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The STAR Approach

So what is the STAR approach?

The STAR approach could really help you to STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD during your interview.

Imagine you are the interviewer, you have heard all of the ‘same old, same old’ responses such as: “I am hardworking, honest, reliable and can work in a team.” Probably back in the day this may have been okay, but remember gaining employment is a battle. And this type of response will not win you the battle of finding employment, or even progressing within your career.

So how actually can those four little letters help? Situation – Task – Action – Result.

This is how you should try and format your interview responses, especially useful if you are going to go for a ‘competency’ based interview. Using the STAR approach to format your responses will enable you to ‘paint’ a picture inside the mind of your interviewer. It will enable you to demonstrate your competencies, show them you are ‘able’ to do the job. After all, that is what they are wanting to know – if hired, could you do the job.

So let’s have a go at using the STAR approach:

Interviewer: Can you give me an example of when you have used team work in any of your previous roles?

Interviewee: (Situation) When working as a Warehouse Operative (Task) I was asked to make sure me and my team loaded the stock onto the wagon before 11.00pm (Action) So in my team I gave clear ideas on how we could do this in the allocated time. I suggested that as a team we all share the different roles needed to complete the task. Once I had completed my own task, I then supported all other team members in also completing their own role. I kept calm under pressure and made sure my team members felt motivated towards the end objective (Result) The result was that, due to excellent team work I completed my role within the time allocated which allowed me to help others. This then enabled me and my team to load the wagon on time. Also, the delivery drivers could meet their own targets and deliver the stock to the shops, making sure all customers and internal staff were also happy.

Can you see how I have painted a picture for the interviewer? I have demonstrated that I am fully aware of what contributes to excellent team work. I also made sure that the results included other staff (internal) and of course the customer. Again, the interviewer would recognise my understanding of building relations with others.

Have a go. You don’t need to have been at work to be able to give a STAR approach response to team work. Think of all the other places you have used team working skills.

Remember, you are fighting a battle. Standing out from the crowd will help you to win your battle.

Tracey Morewood

Author: How To Get On The Employment Ladder.

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How To Be Successful In A Group Interview

The first thing you need to ask yourself is why? Why do companies have group interviews? So have a think. Have you ever been to a group interview? If you have then what did you do?

The main purpose of a group interview is to interview on ‘mass’, interview more than one person. This could range from 6 – 60 people in one interview. This amount is a rough estimate but basically there will be quite a few people attending. Time and money can be a key factor for companies to hold group interviews, especially if they are recruiting for a new site or for a large number of workers. This is due to the fact that everyone and everything has a monetary value; especially when it comes down to a business. And everybody’s’ time is valuable.

I mentioned filtering earlier; this could also be used for other reasons. Group interviews could also be used to filter out people before a one to one or panel interview. This is usually called stages; you may have to go through stages to get to the final interview.

You may not know beforehand that your interview is a group interview, so after reading this section you will be prepared.

 25 Points To Consider Within A Group Interview

  1. How do you communicate
  2. Your personality
  3. Positive and negative body language
  4. The way in which you work
  5. How are you with other people
  6. Are you a team player
  7. Are you tolerant of others
  8. Do you listen to other views
  9. Can you lead a team
  10. Can you motivate a team
  11. Are you able to support others
  12. Can you follow instructions
  13. Are you aware of basic health and safety
  14. Are you aware of equality and diversity
  15. Can you facilitate a group of people
  16. Are you able to delegate tasks
  17. Are you considerate to others
  18. How do you interact others
  19. Can you work as a team to solve problems
  20. How organised are you
  21. Do you prioritise and plan effectively
  22. Can you handle stressful situations
  23. Are you influential
  24. Do you show respect to different points of view
  25. Are you laid back, let somebody else do the work

The employer may have different ideas on why they are holding a group interview; they may be looking for a specific talent or ability.

Remember, they are looking at ways to get RID of you. NOT why they should keep you!

Tracey Morewood

Author: How to get on the employment ladder.

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Are You Looking For A Career Change? Are You At Risk Of Losing Your Job?

