Whether you’re new to the automotive industry, or simply going for a new role with a new company, interviews can feel like quite daunting and sometimes stressful experiences. It’s common for interviewers to ask a variety of competency-based questions to understand a candidate’s skills and experience.
These can seem overwhelming when put on the spot in an interview, but they don’t need to be!
The STAR interview response technique can really help when it comes to answering these competency questions. These questions will often start with ‘Describe a time when…’ or ‘Can you give an example of…’
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result and can be very useful for breaking down your answers to provide concrete examples.
Before you begin your answer, you should take a moment to prepare and think of an example of situation that best fits the question asked and that you think you’ll be able to talk about confidently. Once you have this, follow the below approach.
Start off by clearly explaining the situation that you’re going to be using as your example. Was it at your current job, a previous role, were other team members involved? This doesn’t have to be lengthy, but make sure it gives context so that the rest of your response makes sense to the interviewer.
Next describe what you were responsible for in the situation. Maybe your line manager asked you to do something, or perhaps you used your own initiative. Did you need to meet a deadline, achieve a specific result or overcome a problem?
This is where the interviewer will be looking our for key skills that they’re looking for in a potential candidate. What did you do? How did you do it? Be sure to refer to any key skills required in the job description and make sure to refer to what you did, using ‘I’ instead of ‘we’.
Finally, explain the outcome of your actions and the result of the task. Hopefully, the result was positive, but you can also draw any lessons you learnt from the experience. Here it could be good to draw on any specific feedback you received from your manager or clients, whether you met targets and the overall outcome.
Whilst you can’t pre-empt the questions that will be asked, you can use the job description and essential skills to get an idea of what may be asked. Having a few strong examples ready ahead of the interview will ensure you’re feeling more confident.