Career Tips

 What is STAR? (Situation, Task, Action, Result)

The situation, task, action, result (STAR) format is a job interview technique used by interviewers to gather all the relevant information about a specific capability that the job requires. This interview format is said to have a higher degree of predictability of future on-the-job performance than the traditional interview. This technique is a behavioral interview technique.

Situation: The interviewer wants you to present a recent challenge and situation in which you found yourself.

Task: What were you required to achieve? The interviewer will be looking to see what you were trying to achieve from the situation. Some performance development methods use “Target” rather than “Task”. Job interview candidates who describe a “Target” they set themselves instead of an externally imposed “Task” emphasize their own intrinsic motivation to perform and to develop their performance.

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 your objectives? What did you learn from this experience and have you used this learning since?

Source – [Wikipedia]

***************************************************************What to Wear In An Interview

Women’s interview attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up & perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s interview attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails


What Should I Do After An Interview?

How should I send my thank you note? Most employers prefer to receive thank you notes via e-mails. Reason why? They can cross reference the name with the date and the resume. What should your interview thank-you letters say? You should thank your interviewer for speaking with you. Your “Thank You” letter should also mention what you learned about the company’s needs. Focus on the employer, not on yourself. How long should you wait to follow up again? During your interview, it is okay to ask, “When are you planning to make a decision? ”  If they’re looking to hire quickly, follow up quickly.  You should follow up every week via e-mail. What should you say in your follow-ups e-mail or phone call? What you say depends on the job and your personality.


10 Most Common Interview Questions


Pitfalls To Avoid During an Interview

1. Confusing an Interview with an Interrogation Most candidates expect to be interrogated. An interrogation occurs when one person asks all the questions and the other gives the answers. An interview is a business conversationin which both people ask and respond to questions. Candidates who expect to be interrogated avoid asking questions, leaving the interviewer in the role of reluctant interrogator. 2. Making a So-Called Weakness Seem Positive Interviewers frequently ask candidates, “What are your weaknesses?” Conventional interview wisdom dictates that you highlight a weakness like “I’m a perfectionist,” and turn it into a positive. Interviewers are not impressed, because they’ve probably heard the same answer a hundred times. If you are asked this question, highlight a skill that you wish to improve upon and describe what you are doing to enhance your skill in this area. Interviewers don’t care what your weaknesses are. They want to see how you handle the question and what your answer indicates about you. 3. Failing to Ask Questions Every interview concludes with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. The worst thing to say is that you have no questions. Having no questions prepared indicates you are not interested and not prepared. Interviewers are more impressed by the questions you ask than the selling points you try to make. Before each interview, make a list of five questions you will ask. “I think a good question is, ‘Can you tell me about your career?'” says Kent Kirch, director of global recruiting at Deloitte. “Everybody likes to talk about themselves, so you’re probably pretty safe asking that question.” 4. Researching the Company But Not Yourself Candidates intellectually prepare by researching the company. Most job seekers do not research themselves by taking inventory of their experience, knowledge and skills. Formulating a list of accomplishments prepares you to immediately respond to any question about your experience. You must be prepared to discuss any part of your background. Creating your talent inventory refreshes your memory and helps you immediately remember experiences you would otherwise have forgotten during the interview. 5. Leaving Your Cellphone On We may live in a wired, always-available society, but a ringing cellphone is not appropriate for an interview. Turn it off before you enter the company. 6. Waiting for a Call Time is your enemy after the interview. After you send a thank-you letter to every interviewer, follow up a couple of days later with either a question or additional information. Try to contact the person who can hire you, and assume that everyone you met with has some say in the process. Additional information can be details about your talents, a recent competitor’s press release or industry trends. Your intention is to keep everyone’s memory of you fresh.


