Answering behavioral questions during an interview can be a daunting challenge. As an athlete, you’ve learned that preparation is the key to success. The same holds true for interviewing. Practice and preparation will help ease the interview process.
Interviewers are interested in how your past experiences will help you succeed in your new role. The STAR Approach is one useful activity to help you justify your resume and answer tough behavioral questions appropriately.
Start by identifying 6 to 8 experiences where you’ve demonstrated skills employers seek in their employees. These could be events such as overcoming adversity during a competition, leadership on your team, communication with coaches, and/or cooperation on group projects in school. Use these as your power stories.
Find a mix of positive stories and potentially negative events that you turned around for the best possible outcome. Try to avoid making all the examples about your sport. Add variety by including school or community-involvement situations.
Follow the STAR Approach to organize your thoughts.
- Situation/Task: Describe the situation presented before you. Be specific and detailed. Explain the task required of you so the interviewer clearly understands.
- Action: Describe the actions you took to remedy the situation. Keep focused on your side, not on how others responded or what they did. Tell what you actually did, not what you would do.
- Results: Explain the outcome of the situation. What did you accomplish? What did you learn from the experience? How did your actions help solve the problem? Quantify results where possible. Numbers are more concrete than general statements.