You’ve made it to an interview with the University of Phoenix. As you prepare for the conversation, it’s always a

good idea to practice your interviewing skills and prepare for the types of questions that might come your way.

A lot of our teams here at UOPX use “behavioral based” interview questions. These are the types of questions

where you’ll be asked to think of a specific example to tie into your answer.

Answer Using STAR

Make sure that you follow all parts of the STAR method. Be as specific as possible at all times, without

rambling or including too much information. Oftentimes candidates have to be prompted to include their

results, so try to include that without being asked.

Example Using STAR

Situation (S): Advertising revenue was falling off for my college newspaper, The Review, and large numbers of

long-term advertisers were not renewing contracts.

Task (T): My goal was to generate new ideas, materials and incentives that would result in at least a 15%

increase in advertisers from the year before.

Action (A): I designed a new promotional packet to go with the rate sheet and compared the benefits of The

Review circulation with other ad media in the area. I also set-up a special training session for the account

executives with a School of Business Administration professor who discussed competitive selling strategies.

Result (R): We signed contracts with 15 former advertisers for daily ads and five for special supplements. We

increased our new advertisers by 20 percent over the same period last year.

Situation Task Action Result


Set the scene of the situation at hand

Describe the purpose of the task you had to do

Explain what you specifically did

Share the outcome of your actions


Preparing For a Behavioral Interview

• Recall recent situations that show favorable behaviors or actions, especially involving course work,

work experience, leadership, teamwork, initiative, planning, and customer service.

• Prepare short descriptions of each situation; be ready to give details if asked.

• Be sure each story has a beginning, middle, and an end, i.e., be ready to describe the situation, including

the task at hand, your action, and the outcome or result.

• Be sure the outcome or result reflects positively on you (even if the result itself was not favorable).

• Be honest. Don’t embellish or omit any part of the story. The interviewer will find out if your story is built

on a weak foundation.

• Be specific. Don’t generalize about several events; give a detailed accounting of one event.

• Vary your examples; don’t take them all from just one area of your life.

Sample Questions

Practice using the STAR method on these common interview questions as you prepare:

• Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that demonstrated your coping skills.

• Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see

things your way.

• Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.

• Give me a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

• Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not


• Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to get a job done.

• What is your typical way of dealing with conflict? Give me an example.

• Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or coworker.

• Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.

• Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.