job hunt

STAR framework Miro board

STAR – Using Miro in the Job Hunt

S.T.A.R. is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, & Result. Hiring managers will sometimes ask an applicant to tell a story using the STAR framework, so it’s good to be prepared for these types of questions. Even if the hiring manager does not request it, they will likely ask you to give an example of something in your past experience. They might say, “tell me about a time when you…” or “can you tell me about a situation where you…” Use the STAR method to recall stories easily that are relevant to the job and company/industry. An easy way to come up with STAR examples is by using the STAR Miro template.

Miro is an online whiteboard platform that can be used for personal or business use. Miro boards can be created for individual ideation or for group collaboration. I have been using it recently to prep for job interviews.

I am at a point in my career where I am seeking a highly visible leadership role that involves business partnerships or clients at the enterprise level. Most companies go through an extensive hiring process for these types of positions, resulting in numerous interviews over weeks or months where one might meet with team members from all levels of an organization.

Sometimes some of the same people will be in multiple interviews with you, so it’s important to have several examples prepared to keep the conversation interesting and to help prevent redundancy.

Here’s an example of a STAR board I made for an interview the other day:

STAR framework Miro board

The purple, green, and orange stickies represent different examples I was prepared to share during the interview. For each example, I came up with a scenario (S), task (T), action (A), and result (R). I thought through the details of every story and used the stickies on the call to remind myself of the example and what I wanted to share about it.

Here’s the process for using the STAR framework:

(1) Create a new board with the STAR template and come up with a title that helps you find it easily among your boards.

(2) Think through the kind of company you’re applying to. What experiences have you had in the past that might relate? For example, if you’re applying for a sales position at a SaaS company, what kind of SaaS clients have you worked with before? Do you have a memorable moment where you provided this client with exceptional service or helped them solve a problem? Did you have a difficult situation that you had to resolve for them?

(3) Choose a sticky color for this experience from the stickies on the left-hand side of the board, or click on the board itself to add a sticky in the color you’ve chosen.

(a) Use the first row to add a sticky with keywords that remind you of the scenario.
(b) Go into the second row to add a sticky with the same color that has keywords related to the task you did pertaining to this scenario.
(c) Next, on the third row, put another sticky in the same color that describes the action you took.
(d) And finally, on the fourth row, create a sticky in the same color that reminds you of the result of the action you took.

(4) Rinse and repeat with a new color for a new example!

Miro lotus diagram board for product entry points

Lotus Diagram for Prospect Entry Points – Using Miro in the Job Hunt

I’ve used Miro on a number of development projects over the last few years, however most of the time I was working on a board made by our UX experts or designers who were using the tool to brainstorm with those of us on the product team or externally with our clients.

More recently, I’ve decided to start trying out some of the other templates in Miro to extend my capabilities in the tool. I’m currently in the midst of a fun side project that’s in stealth mode, so while I’m not able to share the Miro-related work I’m doing for that, I’m also using Miro to assist me in my job hunt and am happy to share those details with others.

On Monday night, I applied for a customer experience and program management leadership role which seemed like an incredible fit for my background and skills. To better understand the company, its product line, and the customer entry points (and to prepare for any upcoming interviews), I created a Miro board with the lotus diagram template. It fit my needs perfectly. It allowed me to research the company and gather my thoughts and questions in an organized fashion.

Here’s the gist of what I created:

Miro lotus diagram board for product entry points

Before I had the chance to send this as an addendum to my resume, the company reached out to schedule an interview. Unfortunately the salary range for the position was half of my salary requirements (put the salary range in your posts, people… it saves a lot of wasted time on both sides), so I opted not to continue in their process, but I sent along this board as a PDF in case it could help their team in the future.

By researching the company and their products with such structure, I was able to think clearly about my most pressing initial insights and the product-related questions that I wanted to ask during the hiring process. Hopefully this idea is helpful to other job applicants in the midst of the Great Reshuffle, so I’ll plan to post additional hiring/applicant-related Miro boards in the future here as well.