Free Behavioural Interview Training: Mastering Interviews

Mastering behavioural interviews is crucial in the current tech and fintech career landscape, especially within the echelons of FAANG. These interviews, designed to delve into past experiences to predict future performance, often intimidate even the most seasoned professionals. The STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) has long been a beacon for structuring responses.

However, the narrative may need expansion and adaptation; sometimes, a more flexible approach is required to stand out. This is precisely why I’ve crafted this blog post – to offer you invaluable free behavioural interview training so that you can start mastering interviews. 

Welcome to Your Free Behavioural Interview Training

In this free behavioural interview training, I delve into innovative alternatives to traditional interview models such as SOAR, PAR, STARL, STARI, and the SHARE method. These methods offer distinct approaches to structuring interview responses, aiming to provide candidates with greater flexibility and effectiveness in showcasing their skills and experiences.

As an advocate for the power of storytelling in interviews, I encourage candidates to move beyond rigid adherence to acronyms and instead focus on crafting personalised narratives that truly resonate with interviewers. Alongside practical storytelling tips, this free behavioural interview training serves as a valuable resource for candidates navigating the intricate landscape of interviews, particularly within the competitive realm of big tech or FAANG companies.

Now, let’s dive into the strategies and insights that can boost your interview game.

Free Behavioural Interview Training: Mastering Interviews

Why Rethink the STAR Approach? 

After 15+ years of interviewing candidates across all levels and roles in the tech and fintech sectors, I’ve observed a critical insight: rigid adherence to any single model, including STAR, can hinder rather than help. Behavioural interviews are not just about the content of your answers but how you convey them. Your story’s structure should fit into a predefined mould and resonate with the interviewer, making complex experiences accessible and relatable.

Alternatives Worth Exploring

SOAR: A Sky-high View

  • Situation: What was the setting?
  • Obstacle: What challenges did you face?
  • Action: What steps did you take?
  • Result: What outcomes did your actions yield?

SOAR emphasizes overcoming challenges, focusing on the obstacle and your actions to navigate through it.

PAR: Simplifying the Narrative

  • Problem: What issue were you addressing?
  • Action: How did you tackle it?
  • Result: What was the outcome?

PAR distils the story to its essence, which is ideal for concise storytellers or 30-minute interviews where time is short.

Adding Depth with STARL and STARI

  • STARL (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Learnings)
  • STARI (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Impact)

These variants incorporate learnings or impact, enriching your narrative with reflections or broader implications of your actions.

Recommended: Introducing the SHARE Method

In addition to SOAR and STAR, the SHARE model emerges as a formidable strategy in this array of acronyms, providing a nuanced approach to structuring interview responses:

  • Situation: Setting the scene.
  • Hindrance: Highlighting obstacles.
  • Action: Detailing your steps.
  • Result: Showcasing the outcomes.
  • Evaluate: Reflecting on the journey and lessons learned.

Like its counterparts, SHARE emphasizes storytelling, encouraging candidates to articulate their experiences with a beginning, middle, end, and, most importantly, a purpose.

Free Behavioural Interview Training: Mastering Interviews. Alternative to STAR Method

Crafting Your Narrative: A Personalized Approach

The essence of a successful behavioural interview response lies beyond the acronyms. It’s about storytelling — beginning, middle, end, and purpose. “So what?” What does your story reveal about you? This perspective shifts the focus from fitting your narrative into a specific model to using these frameworks as starting points to organize your thoughts.

Tips for Effective Storytelling:

  • Contextualize: Ensure your story is understandable regardless of the listener’s familiarity with your field.
  • Structure: Opt for the model that best suits your story. Flexibility is key.
  • Purpose: Every story should have a clear “so what” — the takeaway highlighting your skills, mindset, and potential contributions.

Final Thoughts: Embrace Flexibility

In navigating the complexities of behavioural interviews, especially in pursuing opportunities within big tech or FAANG, remember that your unique experiences and how you articulate them set you apart. The models — STAR, SOAR, PAR, and their derivatives — serve as tools, not constraints. They are starting points to collect your thoughts and present them compellingly.

Interviewing is an art as much as it is a science. By embracing a flexible approach to structuring your responses, you make it easier for your interviewers to follow along and, more importantly, to see the value you would bring to their team. Remember, the goal is to share experiences that answer the question and tell a more significant story about who you are and how you approach challenges, collaboration, and innovation.

In the dynamic world of tech and fintech careers, where adaptability and problem-solving are prized, showing how you think and act through well-structured stories can be your key to success.

Unlock Your Interview Potential: Master Your Story with Expert Guidance Now!

I hope you enjoyed this free behavioural interview training, but for those ready to take their interview preparation to the next level, I offer personalized mock interview sessions designed to hone your storytelling skills using these models and more. Together, we can practice and perfect your approach to ensure you walk into your next interview with confidence, ready to share your unique experiences and insights. Whether you’re aiming for a role in big tech or fintech, a successful interview starts with effective preparation. Contact me to begin crafting your success story today.

Don’t forget to follow me on LinkedIn for more career & interview tips.

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