06 Sep A Small Tweak that Packs Power
There’s something about a workforce crisis that seems to bring out the job interviews, and the promotional internal processes, at least that’s what I infer from the number of people who have reached out recently for help in prepping for interviews. Most of them are not leaving their current organizations but rather are being interviewed for internal movement, hopefully upward!
As you know, most interviews today are behavioural-based, and many organizations use or even insist upon the STAR method of responding to questions. (Situation, task, action and result) It’s a great way to organize your examples of times when you had to deal with conflict, find a workaround under time pressure, display multi-agency cooperation, etc.
While I’m a big fan of the STAR method, when it’s used well, the danger is in dragging the narrative out unduly and leaving the interview panel dozing in their seats. My recommendation for heading that off is simple: give them the executive summary or headline answer first, before launching into the situation, task, action and result narrative. By framing the headline answer off the top you signal what the example will be, giving some members of the interview panel a reference for a situation they may already know, AND you get to put your own context around it, thereby setting up expectations of how the example will shed light on your skills, talents and experience.
Our busy lives mean we pay less and less attention to dense information and providing a summary, at the outset, helps set you up for success by focusing your audience on what you know matters.