Executive search

 

preparation

write them down

If you think through these in advance, your answers will come more quickly and naturally during the interview. I always ask candidates to sit down and write 10-12 SARs prior to an interview.

Why 10-12? Each question and SAR answer typically takes about 5 minutes. 10 x 5 minutes + 10 minutes of small talk =  1 hour interview

when to use specific stories (sars)

probing for negative answers

Tell me about your greatest weakness, biggest failure, a time you disagreed with your boss ...

This is where you want to sue a LEARNING EXPERIENCE SAR. I had a negative situation but learned from the experience and it's now a strength for me ...

awkward questions

If your not sure how to answer a question, take the opportunity to lead into a SAR that you want to tell.

I never had a situation like that come up but there was a time when (insert SAR) ...

when you know they have a similar problem to solve

This is the best scenario. If you know that they have a problem they are trying to solve and you've done something similar in the past, this is probably the most important information you can communicate in the interview.

Hiring manager want to see that the things you have accomplished in the past match up with what they are trying to achieve today.

SAR (or STAR) method of answering interview questions

Situation

The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge and/or situation 

action

What did you do? The interviewer will be looking for information on what you did, why you did it and what the alternatives were.

results

What was the outcome of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions and did you meet the objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?