The STAR interview technique has been around for a number of years, but few people who attend an interview understand it or even use it!
In this article, we will explain what the STAR interview technique is, how to use it and also provide you with a couple of sample answers so you can see it in action.
What is STAR INTERVIEW technique?
In a nutshell, STAR interview technique is a really simple way for structuring answers to situational/behavioural interview questions. It is generally only used when answering questions such as:
- Can you tell me when you worked as part of a team?
- Have you ever been flexible in a work situation?
- Can you tell me about a time when you worked well under pressure?
- When have you delivered excellent customer service?
- Have you ever dealt with a customer complaint?
And so on…
The STAR method consists of the following 4 areas:
SITUATION – What was the situation you found yourself in?
TASK – What was the task that needed to be carried out?
ACTION – What action did you take in order to achieve the task? Also, what action did other people take, too?
RESULT – What was the end result following your actions and the actions of other people?
How to use STAR Interview Technique
This method is used for both preparing your answers to the interview questions and also when responding to the question during the live interview. It allows you to ensure your answers to the questions are both specific and in-depth in nature.
SAMPLE INTERVIEW QUESTION AND ANSWER USING STAR METHOD
Let’s assume the interview question is as follows:
“Can you give me an example when you have worked well as part of a team?”
Here’s a great answer to this question using the STAR technique
One Friday afternoon, at approximately 4pm, my line manager rushed into the office and said that a delivery of stock was due any minute now. The delivery was scheduled for the following Friday, but the courier company had got the dates mixed up and therefore it was arriving a week earlier. This meant we had to drop everything and get ourselves prepared for the unexpected delivery.
The problem was, most of us were due to leave at 4:30pm that day, so there were not many people around to carry out the task of taking in the delivery, which usually takes at least an hour to unload and stock check.
I immediately volunteered to stay behind late to help the company out in its time of need. I set about preparing for the delivery by getting together a small group of workers who I knew would help me achieve the task quickly and accurately. I handed out jobs to the people in the group, which including handling the goods, checking them off as they came through the warehouse and also stocktaking. I briefed all of the team so that everyone knew their role within the task. Once the delivery arrived, we worked hard to achieve the end goal.
Following the team’s hard work, we managed to get the delivery unloaded, stocked on the shelves and cross-checked, much to the gratification of our line manager. He thanked us all for volunteering to get the task completed quickly, safely and accurately.
STAR METHOD SUMMARY
The STAR technique/method is one of the most effective ways of responding to interview questions. We will finish off this blog post with our 5 top tips for using STAR:
TIP 1 – Make sure you use STAR when preparing for the situational or behavioral type interview questions.
TIP 2 – When asked an interview question that requires the use of STAR, make sure you think of Situation, Task, Action Result when getting ready to answer the question.
TIP 3 – Always make sure your responses using STAR technique are specific in nature. Do not tell the interview panel when you would do, but instead tell them what you did do!
TIP 4 – Always make sure the RESULT is a positive one following your actions.
TIP 5 – Now watch the following video on our blog that gives you sample answers top 7 really tough interview questions.