Job Interview Tips

Understanding the ‘STAR’ system

In the above interview, Brodie White, Director of Medical Edge Australia, shares the interview questioning techniques that most organisations use when interviewing candidates and the simple answer process you can practice to give the best and clearest answers. At Medical Edge Australia, they adopt a standardised interview process where everyone is on an equal playing field. They start off by hoping all candidates would have done some level of research on their company, to show their dedication to the role.

Brodie talks about how the STAR system is used by many ambulance services. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Results, whereby the applicant can describe how they approached certain tasks and challenges and the outcomes of the situation.

Behavioural-based questioning asks questions about your past work experiences in order to find out if you have the skills needed for the job. The logic behind this interview tactic is that your behaviour in the past reflects and predicts how you will behave in the future.

Brodie White is a Registered Paramedic and employer of 200 staff, and he has found this system useful as it puts all candidates on an even playing field in interviews.

Further reading

The STAR technique is a useful strategy for responding to interview questions. It’s an excellent method to organise your thoughts when faced with challenging interview questions. There are four steps to this technique:

    • (S) Situation. Describe the situation in which the event took place.
    • (T) Task. Describe the task you were asked to complete. What was the problem or issue you were trying to solve?
    • (A) Action. Explain what action you took to complete the task or solve the problem.
    • (R) Results. Explain the result of your actions. For example, if your actions resulted in completing a task and improving patient care. Try to focus on how your actions resulted in a positive outcome for your patient or the organisation.

Read through the behavioural interview questions below. Practice answering some of these, using the STAR technique.

 

Questions about problem-solving

What the interviewer wants to know: These questions are intended to discover the analytical thought processes you use to problem-solve.

Focus on explaining, in STAR detail, the steps you took to resolve a challenging work issue in the past.

  • Give an example of an occasion when you used logic to solve a problem.
  • How do you handle a challenge?
  • Did you ever make a risky decision? Why? How did you handle it?
  • Give an example of a goal you reached and describe how you achieved it.
  • Given an example of a goal you didn’t meet and how you felt about that.
  • When you worked on multiple patients, how did you triage the situation?
  • Give an example of how you set goals and achieve them.

Questions about teamwork

When a hiring manager asks questions about teamwork, this is usually because good teamwork and collaboration skills are essential to doing the job effectively and efficiently. Be prepared to demonstrate how you have successfully been both a team leader and a willing team member or follower.

  • Have you gone above and beyond the call of duty? If so, how?
  • Have you had to convince a team to work in an environment you weren’t thrilled about? How did you do it?
  • Give an example of how you’ve worked within a team.
  • Have you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker? How did it turn out – and why?
  • What do you do if you disagree with a co-worker?
  • Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
  • What do you do if you disagree with your manager or leader?

 

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