Over the last few years, we’ve written various posts about the interview process and how to best prepare for such a daunting step within the job search. However, the one thing we haven’t discussed is the importance of learning and practicing the STAR method, so you’re probably asking yourself; what do we mean by the STAR method? Well, it’s a tool you can use when you’re asked either a situational or behavioral question during an interview. STAR is an acronym for:
Situation, Task, Action, Result/Resolution
So, if an interviewer asks you: “Tell me about a time when you led a team and it went well?”
By using the STAR method, you’d describe an example when you led a team and it was a success- the Situation.
For example, “Last year, I coordinated and led a team of volunteers on an Alternative Spring Break in New Jersey where I was responsible for 6 students for a week.”
Next, you’ll want to describe the work or Tasks you performed.
For example, “I drove all of us to New Jersey to help a small community center with the restoration of their town center near the waterfront where Hurricane Sandy occurred.”
At this point you’d want to describe your role as the leader- your Actions.
For example, “As part of my role, I collaborated with the Community Center Director each day to determine the top priorities, whether it was clean up or restoration of the building, then I’d delegate a job for each of our student volunteers.”
Finally, you’d want to describe the result of your leadership- Result.
For example, “By giving each volunteer a job, we created a more efficient work environment and ended up finishing the restoration sooner than we had expected.”
So, what are the benefits of using the STAR method?
You’re guaranteed to answer questions with clear examples.
It should keep you within the suggested 2 minute time frame for your answers.
And it will showcase the skills you’ll bring to the position you’re applying for.
Practice using it, and then try it in your next big interview. It’s guaranteed to help you succeed.
Your first job is your first job – not your destiny.
Professionalism will be noticed.
All of which boils down to: Find a job that feels like it could be heading in the right direction, work hard and make a great impression and solid connections. You’ll be glad you did: these experiences will help you to clarify your career interests and grow your skills.
So how do you land that first job? Use our Job Search Readiness Checklist to make sure you have your bases covered. Note which areas you need to work on and make a strategic plan to fill those gaps in the coming weeks. This is the time to spring into action and take advantage of all of the great resources here at UVM. For example, if you don’t feel confident with using LinkedIn to network, then come to our LinkedIn workshop every Thursday 4:15 at the Hub (while school is in session).
Also, don’t miss the final Senior Series Workshop: Career Boot Camp Thursday, April 17 12-1pm at the Hub.
Special guest Green Mountain Keurig is coming to give you the essentials you need to get job ready fast.
Good luck as you finish the last few weeks of your college career and may the odds be ever in your favor.
The UVM Job Fairs are over for this academic year. Whether you attended the fair or not, here are your next steps on the journey to gain career experience:
If you attended the fair:
Send a simple email thank you to employers you met.
Assess what you learned about your interests and skills and what employers are looking for to set a direction for your next steps. Identify your priorities and a list of organizations you want to pursue.
Complete the Job Fair survey on Catamount Job Link to assist the Career Center’s plans for next year’s events.
If you missed the fair:
Opportunities to gain career experience are on-going! Use job search information to assess where you are and the resources available.
Bigger is Better! This is the biggest Job Fair in UVM’s history! 124 organizations are coming to campus to meet YOU. It is the closest you will get to someone knocking on your door with an opportunity! Come talk to people who are hiring and learn about their work culture and opportunities.
Now IS the Right Time: You don’t need to be a graduating senior to come to the fair! Come now! Wherever you are in your studies, learn about what is out there and what employers are looking for in top candidates.
Find Hidden Jobs 80% of jobs aren’t publically advertised. How can you find them? You talk with people! People are coming to campus hoping to meet good applicants for jobs and internships. Don’t disappoint them!
Practice! Nervous about talking with employers? The best way to be less nervous is to practice, practice, practice. Each time you introduce yourself and ask a question, you’ll get more comfortable and relaxed.
Smile! Need a professional photo for your LinkedIn profile? We will be taking photos and emailing them to you. Make sure your presentation on LinkedIn is professional as you use it to network with people in your fields of interest.
See you at the Spring Job Fair on Wednesday, March 19, 2-5pm.
Davis Center, 4th Floor.
Whether you are going through the interview process for a first time or fiftieth time, the interview is an intimidating process. As a student and active job seeker, I have found interviews to be the most troublesome. Not knowing what lies on the other side of the door or phone call is the scariest part for me. Also, I am not entirely sure about how to “sell myself” or answer some simple questions. Luckily, the Career Center at UVM helps with these questions, how to dress and even how to behave. I have a few short tips that help me with my job process.
Personally, I always have a problem with “selling myself” because I believe it is not my place to judge my performance. Since I am a Mechanical Engineering major, I have chosen to bring CAD drawings, MATLAB scripts, and various class projects along with extra copies of my resume to show and verify skills from job descriptions. Clearly everyone will not be able to bring these specific items to an employer, but consider similar project work to demonstrate your industry’s skills.
Another valuable technique involves practicing responses to possible questions in order to see what types of responses interviewers are expecting. Big Interview is a resource that allows you to follow video tutorials and read articles to prepare for your interview, as well as allowing you to practice interviewing by recording your responses to general and industry-specific questions. These recordings can be saved for personal and/or professional feedback. A sample recording I prepared can be seen below:
One more option, the Career Center website, provides information on general interview preparation. Additionally, you can schedule mock interviews or review Big Interview recordings in an appointment with a career counselor.