How To Nail An Interview With The Star Technique

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When you are in the process of looking for a job, the interview stage can be both nerve-racking and daunting.  Most people will start off reasonably well answering the initial questions, but when it comes to the situational questions many people struggle to give a good solid answer.

A situational question is one like, ‘Tell about a time when you…’ and is therefore a very broad and open question where the examiner is looking for you to showcase an example of your skills in action.  Many people will panic and look for any situation they can think of, before reeling it off in a hurried manner that kind of answers the question. 

The first thing to remember is everyone’s been there and these types of questions are amongst the hardest to answer.  They are tricky because without any structure they can quickly become an anecdote type response that doesn’t really make a solid impact.

What is the STAR Method?

The STAR interview method is a simple way to answer questions in a structured manner.  It gives you the chance to slow your answer down and work through it in a clear, logical manner.  It is the best tried and tested way of replying to behavioral interview questions, which look like this:

  • Tell me about a time when…
  • What would you do when…
  • Has there ever been a time when you…
  • Give me an example of…
  • Describe a situation when…

STAR is simply an acronym for:

Situation – Set the scene of the example you are about to give.

Task – Describe your role in this situation.

Action – Explain what you did.

Result – What was the outcome of your actions.

If you follow this format when asked a behavioral question your response will come across as structured and competent.