STAR technique used for behavioural questions

STAR technique used for behavioural questions

Behavioural competencies that apply to all supervisors, managers, and staff

• Analytical thinking

• Planning, organizing, and coordinating

• Service orientation

• Teamwork and cooperation

• Sustained learning and development

STAR technique used for behavioural questions:

When answering a behavioral question provide one specific example where you clearly demonstrate the behavioral competency associated with the question. If you have more than one example in mind, pick the one you feel shows the competency best. The STAR technique provides a framework around which to provide your example to the interview panel:

Situation: Describe the situation. Be brief but give enough detail of the situation you were in or the problem that you faced so that the interviewer fully understands. Include when the situation occurred, where it took place, and who was involved. Use a specific example with enough detail that the interviewer fully understands. You may need to provide more background if context is critical to explaining your example.

Task: What was the task that needed to be completed? What was your specific role in the situation? Why were you involved? What were you expected/expecting to achieve?

Action: Actions should be the focus of your example. Be clear, concise, focus on what you did, not what you might do. Logically take the interviewer through the steps you took to handle the situation or resolve the problem. What were your actions? Use “I” not “we”. Give enough detail that the panel will fully understand all your actions and why you took them. What did you do or say? Why did you take this approach? What did you think or feel? Who did you consult or interact with and why? What challenges did you face? How did you resolve them? This may include the behavior of others as it directly relates to your actions. Keep your answer clear and concise. Talk about what you did, not what you might do. 

Result: What were the results of your actions?  The results should link back to the task. Describe the results or outcome of your actions and the event. Describe what happened, what you accomplished and what you learned. This may include how you felt about the outcome and why.

Apply: Have you applied your learning to other situations? Provide a brief example of how you have generalized your learning.

Interview Assessment:

• You will be assessed on 3 of the 5 competencies listed above.

• Choose the most relevant one example you have that answers the question.

• Do not make any assumptions in your responses – describe the example as if you were talking to someone who knows nothing about the example you are sharing.

• Marks can only be given on the information you provide during the interview.

• The interviewers may ask you follow-up or probing questions to obtain additional information or more clearly understand your responses.

• Do not assume – provide all relevant details.

• Not just “what” you did, but “why” and “how” you did it.

Interview Tips:

• Review the job description to get a sense of what is being looked for to be successful in the job.

• Review all competencies in the job profile and think of examples where you demonstrated these competencies.

• Examples can be from volunteering, work, or school.

• Listen carefully to the follow up questions and answer them clearly and concisely.

• You can take your notes with you into the interview. Make your notes brief and in bullet form, so that you can quickly look down and ensure you have not missed any key points.

• The panel is interested in YOU – say “I”, not “we”.

• Read the competency definition and then the question – prepare your answer in context of the competency. Ensure your answer clearly demonstrates the competency while also answering the question given.

• Write out your answers using the STAR headings – do not forget to add how you applied your learning to another situation.

• Practice with someone, asking them to time you and not to say anything until you are finished – their questions will indicate the information you may have left out or not been clear on in your answer.

• Tape yourself and listen.

• Time your answer – should take between 9 and 11 minutes.

o Too quick – you have left out important information.

o Too long – you have too much information included.

• Do not read directly from your notes.

Question 1: Analytical Thinking (Business/Marketing Topic)
Analytical Thinking is the ability to comprehend a situation by breaking it down into its components and identifying key or underlying complex issues.  It implies the ability to systematically organize and compare the various aspects of a problem or situation and determine cause-and-effect relationships (“if…then…”) to resolve problems in a sound, decisive manner.  Describe the project or situation that best demonstrates your analytical abilities (analytical thinking).

Question 2. Service Orientation (Topic: Canadian Cancer Society)
Service Orientation includes a desire to identify and serve customers/clients, who may include the public, co-workers, other branches/divisions, other ministries/agencies, other government organizations, and non-government organizations. It means focusing one’s efforts on discovering and meeting the needs of the customer/client. Tell us about a time when you identified a need and initiated a change in process or procedures to improve user or client experience, or the quality of service provided. For this example, you can consider a client or clients to be any person or group that you served or supported in your role as an employee, a volunteer, or as a student.

Question 3. Sustained Learning and Development (Topic: Ingenious)
Sustained Learning & Development means continually increasing your ability to build and maintain respectful and effective relationships with Indigenous peoples. It includes an eagerness to continually reflect upon and assess your own level of cultural agility and competence, self-awareness, and expertise. It means being willing to learn in new and different ways and appreciating how diverse ways of thinking and acting can ensure the success of the BC Public Service in supporting Indigenous self-determination. Describe a time when you decided to learn something new without being prompted by school or work. Why did you want to learn it and how did you make it happen? Why did you go about it in this way? Follow-Up: How do you see yourself learning what you need to know in this position?

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