How to use the STAR method technique for Interview Questions ?

During a job interview, you can use the method call STAR, this technique has proven to be very efficient especially when you need to answer a behavioral question interview. By behavioral question we mean every time you need to explain how you achieve something or give an example about how you deal with a specific situation.



The STAR technique is highly appreciated in any type of Job Interview and can help you to structure, consolidate and make your job interview answers look highly prepared even when it is not.


Let us look a bit closer at the STAR technic and how can you make the best of it.


STAR is the accronym for Situation, Task, Accomplishment and Result. Following this order you will design your answer to be given the job interviewer the information he or she needs.


S: Situation, describe the situation in which you were, what was your environment and detail the specifics to help the hiring manager vizualise the moment.


T: Task, continue by giving the job interviewer more information about what your role was during this situation, what task you were responsible for.


A: Accomplishment, follow by telling what you have accomplished and how you did, mention as well if you had any challenge and how you did overcome them. Thi part maybe slightly longer than the S and T, but this is the most important: What you have done and how!


R: Results, end your answer by telling the result of the initial situation you were in.


The good thing about the STAR method is that it helps you to make your answer precise, in the order and help you not to make an extensive answer where you would lost your hiring manager.


Use this technique every time you have such a question:

  • Can you describe a moment where…

  • How did you react when…

  • Could you tell us more about the moment when...

  • Could you give us an example when…


Whether it is your first job interview or you have already experienced job interviews, the STAR method always is valid.


Let us have a closer look at some job interview answers using the STAR technique:


Summary of the STAR method

S: Situation, set up the context

T: Task, what did you have to do

A: Action; what did you do in order to accomplish your task

R, Result, what was the result based on the action you took


Here is an example of an answer not too long and not too short that could be used in a real life job interview:


Can you describe a change you went through and how you dealt with it?


This question should be answered using an example of your past experience. If you apply for a remote working job for instance, try to tell a story that was done remotely.

Let’s have an example where a project was supposed to happen in person but was changed to remote. The most important part that you need to highlight here is how greatly you adapt to change and how proactive you communicate about it.

(SITUATION)

For instance if you want to mention a fair or event that was supposed to happen in person, meeting customers, but you had to do it online. You can say that for a few weeks we were all preparing for our annual fair that was planned for April in the capital. All our teams had a very fulfilled list of tasks to accomplish and we had booked and paid most of our suppliers.

(TASK)

Unfortunately with the coronavirus, we could not make it and decided to organize an online event where our customers could check our services and product. I was the one most comfortable with technology so my boss naturally asked me to take the lead on it.

(ACCOMPLISHMENT)

We had only 5 weeks to reorganize the entire event. I have made a plan for myself and shared every change and task with the rest of the team. I have used intense communication level with everyone, meaning every morning we would get a 15 minutes catch up to review what was done the day before and agree on the task for the day.

(RESULT)

We had many challenges such as finding the platform to host our customers online, but I was able to ask for help when needed and at the end we had a great event, everyone was very surprised of the work accomplished in such a short time and my boss congratulated me for the organization and my capacity in adapting and redesigning the event.

Here is another example :

Can you give us an example where you had to take the lead?

For this question, best is to use an example where you had to manage this uncertain moment where you did not know intuitively how to deal with a situation. Emphasize the situation, what was needed from you, the actions you took and most importantly the results.

You need to demonstrate that you are capable of staying calm and thinking logically even when you are alone off of your screen. Demonstrate a logic thinking process.

(SITUATION)

Here is an example using the STAR method:

We had received an invitation for an audit that was unexpectedly happening the next week. I was the most senior person in my team and my manager was off for 2 weeks. I was the only one knowing all our processes.

(TASK)

Naturally, I volunteered to perform the audit and found out that our finance department could help me on learning how to prepare for it. I filled in the checklist and ensured we were all compliant with what needed to be done.

(ACCOMPLISHMENT)

I prepared and reviewed all documents and on the day of the audit I presented what had been prepared. The audit went well, I did not have the answer to one question but I told the auditor I would look into it during the afternoon and come back to him, which I did.

(RESULT)

We successfully completed the audit and my manager was very thankful for managing it during her holidays.

In those questions the hiring manager will verify if you have the necessary skills to either the job or a specific task that he or she is looking to fulfil. Thanks to the STAR method you help the hiring manager to clearly identify those tasks. Always make sure you choose a situation that can be related to your job interview.

For more about Job Interview tips:


How to answer "What can you contribute to the company"?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years ?

Why do you want to quit your job ?


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