The day has arrived - your in-person interview. You’re sitting there, across from your interviewer (and potential future employer) and YOU ARE crushing it.
You nailed the strengths question, gracefully navigated the "What's your biggest weakness?" question, and feel confident in your knowledge of the school and requirements of the position offered.
You just know that if you can keep this momentum up, the position is yours.
The interviewer proposes a difficult scenario and asks how would you would respond.
This is not something you prepped for and you’re not sure how to answer.
So many ideas and thoughts race through your brain, and you are left wondering “How do I answer without word-vomiting?”
Lucky for you, we can help you avoid this situation in the future.
The STAR Method
Meet the STAR method. An easy mnemonic device which equips you with the ability to answer behavioral type questions with a clear, professional response! Your worries are over and you can rest easy knowing that you are prepared for even the toughest types of behavioral questions.
Interviewers use behavior questions to gain insight into who you are and how you problem solve. These types of questions are intended to reveal something about your skills, abilities, and personality. They can be as simple as "What would you do if students appeared disinterested in your lesson?" and as complex as "How do you create a classroom environment where students are encouraged to contribute their ideas and share their opinions?" regardless the interviewer is trying to see how you manage situations.
Using the STAR Method
The STAR method represents a step-by-step guide for providing an anecdote that helps you explain a previous experience.
You only need to remember: Situation, Task, Action, and Results.
Here’s how someone might use the STAR method to answer question 1 from above.
Situation – Set the context for your narrative.
“Recently, I was subbing in a high school science class where the teacher had been out unexpectedly for several weeks and the students had an approaching mid-year exam. My role for the next few days was to help the students prepare by reviewing past information covered. I started the first lesson but realized quickly that several of the students were disinterested and not following along with the rest of the class.”
Task - What was required of you.
“I knew that I needed to regain their interest if I wanted the test prep to be successful.”
Action – What you actually did.
“I decided to change up the seating plan and reorganize how the desks were arranged to create a more informal learning space. I had the students help me move the desks in a circle to allow for dynamic group discussions as well as created a situation where students were directly engaged with one another. The new arrangement allowed students to interact with one another for test prep and also allowed me to be within close proximity if support was needed.”
Results - How well the situation played out.
“The new format was the just the spark needed to re-engage the students as they took on a more active role in presenting the content. Students enjoyed talking to one another and hearing the explanations of the content in different ways. I was pleased hear that the students found the test prep helpful and felt ready to take the test the following week.”
Once you have mastered the STAR method, those tricky behavioral questions will be another way for you to shine. Go forth and conquer those interviews! We wish you the best of luck in your next interview, but we doubt you’ll need it!