This page will help you to better understand the STAR method and optimize your preparation for your Amazon in-person interview. It includes a guide that will describe in detail on:
So, if you want to be successful and pass your interview and hiring process with flying colors, read on.
The STAR method is a structured interview method designed to provide an easy technique you can use when answering behavioral interview questions by describing the situation in the following steps: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
If you keep these factors in mind, you’ll be able to present a concise and professional answer to your interviewer’s questions in a way that’s not only digestible but also compelling.
The simple answer is that Amazon specifically mentions the method on its website as part of its recommendations for preparation for an in-person interview.
Keep this in mind when preparing for your Amazon interview; the technique needs to be a regular part of your delivery to be successful in your interview process.
The STAR method is a structured manner of answering a behavioral-based in-person interview question. Here is a detailed breakdown that will help you to deeply internalize each of the steps.
The first thing you need to do is set the background of the situation without overwhelming your interviewer with unnecessary information.
For example, if your interviewer asks you to describe a situation in which the client you handled was not pleased with the service he received, it does not mean you have to mention all the prior facts that came along before that specific situation.
The goal here is to give your interviewer context with the minimal information possible but enough so he can clearly see and understand the rest of your answer.
The whole point of the STAR method is to simplify your answer, and that’s a challenge for many people who are not used to this style of conversing.
Use one or two sentences for each STAR letter to keep your answers brief.
Here is a concrete example:
“In my previous role as an account manager, my company has decided to prioritize engaging with brands and understanding their goals and expectations from the business.”
Describing the background and situation is only the first step in this part of your answer; you’ll have to show the interviewer how you fit into the scenario.
Remember, the reason you’re telling this story is that you had a major role in it.
And the best way to demonstrate that role is to describe a specific set of responsibilities you had in a particular scenario, along with any objectives you had, and do it before diving into the specific steps you had to take to overcome the challenge.
Following up on the example above, your task portion might be as follows:
“And as an account manager in the company, my target was to get in touch with key representatives of our major clients to discuss what expectations they had from us.”
After you’ve described what your role was, proceed with explaining what you actually did to overcome the challenging situation and explain what you actually did to achieve your goal.
Avoid vague and ambiguous answers such as, “I put in a lot of time and researched the subject.”
The moment has come for you to show the world what you can do, so let’s get specific. Take your time to describe your actions in detail.
Here is an example of correct phrasing of the action part in your question:
“I worked in cooperation with Matt, the company’s business representative. We pulled out a list of our major clients from the customer relationship management list and reached out by email to coordinate a time for a Zoom meeting, emphasizing the fact that we want to find out more about their current needs and how we could help in achieving them. I prepared in advance a list of 20 questions aimed at directing the conversation toward branding”.
Now is your chance to stand out and demonstrate your personal contribution. You should share the results of your action in the final portion of your response. A lot of candidates tend to skip this part of the answer, which is a huge mistake.
Interviewers aren’t just interested in what you did; they want to know more about the consequences that came from your actions. What was the bottom line?
If you achieved any results, be sure to emphasize and quantify them. This includes short and long-term consequences of your actions.
Emphasis is the most positive and important results and value that came from your efforts.
Remember, even if you’re describing a situation in which things did not turn out perfectly or went your way, it’s important to finish in a positive manner.
Below you’ll find a more detailed example answer that will show how to respond to Amazon interview questions using the STAR method. Read the answer and try to break it down into the different STAR steps.
Question: Describe a time when you supervised a group of people?
Answer: In college, I managed a group project that involved running a fictional company. The task involved a variety of stages and responsibilities, including marketing, accounting, and other aspects.
The exercises themselves weren’t the biggest challenge. In my role as project leader, I ensured that everyone had a task to do, including keeping everyone informed about where everyone else stood at any point in time.
There was, however, one problem we encountered. The majority of our meetings were missed by one member of our team. As a result, not only did he suffer but also the rest of the group, since we all played a crucial role in the success of the project.
A meeting was held in which it was decided I should speak with him about his absence. He revealed he was experiencing a very difficult period in his personal life due to the serious illness of a member of his family.
It was my suggestion that we talk to the course professor about this since he should be allowed exemption from this assignment, but it wasn’t my decision.
The meeting was successfully arranged, and we explained the problem not only regarding his personal issues but also our group’s work in general. The workload was too heavy to be divided among three people.
In order to complete this project, the professor decided that there would be a dispensation for the course that he could make up at a different time, as well as an extension for us to complete it.
As a result, we were able to deliver the results on time. In fact, this project was a success for us as a group.
An Amazon behavioral interview question examines your response to a given situation. Their purpose is to determine how you handle stress, how skilled you are, as well as how you conduct yourself professionally.
Knowing the process of answering behavioral questions is important, but it’s also vital to be aware of the type of questions that could arise during an interview so you can prepare and have the stories and examples ready in advance.
As a candidate, you must make a first good impression, and forgetfulness is not an option.
The following are some typical behavioral star interview questions you can practice using the STAR Method:
In order to use the STAR method effectively in your next in-person interview, be sure to prepare your stories as well as work on how you’ll tell them.
Here are some tips that will help you:
Examine the job posting: It contains all sorts of relevant information about the employer’s requirements. Identify the most important qualities and related skills and choose stories to highlight them.
Don’t assume you will know the interviewer’s question: It is impossible to predict what the hiring manager will ask you, so prepare some stories of different types of experiences that you can modify and tailor if the need arises.
Make a list of the key points: Feel free to bring a notebook with notes to your interview. (Remember, Amazon expects to be ready), be sure to include all the important details.
Improve your storytelling ability: Even though the STAR interview response technique is very effective, it’s still important to make sure your delivery is solid.
So spend some time practicing common behavioral interview questions. Ask a friend to play as a mock interviewer or just practice in front of a mirror; rehearse your responses until they feel natural.
Take Your Time: If you have trouble coming up with a good example, It’s OK to take a few seconds before you respond to the interviewer’s question. Don’t rush it because silence that is followed by a quality answer is always better than a quick one that is not of high quality.
The STAR technique may seem intimidating at first. However, with some preparation and strategy, behavioral interview questions will become less of a burden and more of a chance to showcase your strengths.
You can find more examples of interview questions and explanations of how to act during an interview in the following Interview Preparation PDF guide.