STAR Interview Method
A behavioral interview is a popular interview technique employers use to assess job candidates based on their past behavior. Interviewees can use the STAR method to describe a situation, the required task, their chosen action, and the result of that action.
For example, if the interviewer asked the candidate:
“Tell me about a decision you made that had a significant impact on your customers.”
STAR, Description & Example
Situation: Describe the problem or dilemma. Explain who was involved and where it occurred.
Example: Over the past three years I’ve published 5 facts per week to the Fact of the Day 1 email list. What started as a handful of friends is now an audience of 75,000 people. In Q1 2021 I saw a 300% quarter-over-quarter increase in complaints that “emails are taking up too much room in my limited-sized inbox.”
Task: Describe the task you were responsible for and highlight any challenges you faced. Be specific but concise.
Example: First I wanted to understand the size of my emails. Analyzing the last month, the average email was 900 Kilobytes. I identified that 95% of the size was attributed to the photo of the drawn whiteboard.
Action: Describe your approach to solving the task. Include details of what you did.
Example: Over the next week I tested if it was possible to reduce the size of emails without degrading the reader experience. The control was my current method of attaching a photo. I first tried using an image compression app and then experimented using the email service Substack to load images from a remote URL. Sending facts via Substack reduced the average email size by 80%.
Result: Explain the outcome of your actions. Identify whether the original problem was solved.
Example: To pilot the experience, I invited 100 highly engaged readers to sign up. Over the next month, not one Substack reader left negative feedback about the emails being too large. Outstanding! Within a week, I announced the Substack email list option to all readers of Fact of the Day 1 and have seen 50% month-over-month growth since January 2021. This experience highlights the power of feedback loops and experimentation to delight my readers.