How to get on the employment ladder; you have the skills now learn to develop them – Tracey Morewood

Sometimes we are just ‘plodding’ along in our job. Sometimes the choice has been taken away from us due to redundancy or re-structure. One thing I won’t be saying is that this book has all of the answers. It hasn’t. But what it does have is the necessary knowledge and tips to help you ‘stand out from the crowd’.

Inside you will find 10 steps to help you gain the job you want:

  1. Your transferable skills
  2. CV building – everything you need to build your own fantastic CV
  3. Cover letters
  4. Spec letters
  5. Effective job searching
  6. Positivity and motivation
  7. First impressions
  8. Application forms
  9. Communication – it is more than you think
  10. Interview techniques

I have broken down each step into an easy to follow and enjoyable guide. These 10 steps will help you reach your goal of finding employment, or even moving up the career ladder. As the sub-title of this book says; “You have the skills, now learn to develop them.”

Why not take a look around this blog to see any other useful information I  have put together.

The book is now available online as a paper back book, or you can now download to Kindle:



For more information please feel free to get in touch at:

Email: traceymorewood@sky.com






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It does what it actually says on the tin.

Available from: Amazon.co.uk

Now Available for Kindle Download@ Amazon.co.uk


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One Of The Hardest Interview Questions!!

You will never know what question you are going to be asked within your interview, but over the coming weeks I am going to be choosing random questions to get you thinking.

You’re sat in an interview and the interviewer/s like you already (because you’ve been invited for an interview). You have researched the company, you have got information about the vacancy and now you are sat there waiting for the questions. Okay, first interview question: Tell me about yourself.

Then silence. You are stuck at the first question.

What impression does this give the interviewer/s? Look at the question again, there is only one person who can answer this question. You. So how do you overcome this hurdle and possible filter out of the back door and back to claiming dole?

Know yourself, know your skills, know what you are good at, know what you can bring to the company and know what motivates you.

So have a think about yourself. Once you have answered the above questions about yourself, ask the same question again. See how easy it is once you have questioned yourself, you already have these answers it’s just that you don’t really know it yet.

So why have I put this as one of the hardest interview questions? Well, from my experience (not forgetting I teach employability skills each day) when I ask most of the learners this question, they just cannot answer it. It’s simply a fact that many of us don’t have enough confidence to sit and tell somebody about what we are good at. We have often lost our sense of who we are, what we can offer and self belief. We can sometimes play down some very important roles we have undertaken in the past. One being the ‘parent’, many stay at home parents feel that they have nothing of interest to anyone so will quite often say, “There’s not much to say really.” Crikey, I am a mum of two teenage boys and I know that you need a lot of skills and qualitites to bring up children.

If you are ever asked this question and by practicing answering the questions above you will come across as confident and full of self-belief (such an important part of gaining employment.

Good luck – and ‘big’ yourself up.


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Since I first started my teaching career I came across some new terminology, ‘Soft Skills’. I can clearly remember Googling it and I was in no doubt that these skills could make or break a person. When I started with Offender Learning, I kept hearing these ‘buzz’ words being used but couldn’t clearly see where. “Make sure they’re on your lesson plans and schemes of work”. I didn’t need to be told though. From the start I realised that by embedding soft skills within every single session I taught, I got not only massive respect from the learner, but also 100% success rate all the while I was there. I could clearly see these learners’ progressing and I am only full of praise for them.

So today, listening to the radio and the BBC news reader saying how important these skills are, I was taken aback. I have fully promoted soft skills and will always continue to as I feel that they allow each individual to begin building their own foundations for their future. What ever that future holds.

It’s not okay just to understand what ‘soft skills’ means. We, as Educators need to fully promote them. But to do this we need to have bosses and line managers etc, who really understand the effort and understanding each tutor/lecturer/educator will need to fully promote these skills.

I know only too well that sadly these skills are not used effectively in some educational departments. I could build up a learners positive attitude, communication skills and self-esteem etc only for one person to knock them down with their comments (or their need to go on a power trip).

Within my book I could not write about the employability journey without going on about these skills. Looking at the young people who come to me on the employability course, clearly many have not had anyone to help them to develop these skills.

Hopefully now that this is getting the deserved recognition, we can work together with the 16 – 24 year group to help them develop their skills and begin building their future.



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