PROBLEM-SOLVING and GOOD JUDGMENT
If you are applying for a job in the BPO industry, every client or customer interaction involves some level of problem-solving. Questions such as the following may come up during the interview:
"Describe a complex problem you recently had to sort out."
“Share an example of a time when you faced a difficult problem at work. How did you solve this problem?”
“Tell me about a mistake you’ve made. How did you handle it?”
A sample answer on the second question could be:
“In my previous job as a retail manager at a department store during the Christmas season, a customer reserved a dress online. She was supposed to pick it up a week after. Unfortunately, one of my associates accidentally put the dress out on display where another customer immediately purchased it.”
“Before calling the customer to let her know about the mistake, I located the same dress at another store location nearby.”
“I ordered it, had it pressed and delivered to her home so she can avoid the hassle of the Christmas rush. I also attached a note to thank her for her understanding.”
“The customer was so thankful, she wrote us a five-star review on our website.”
In a logical, step-by-step manner, discuss your ability to take an appropriate course of action after gathering all relevant data. Emphasize how you promptly analyzed and resolved the issue at hand.
Application of the STAR METHOD in STRESS TOLERANCE
A BPO or Call Center is usually a very fast-paced and pressurized environment to work in. Therefore, your ability to deal with stress is essential to your success. Some of the questions related to this that you might encounter are:
“How have you handled conflicting demands in the past?”
“Tell me about a stressful interaction you had with a team member, how did you handle it?”
“Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work. How did you react?”
On the third question, a sample answer could be:
“It was near the end of the second semester of my first year in college and I had a few exams coming plus some projects to work on. The pressure got to me and I was not able to perform to the best of my abilities.”
“I realized that I need to improve.”
“I actively looked for stressful situations during my succeeding years and developed several personal strategies on how to deal with them such as making regularly making to-do lists.”
“I now see pressure as a challenge and I approach them with a positive mindset.”
Detail your ability to maintain quality work performance under pressure and what coping techniques you have developed to reduce stress levels.
Here's an important tip: When using the STAR method, make sure you're using an example that ends in positive results.
It's okay to mention that something went wrong during the SITUATION or ACTION part, as long as the RESULT part is positive. Always remember that. The RESULT PART should always be POSITIVE.
The STAR method can help you make a positive and lasting impression on the interviewer, which is what you want. Describing your skills in an in-depth and meaningful way helps paint a picture of how well you can do the job, and you may find yourself with a great job offer.