By Rob Starr, Big4.com Content Manager
“I think one of the most important things when you’re looking at any consulting firm or financial firm is that they are process driven. Many times people make the mistake of believing that an interview is about building rapport, which it is, but a skilled interviewer is also looking for a process.”
This from Cherry A. Collier, PhD, MCC., an Organizational Psychologist, College Professor and Master Certified Coach who has worked with Fortune 500 companies and institutions to help them grow their people assets. This former Change Management Consultant with Accenture also goes on to say that a great way to direct what you say in an interview is by adopting a formula like the STAR method that’s a standard used in Behavioral Interviewing.
She likes to tell people a great method to get through the points in this template where you frame your answers by: describing the Situation, identifying the Task or role you played, describing the Actions you took and finally highlighting the Results, is by keeping track in a
“I often tell people to use their fingers as they go through the points and unite competencies that are relevant to the company’s values at the same time,” she says. “What the interviewer is really looking for is clear focus and direction and you can use your hands to move you around so you won’t get lost.”
If done correctly, the points on the STAR template make up a story or narrative that involve and clearly highlight your role and the other people who were involved in the episode and how everything came together for a successful outcome. In some ways, this process mirrors the way works of fiction are built.
“You need a beginning, middle and end that shows your progression and how you’re thinking,” Collier says adding that being able to show your brain works in a linear fashion in the short period of time an interview takes often helps you to stand apart. She suggests another similar model that’s useful to keep you on track during an interview is the SHARE technique.
This is similar to STAR with the differences being the Hindrances aspects where you identify any of these and the Evaluate portion that allows you to talk about what you learned from the entire experience.
Collier stresses that although you’re using a narrative structure to get your points across, it’s important to focus on the ROI at the same time as you work through the story.
“At the end, you come back to evaluate and say, ‘From this entire experience, here are the lessons learned and where I’m better and how I’m going to be able to contribute to your team.’”