What is the STAR method in interviewing?
The STAR method is an interview technique that organizes answers to behavioral questions into a structured response format as follows:
Situation: Describes a specific situation that pertains to the question. Outline the particulars of the circumstance.
Task: Explain the objective.
Action: Illustrate the steps and actions taken in order to achieve the desired goal. Be as detailed as possible and focus on individual contributions.
Response: Relay the outcome of the action and evaluate results.
This interview structure ensures that the interviewer receives comprehensive answers that provide a more complete picture of applicant’s work styles. Though situations should ideally be from past jobs, entry-level applicants or candidates pursuing career changes may draw on from experiences from school, internships, volunteer work, or other industries.
FAQ: Interview Questions
Here are answers to the most common inquiries about interview questions.
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At one point, McCann took this employee aside and reminded him of what they talked about in his job interview, and proposed to him a fix for the employees problematic email habit. Before this employee could reply to a non-urgent email, he had to wait an hour, to avoid reacting emotionally. The employee agreed and everyone benefited, McCann said.
His favorite job interview question is a twist on the classic “tell me your greatest weakness” question, and it also proves useful in the development process for the candidates that get hired.
Specifically, McCann asks candidates, “What am I going to see in your behavior a year from now that you wish you had told me today?“
Jim McCann started with a single flower shop in 1976 and took it to a business with $1.2 billion in sales last year and a market capitalization of around $600 million.
More recently, McCann hired a young employee who told him in her interview that she had difficulty setting priorities. To check in with her progress after she had been with the company for some time, he asked her to show him a list of projects she was working on so that they could arrange them in order of importance.
What are the best interview questions to ask candidates?
The best interview questions to ask candidates depend on the role and the type of candidate you hope to attract. At minimum, you should ask the most common interview questions such as:
Additional questions should evaluate whether the candidate is a good skill and culture fit for the position. Feel free to tailor your top interview questions to suit your organization and industry.
Off-limits interview questions center on unchangeable or highly personal aspects of a candidate’s identity.
Illegal interview questions include those pertaining to:
If a candidate brings these topics up, then it is advisable to steer the conversation onto other subjects. A candidate may inquire about reasonable accommodations and the inclusivity of your work culture, at which point it may be pertinent to outline your organization’s benefits, diversity efforts, and willingness to support underrepresented employees. However, as a rule, you should never pose interview questions related to these topics, and should defer these discussions if the candidate initiates them.
The legality of asking about criminal background during interviews is more complex. In most places, it is not illegal to ask candidates about criminal records, but employers may not deny applicants based solely on conviction history without conducting an individualized assessment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warns against placing conviction questions on job application forms. Most employers wait to ask about criminal conviction until the late stages of the interview process.