Learn the STAR Technique for Interviews


Last Updated: November 30, 2022
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Have you been applying for internships or jobs recently? And the whole sitting for the interview part has been stressing you out? And you’re left wondering how to conquer that fear and face all kinds of questions you’re going to be asked. Maybe you’re wishing there was a way to answer all their questions flawlessly, or maybe a strategy? 

Well fear not! Because we have just the solution for making you the star of the interview with the help of the star technique method! 

You get a star

So let’s work together to bag that job of your dreams with the STAR interview technique!

What is the STAR method?

Before you emerge as the star of the interview, let us know what the STAR method actually entails. The STAR method is a unique strategy for answering behavioural interview questions in a structured manner by describing a specific case, mission, action, and result of the problem you are discussing. In simple words, the STAR method helps you explain how you handled specific work situations and challenges in a simple yet powerful way!

The STAR interview format stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result:

  • Situation: An event, task, or challenge faced
  • Task: Your duties and tasks for the situation
  • Action: Steps or procedures taken to relieve or restore the situation
  • Result: Results of measures taken

STAR interview

The best part of the STAR interview technique is that it’s perfect for all aspects of the job hunt!

It helps show your recruiter about all your achievements and what makes you stand out of the crowd. Rather than just focusing on the same old tasks and responsibilities. 

Sounds pretty easy, right?

Here’s the catch: it might seem very simple, but many candidates often fail to use the technique correctly. But before we discuss the STAR interview technique method, let us first briefly understand the purpose of behavioural interview questions.

What are behavioural interview questions?

So behavioural interview questions are specific questions about your past work experience and how you handled them or acted. Through these acts of questioning, the recruiter evaluates your answer to see if you can take the correct initiative and action should a similar crisis arise.

The behavioural interview questions are tricky since the recruiter isn’t looking for a simple answer, like a “yes/no,” but instead a semi-detailed story.

And, let’s say you’re just starting, so you have no prior work experience; behavioural questions and answers can be easily linked with other situations, such as college assignments or volunteering.

Few examples of behavioural questions:

Behaviour-based interview questions generally start in the following ways, such as:

  • “Tell us about a time when…”
  • “Give me an instance of…”
  • “Have you ever…”
  • “Give us an instance where you’ve had to…”

How to use the STAR approach for an interview

The STAR interview technique can help you frame the perfect answers to these questions. Replying to behavioural interview questions is all about storytelling – honest, authentic stories about situations or happenings that will help you convey the transferable skills from your everyday life and experiences that’ll ultimately aid you in your new role!

We know what you might think: “the possibilities of these questions might be endless.” Well, true, but that doesn’t mean the preparation ends up being endless too!

The best way to answer them would be to approach them using the STAR format for an interview: 

  • S – Give your opinion about the “Situation” at hand
  • T – Task(s) or the goal(s) you were planning to achieve
  • A – Action that you took to address the situation
  • R – The ultimate Result or solution of the action’

Always remember to stand out from the crowd with your answers. Your response needs to contain everything! The situation, task, action as well as a result. Here’s what we mean by it:

  • Begin by discussing the situation you had on hand or the crisis you had to face. This involves talking about what transpired, who was involved, and when it occurred. 
  • Then talk clearly about the task(s) that needed to be done to manage the situation efficiently.
  • Talk about what action(s) you decide to take to resolve the crisis or complete the task. Go ahead and talk about how you narrowed your steps down to what you did, your responsibilities, and what made you choose that path.
  • Last but not least, talk about the result. What was the outcome of the action? Did you succeed? And what did you learn from it?

Always ensure your responses have a beginning, middle, and end, just like a story!

dos and donts

Do’s and Don’ts when using the STAR method interview.

While the STAR interview technique is an excellent technique for preparing your answers, here are a few things to keep in mind when using this technique for the best results:

  • Take a deep breath and think: Before you start with your answer, think through the story you want to tell. Choose an incident closest to what the recruiter has asked you about. 
  • Quality over quantity: Always try to quantify the outcomes of your hard work to show your work’s impact. It helps them understand the extent of the work you’ve done. 
  • To the point: The flow of time is cruel. Ensure your answer is always crisp and concise. 
  • Be honest!: Answering questions is not always about sharing glory days’ stories. Feel free to share about the flaws as well. It helps the interviewer understand that you have an eye for detail and a desire to continue to improve and grow with every task you perform. 

A few things to avoid doing would be:

  • Never share responses that lack meaning or significance. While answering behavioural questions is often like storytelling, you don’t want to miss out on crucial details that would bring out your competencies. 
  • Share real stories; no freestyling stories here. It’s alright if you haven’t experienced the specific situation you’ve been asked about. The interviewers are there to aid you and want you to grow, providing them with genuine responses.
  • Never over-prepare. It’s never bad to be prepared but make sure you stay true to your authentic self in the time!

Ready to ace the interviews?

Keep these points in mind as you figure out how to prepare for a STAR interview; it will ensure you crack all interviews easily! But are you still worried about the future and your true calling? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us; Mentoria’s counsellors are here for you always to help and guide you for a better future!