What to Prepare Before an Interview

Wondering what interview questions to ask? Use these interview tips to help you prepare before an interview.

The STAR method for answering questions

You may not know exactly which questions you'll be asked during your interview, but there is something you can do to make sure you are as prepared as possible to answer them. Practice using the STAR method for answering. The STAR method begins with a description of a Situation, then describes the Tasks that were necessary for the situation, the Actions you took to address that situation, and the Result. The following is a sample STAR answer for the question Tell me about a time you were able to satisfy an upset customer.

Situation: Our new product was set to be released in May and was highly anticipated in the industry. In fact, one of our biggest customers was already relying on our product to include in its own business platform. Unfortunately, one of our suppliers didn’t meet our contract needs in April, which could have delayed our product release and would have made that customer dissatisfied.

Task: To address this problem, my team had to find a new supplier as quickly as possible or look for an alternate way to satisfy our customer.

Action: After conducting rapid research into likely suppliers, it became evident that none would be able to help us meet our product specs as written. Leading the product team back to the drawing board, we altered the design of our product in a way that let us utilize a ready supplier without compromising the primary functionality of our product.

Result: Because we worked with what the new supplier had readily available, we were able to complete production on schedule. The cost of the new supplier was less than the original, so our own price point was able to be reduced as well. Both of these results greatly pleased our customer, which ended up increasing its order and putting us over our sales goal within the first three months of product availability.

Have several of these STAR stories prepared before going into the interview. Use the accomplishments you included on your resume as a starting point, then outline three STAR stories to talk about in your interview.