Interviews can be intimidating. While they're always two-way conversations, they're also tests to make sure that you're a good fit for the company and an ideal candidate for the role.
You're not alone if you're feeling anxious about an upcoming interview. According to research by Harris Interactive and Everest College, a whopping 92 percent of U.S. adults are anxious about job interviews, with general anxiety being the most common fear at 17 percent. The researchers polled 1,002 employed women and men between the ages 18 and 54 years old by phone. Fifteen percent cited that not knowing the answer to the interviewer's question was their primary concern (the second largest fear tied with being overqualified), followed by being late.
So how do you make sure you say the right thing? There are some tricks you can use during interviews to be sure you always impress recruiters, according to Apple Ireland's former HR specialist for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa, Juan Manuel Ramos. In fact, Ramos, who now works as the HR director for DEKRA, told Business Insider that there's even a secret formula.
"You can 'perfectly' answer any question during a job interview through using the STAR technique," he explained.
STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.
"Basically, you describe a situation you were in, outline what you had to do about the situation, detail how you executed what was necessary, and explain how the final result was successful," Ramos said.
Here's an example:
- Situation: When I started in my last role, the social media following for our company was very low.
- Task: My job was to create social content to attract and retain more followers.
- Action: So I decided to implement a new social media strategy.
- Result: In doing so, I managed to increase follows by 30 percent in the first year.
Ramos also recommended preparing answers to general interview questions both in written form and orally.
"With a simple Google search, candidates can find 80 percent of the questions they're likely to be asked during a job interview," he said.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report,