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Posted by Helena Jones
11th March 2019
How to use the STAR response technique in an interview
As part of our inclusive service as a consultative agency, we support candidates through every step of the recruitment process, which doesn’t stop when your CV gets introduced to the client.
Niche ensure that you are represented the best possible ‘you’, which includes assisting with interview preparation. While not a guarantee, most clients will conduct a face-to-face interview. Questions asked at interview stage can be intimidating when first asked, but we have some suggestions on how to break them down in the following guide.
As a rule, most interviews will include ‘competency-based’ or ‘situation-based’ questions as part of the structure. These are typically presented as a ‘tell me about a time when…’ or ‘Give me an example of where….’
What does ⭐ stand for?
S – Situation – What is the problem. Set the scene. Be specific; explain what company & role.
T – Task – What you need to do in order to solve the problem – This is the mission brief.
A – Action – What actions you took to overcome the problem. Take us through the strategy.
R – Result – What the direct correlation of success was. Is there any stats/evidence to prove this?
Question: Please give an example of when you’ve had to deal with a difficult customer, and how you resolved the situation by providing exemplary service delivery?
The best example of this would be when I was working for [company] as a customer service advisor back in [year]. As customer service advisor I would be the first point of contact over the phones for customers inquiring about [subject matter]. There was one instance when a valued and high-worth customer called in regarding a product which hadn’t been delivered in the specific pre-designated time slot. The customer had called in to get the product re-delivered, however, discovered it was damaged upon arrival
Obviously, the customer was angry initially, and this was only exacerbated by the realisation that they had to book further time off work to receive another delivery in replacement. As their point of contact, it was my responsibility to explain this situation and handle their frustration. The customer was extremely aggravated, and their side of the call became heated as a result.
As part of our exemplary service delivery, I provided a sounding board for the customer, empathising with the situation, and going through the actions from this point in a calm, focused manner. In order to diffuse the conversation, I apologised profusely on behalf of the company, and explained to the customer that [company] was able to provide a re-delivery of the item on a weekend delivery slot (which is typically offered at significant further cost for bulk items) and provide a part-refund of the product, all within guidance of company policy.
As a result of these efforts, the customer calmed down considerably and was placated by the solution I was able to provide regarding re-delivery at a time that was convenient. After the call was concluded and re-delivery was successful, the customer emailed the service team, apologising for the behaviour they demonstrated at the time, and thanked me for my efforts in resolving the situation. My manager also approached me after seeing the feedback email and also thanked me for handling the customer.
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