• Rebecca Laidlaw

How to Answer Interview Questions

"Can you give me an example of a time you delivered excellent customer service?"

Well excuse me Interviewer but what are you looking for when you are asking for your example? What makes up an example anyway?

It seems simple to say give an example but how do you actually give one? Enter the STAR technique. The STAR technique is there to give all information required to prove your competency in a certain area. Here's what it stands for:

S - Situation

Give them the background. Where you worked. What your role was and an overview of why the skill they have asked for is important here.

T- Task

What were you setting out to achieve? What part did you play? How did you plan to solve the problem?

A - Action

What did you actually do to complete your task? What steps did you take? Were there challenges to overcome?

R - Result

What was the result (or outcome) of the action that you took? Can you draw on any comparisons from figures (this resulted in X amount increase in cash flow or subscribers) to feelings (this increased customer satisfaction)?

And here is a secret R to really blow them away:

R - Relate

Relate why the skill they have asked for is relevant to what you know about the job you have applied for.

And just like that, you are giving full and well-rounded answers. The reason there are no specific examples is that you and you alone know your work/life story. Break down the things that you did automatically in previous workplaces and your life experiences as if you are explaining your job to a 6-year-old who doesn't have a clue what a job even is. That is the level of detail needed. Imagine the small child asking "Why?" to everything you say and you've got it nailed.

Remember Einstein said, "If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.”

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