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In my recent article Using First Principles Thinking to Solve Our Hiring Heroes Problem appearing in the Factory for Innovative Policy Solutions online publication First Principles Thinking Review, I discuss the STAR method of interviewing promoted by SHRM, and why it is with military veterans.
“SHRM suggests using situational or behavioral interview techniques that use open-ended questions to tease out their capabilities because veterans do not like talking about themselves, as it is counter to the organizational and team-based we culture. A situational interview “gives the interviewee a hypothetical scenario and focuses on a candidate’s past experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities by asking the candidate to provide specific examples of how the candidate would respond given the situation described”, and behavioral interviews “focus on a candidate’s past experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities by asking the candidate to provide specific examples of when he or she has demonstrated certain behaviors or skills as a means of predicting future behavior and performance” (SHRM, n.d.). For example, if you ask them what they did, they may say I ran a dining facility, or I ran an armory, or I was a machine gunner. However, these are examples of managers managing inventories, budgets, and PP&E for their organizations, while taking care of the people’s well-being, health, care, and professional development.
The popular STAR method is used in a behavioral interview to “objectively measure a potential employee’s past behaviors as a predictor of future result” (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, n.d.). The popular STAR model may prove helpful to many hiring managers. They ask the candidate to tell them about a situation, task, action, and result produced in a past task or project. It demonstrates the vet’s capability and skills within the context of what problem occurred, what tasks the team performed, which of those actions were taken by the vet, and the results produced. Closed ended questions with no solicitation of situation to provide context will not uncover the value of the breadth and depth of experience the vet brings”.