What To Say In A Video Resume

A video resume must tell the viewer why they should hire you. Start with “Hello”, your first and last name and the type of position you are seeking. Provide an overview of your skills, your experience, and what you bring to the table. Briefly provide a 1 or 2 examples of major accomplishments. Tell the viewer what you accomplished in terms such as cost savings, sales results, product launches, or specific and quantifiable improvements you made. Mention your educational background, relevant certifications, and special awards you have won. Close the video resume by summarizing in one sentence why you are a good candidate. Thank the viewer for watching your video, and invite them to contact you for a live discussion. The complete video should take no more than 1 or 2 minutes. Remember that a video resume does not replace the text resume and you do not need to read your resume to the camera. The purpose of the video resume is to verbally expand upon the text, and show a little personality and interest that cannot be seen in text. Helpful Hints: Write a script of what you want to say and practice several times until you feel comfortable. Try to keep each sentence relatively short. Run-on sentences are just as cumbersome in video and audio as they are in text. Keep your statements relevant to the job, company, or industry you are targeting. When recording a video resume look directly into the camera. Dress as if you are in a live interview, be careful that the background on your video is professional, and be sure to have a quiet environment. Be sure to use a high quality camcorder or webcam.  Lastly, remember that the purpose of any resume (text, audio, or video) is to sell yourself to your viewer.


Calculating Work Hours


What should you put in your resume?

Your resume is a personal statement. The final decision about what you include in your resume rests with you. However, there are certain kinds of information, organized in a certain way, which legal employers expect to see. To the extent that your resume conforms to the employer’s expectations, the employer will be comfortable with your resume, and, by extension, with you. If you deviate from what is expected, recognize that you are doing so, and do not do so without a good reason. You want employers to remember your resume because of its content, not because it is weirder than any they’ve seen. The CHRONOLOGICAL format is generally the preferred form for the legal profession: education and work history are set forth in reverse chronological order. However, if you have extensive or impressive work experience, you may prefer to use another style. Do not follow a resume form if it does not present your experience and qualifications in the best light. Legal employers are accustomed to seeing information set forth in the following format:

  • Name, Address, Telephone Number

    Always, always, without exception, put your full name, your current address and telephone number at the top of the page for easy reference. Since e-mail addresses are becoming more common, you may choose to list your e-mail address if it’s appropriate (i.e. don’t list You might want to list your home or permanent address as well, if:     (a) You are originally from another state, and want to return to that state;     (b) You are looking for work anywhere outside Pennsylvania and you are from a state other than Pennsylvania;     (c) You are from Pennsylvania and you know that the firm likes to hire people from Pennsylvania; or,     (d) You are from Pittsburgh or Philadelphia and are looking for work outside Pennsylvania.

  • Educational Background

    List in reverse chronological order (law school, other graduate or professional programs, undergraduate college). If you have many graduate degrees, or attended a number of undergraduate schools, you should consider listing only those which are significant (e.g., degree conferred), or relevant to the position you’re seeking (e.g., graduate degree in foreign language if employer is multinational).

  • Relevant Work Experience

    Usually listed in reverse chronological order, but exceptions should be made if an earlier job was more impressive, professional, or relevant. Focus on the work experiences you have had which required the exercise of managerial, professional, communication, leadership or other law-related skills. In relating your responsibilities, emphasize writing ability, supervisory experience, counseling skills, case management, negotiating skills, public speaking experience, research skills, regulatory knowledge and analytical skills. It is not necessary to list every job you ever had; many can fit under the general heading “Part-time and summer work to finance education.” It is important to employers that you have worked; it is not important that you worked at McDonald’s.

  • Awards and Honors

    Do not put these at the top of the page. List these near the environment in which they were earned, e.g., academic awards under the “Education” heading, following the relevant school data; professional awards and honors under the “Experience” heading. This section of your resume is important because it demonstrates that others have valued your contributions. Do not, however, go overboard and list every nomination for every office your fraternity/sorority had. The positive impact of impressive awards is diluted by indiscriminately mixing in awards which only thrilled your parents.

  • Publications

    Because the practice of law requires good written communication skills, evidence that you write well is invaluable. Virtually any publication, including those outside the legal field, is impressive enough to command room on your resume.

  • Special Abilities or Skills

    The practice of law is complex and changing. Being a good lawyer requires more than just a thorough grounding in legal principles; it requires everything you have to offer. If you have particular skills which enhance your abilities as a lawyer, reveal them. Such skills might include professional certifications or licenses or proficiency in a foreign language. If you can’t decide whether a skill should be listed, ask yourself if it is job related, e.g., does it demonstrate transferable or substantive skills.

Information taken from