We now come to the fifth and final article in our series on the START method. To recap, START is a storytelling method you can use in competency-based job interviews. It stands for Situation, Task, Action(s), Result(s) and Them.
STAR has been an industry standard for years. The Them part at the end is our special creation in Slí Nua Careers. The theory behind the Them step is that an interview panel gets really interested when you apply your skills, experience, and knowledge to their exact needs.
The other parts of the START method talk about things you did in your current or previous employments – those are very important when you wish to persuade an interview panel of your suitability for a role.
Project your experiences
By applying your experience to the role you’re chasing; you add another element to your answer. For example, let’s say you talked in the earlier part of your answer (during the S-T-A-R steps) about the fact that you led a team in the past.
You’ve told the panel about how you did this and the results you achieved. Now, project your experience into the new role: “I believe this experience of managing a team will stand to me in the management role you have outlined. You have a team of six people here with different skills and experience, and I am confident I can get the best out of them. What I have achieved to date prepares me for this very aspect of the role.”
In this way, you address the needs of the employer. Do this time and again at the end of your answers. It can be powerful. However, a caveat: it only works if you truly know the job you’re chasing. Do your research. The parallels you draw between your previous role and the one you are now pursuing must be valid.
The Them part is a lot more than just saying “and that’s why I think I can do well in this position.”
Do your research
Ergo, it all comes back to your research. Read the job spec until your eyes hurt. Talk to employees in the company. Talk to people who worked there previously or who hold similar roles in other companies – this will give you ample material for the Them part of your answers.
Other Them lines you could use include:
“I am keenly aware you require somebody to introduce the company to a new territory. Having done this before, as I have just outlined, I am ideally positioned to do this. You have identified the UK as that territory and my experience of building up a customer base there will stand to me.”
And/or: “You require a manager who can implement new procedures and I have shown you how I have done this previously. It takes time and patience to manage a process of change and, given the complexity of your business, it is important that the person in this role does not jeopardise current operations while moving to the new procedures.”
Add in strong Them elements to your answers. You will score points that other candidates will miss. Very few people bother to bring Them into their answers. You can make ground here.
To get all five articles in the series, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the word START in the subject line.
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