How I used ChatGPT to prepare interviews (ft. STAR format)
ChatGPT can help you practicing for English interviews during your job search process. After trying it out, we found that ChatGPT not only provides feedback on your answers, but also offers suggestions for improvement. Additionally, you can even use ChatGPT as a mock interviewer, allowing it to ask you follow-up questions. If you cannot answer, do not worry, you can ask ChatGPT to provide the corresponding answer for the follow-up question.
This article will share examples of how to use ChatGPT to prep for interviews. Furthermore, we will demonstrate how to use the STAR format with ChatGPT to write structured responses that will help you prepare for your interview in the fastest way.
The prompt mentioned in this article can be found in the Useful ChatGPT Prompt
Useful Prompts you can use
To effectively use ChatGPT to practice for interviews, you need to provide precise prompts. Below are some recommended prompts that work well in practice.
- To ask ChatGPT act as an interviewer, you can use the following prompt:
Act as an interviewer for [the company and position you are applying for] interview. For example, if you are applying for a product manager position at Google, you can use the prompt
Act as an interviewer for Google senior product manager interview
- To ask ChatGPT to provide questions, you can use the following prompt:
List 5 questions you are most likely to ask in an interview.
- Next, you can provide your answer and ask ChatGPT to provide feedback by using the following prompt:
My answer to [a question] is [answer]. Critique my answer and provide constructive feedback.
- Since during interviews, follow-up questions are likely to be asked after answering a question, it is best to prepare for them beforehand. You can use the prompt
What follow-up questions can I expect for [a question].
- If you want ChatGPT to provide you with an answer, you can use the prompt
How to answer [a question] interview question? Provide an example and share what makes it a good answer.
In addition to the prompts above, you can also use ChatGPT with the STAR format, which is very useful in interviews. Let us first look at some examples. We will further explain what the STAR format is and how ChatGPT can help you prepare for behavioral interviews using the STAR format.
Examples of using ChatGPT
Let us use the prompts mentioned above with ChatGPT to prepare for a Google product manager interview. For example, we could use the prompt below to ask ChatGPT to help us gather common questions:
Act as a native English speaker and an interviewer for Google senior product manager interview. List 5 questions you are most likely to ask in an interview
ChatGPT not only listed common questions but also indicated what those questions are testing about. I checked with a Google product manager, and he said that these are indeed the questions they must prepare for during an interview.
Next, we focused on the question mentioned in the common interview questions:
Can you walk me through how you prioritize features and define the roadmap for a new product?. I asked ChatGPT to provide some feedback on my answer. Here is what I inputted to ChatGPT:
My answer to “Can you walk me through how you prioritize features and define the roadmap for a new product?” is “I will prioritize features based on impact and effort. Ideally, we should work on high impact and low effort features because those features have the highest return on investment. For impact, I will measure it based on how much business value a feature can bring. For effort, I will measure it based on how much time and money our team will spend on a feature.”
Critique my answer and provide constructive feedback
hatGPT gave me some useful feedback. My answer mentioned that I prioritize features based on their impact and effort, and focus on high-impact, low-effort features because they have the highest return on investment. However, ChatGPT suggested that I further discuss how I weigh impact and effort and provide specific examples and metrics to illustrate how I measure them.
Finally, it also suggested that when making decisions, I should consider stakeholders, especially because stakeholders may have different views on prioritization. If I could explain how I would effectively lead stakeholders with different perspectives, it would be more convincing to the interviewer that I can prioritize effectively.
Finally, when preparing for an interview, it is best to prepare for follow-up questions to ensure that you can answer them well no matter how the interviewer follows up. For the above question, I could then use What follow-up questions can I expect for
"Can you walk me through how you prioritize features and define the roadmap for a new product?" to ask ChatGPT to provide some possible follow-up questions.
Among the questions listed by ChatGPT, we can see that they are quite precise. For example, ChatGPT mentioned that you may be asked "How do you resolve conflicts when different stakeholders have different opinions on prioritization?" and "How do you ensure that the priorities you set for the product align with the company strategic goals?"
What is the STAR format?
After reading the above use cases, let's talk about how ChatGPT can be used with the STAR format to help you prepare for interviews in a more structured way. The STAR format is a method that can help you provide structured responses during interviews. If you are not familiar with the STAR principle, you can refer to this introduction “Answering Behavioral Interview Questions with the STAR Method”.
This is a format recommended by the tech giant Amazon in its official interview preparation materials. STAR is composed of the first letter of four English words: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Simply put, when answering a question, you can first describe the situation and task you are in, and try to make the situation and task as challenging as possible to highlight your abilities. Next, describe the actions you took to solve the problem you faced in the situation, and the results that came after solving it. In terms of results, try to describe them as specifically as possible.
The STAR format is a simple and easy-to-understand framework, but in reality, it is not as easy to use as one might imagine. Even if you know that you need to make the situations you have faced sounds challenging, it is not easy to do.
But with ChatGPT, you do not need to worry anymore 😉
Useful prompts for ChatGPT with the STAR format
When using ChatGPT with the STAR format, you can use the following prompts:
- To make ChatGPT act as the role of a behavioral interview coach, you can use the following prompt:
Act as a behavioral interview coach who specializes in helping candidates preparing interviews with the STAR format.
- Next, you can provide your experience and ask ChatGPT to help you come up with structured responses using the STAR format by using the following prompt:
I am preparing for the behavioral question [question]. Provide me with an answer to the question using STAR format based on my experience [experience]. It is recommended to write down your experience in bullet points for each of the four categories: Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Try the prompts out
With the prompt, let us try it out. I found a very common behavioral interview question
Tell me about a time when you delivered an important project under a tight deadline?. The following is what I typed into ChatGPT
Act as a native English speaker and a behavioral interview coach who specializes in helping candidates preparing interviews with the STAR method. I am preparing for the behavioral question “Tell me about a time when you delivered an important project under a tight deadline?”. Provide me with an answer to the question using STAR method based on my experience.
- Situation and Task: needed to launch a new feature in 3 months but the technical estimation was at least 5 months
- Action: prioritize different tasks. only keep usability testing and postpone other tests to post-launch phase. And found re-usable modules. For example, reuse the buy in the store but deliver to home later feature we had implemented for other projects
- Result: successfully delivered within deadline without compromising the quality of the feature
Let us take a look at the result. Honestly, I feel like ChatGPT is even better at talking about its own experience than I am 😅 Basically, all you need to do is list some key points, and ChatGPT will help you organize them into a coherent and well-written response. It can even help you summarize based on the topic and points you provide. I have to say, it is really impressive!
Of course, while ChatGPT is incredibly helpful, it can only assist in putting together smooth sentences based on the points you provide. You still need to provide the content and key points yourself. To make the most of ChatGPT, you need to have solid experiences and achievements to start from. So, it's important to put in the effort and work hard, and then let ChatGPT help you add the finishing touches. 😉