How to Make Interviewees Comfortable with the STAR Method ( How can you make your interviewee feel comfortable during the STAR method interview?

How can you make your interviewee feel comfortable during the STAR method interview?

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The STAR method is a popular technique for interviewers to assess the behavioral and situational skills of candidates. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, and it requires the interviewee to provide specific examples of how they handled a challenge or achieved a goal in their previous roles. However, the STAR method can also be intimidating and stressful for some interviewees, especially if they are not prepared or confident enough to share their stories. As an interviewer, you want to make your interviewee feel comfortable and relaxed during the STAR method interview, so that you can get the most accurate and honest insights into their abilities and potential. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Build rapport

Before you dive into the STAR questions, spend some time to build rapport with your interviewee. This means greeting them warmly, introducing yourself and your role, explaining the purpose and format of the interview, and asking some icebreaker questions to get to know them better. You can also share some positive feedback or compliments on their resume or achievements, to boost their confidence and show your interest. Building rapport will help you establish trust and rapport with your interviewee, and make them feel more comfortable and relaxed

Provide guidance

The STAR method can be confusing or challenging for some interviewees, especially if they are not familiar with it or have never used it before. Therefore, you should provide some guidance and support to help them understand and apply the method effectively. You can do this by explaining what the STAR acronym stands for, giving some examples of good and bad answers, and reminding them of the key points to cover in each section. You can also ask some probing or follow-up questions to help them elaborate or clarify their answers, and provide some positive reinforcement or encouragement along the way. Providing guidance will help you get more relevant and detailed answers from your interviewee, and make them feel more confident and prepared.

Show empathy

The STAR method can also be emotionally taxing for some interviewees, especially if they have to share some negative or difficult experiences or outcomes. Therefore, you should show empathy and compassion to your interviewee, and acknowledge their feelings and emotions. You can do this by using active listening skills, such as nodding, smiling, eye contact, and verbal cues, to show that you are paying attention and interested in their stories. You can also use empathetic statements, such as “I understand how you feel”, “That must have been hard”, or “You did a great job”, to show that you respect and appreciate their efforts and achievements. Showing empathy will help you create a safe and supportive environment for your interviewee, and make them feel more valued and respected.

Be flexible

The STAR method is not a rigid or fixed formula, but a flexible and adaptable framework that can be adjusted according to the context and the goals of the interview. Therefore, you should be flexible and open-minded when using the method, and not stick to a strict or predetermined set of questions or criteria. You can do this by tailoring your questions to the specific role and industry that you are hiring for, and the specific skills and competencies that you are looking for. You can also adapt your questions to the responses and feedback that you get from your interviewee, and explore other aspects or angles of their stories that might be relevant or interesting. Being flexible will help you get a more comprehensive and nuanced picture of your interviewee, and make them feel more engaged and involved.

Give feedback

The STAR method is not only a way to evaluate your interviewee, but also a way to help them learn and grow from their experiences. Therefore, you should give feedback to your interviewee, and let them know how they did and what they can improve on. You can do this by summarizing their main strengths and weaknesses, highlighting their achievements and areas of development, and providing some constructive and actionable suggestions for improvement. You can also ask them to self-reflect and self-evaluate their performance, and share their own feedback and insights on the method. Giving feedback will help you close the loop and end the interview on a positive and professional note, and make them feel more satisfied and motivated.

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