Too often job candidates walk into an interview ready to tell the interviewer a laundry list of their previous responsibilities when all the interviewer wants to hear is what you can do for them. The key to mastering the interview is always remembering to reach for the STARS. That is Situation, Task, Action, Result....and Success! When answering a question always explain how your actions ultimately impacted your company, position, career, or department.

For example, what would you say if your interviewer asked you about a time you were able to successfully meet a goal. The example below will walk you through how to construct a strong answer to this question.

Situation:  Describe the situation were you in and provide necessary background information.

“As project manager, one of my main roles was to complete projects on time, within scope and on budget.”

Task: Describe the task you needed to accomplish.

“One of the projects I was responsible for was using multiple contractors to combine two different departments on two different floors into one common space within a 90 day window. Because I knew it was going to be a challenge, I gave myself 80 days with 10 days to resolve any unexpected challenges.

Action: Describe the action you took and keep the focus on you. Use “I” statements rather than “we” statements.

“The first thing I did was divide all contractors into teams and assigned team leads to ensure teams worked efficiently and were able to meet the deadline. “

Result: Describe the result of the project. What did you accomplish? What did you learn? How did your specific actions affect the outcome?

“As a result we completed the job on time and reduced costs by 15%.”

Success:  Describe the long term impact to the team or organization.

“As a result of this, we now have a new standard work procedure that involves dividing contractors into teams.”

Reaching for the STARS not only allows you to tell the employer what your responsibilities were at your last job, but also enables you to demonstrate how you deliver results! Do your homework  and have  STARS statements ready that align with the major competencies the employer will be looking for. You will be on your way to an offer in no time!

Still searching for more in-depth assistance with interviewing?  Contact your installation’s Transition Readiness and Family Member Employment Assistance staff and ask the Marine For Life Network on LinkedIn.