Let’s Look Again at STAR and PEP

Great tools for you:

These techniques are great for helping people answer interview questions. Of course, not everyone needs them. These techniques are very useful if you are a person who begins to “babble” or “waffle” (talk without a goal).

Remember, you must have a goal, an objective, the something you want to communicate.

Many people will also recommend a focus on storytelling. Here’s a great TED talk on that exact topic.

Using STAR like a pro:

STAR is great for situations, for questions like:

  • tell me about a time…
  • when…
  • What was this experience like…

It’s perfect for telling a story. Many people don’t need this, because it’s quite natural to speak in this way. 🍂

Look at this example:

Interviewer: Have you ever had any setbacks, any problems at work, a failure? Could you give me an example, how did you handle it?

Interviewee: Yes, of course. These things happen. (S) I once came to work and all the lighting had gone out. (T) We were about to close a big deal and I needed to be available to take some calls with the client. (A) So I actually used the other office, we worked in a big block of many different offices and companies at the time. (R) Lucky for me they let me stay in one of their spare meeting rooms for a couple of hours so I could have have a video call with the client. My boss said that I was very resourceful.

To get better at using the STAR technique, write out your common interview questions with answers. Check out our PDF workbook in the resources section. 😉

Using PEP like a PRO:

PEP is for when we want to make a simple point. Like, I am a hard worker. This was my success. I work well with people because I am patient. Etcetera.

  • Say your point, don’t beat around the bush.
  • Give a reason, evidence or anecdote.
  • Say your point again.

The advantage of this technique is that you will feel better when finishing your point because it feels like it finishes. 🏁

Have a look at my example:

Interviewer: You said that you were excited to find this position, how long do you think you will stay in the same position.

Interviewee: I’m really excited about this job. (P) I am fully committed to staying in the company. (E) As you can see from my last position, I was in the same company for 8 years, I began as a sales rep and then bit by bit advanced my career. I wouldn’t say that I am in a hurry to get a promotion. (P) I want to stay in a position, establish myself and do well.

You can see that we give a point, develop it and then just repeat the goal or “point” of what we want to say. It’s a great technique. 👌

Now we will test to see if you have learnt about structuring your answers…