Need help structuring your interview answers?
Updated: Mar 2
Here’s how to do it with STAR!
What is STAR?
The STAR method is a structured technique for answering behavioural interview questions.
It stands for:
S: Situation - describe the context in which the experience took place.
T: Task - explain what you were trying to accomplish in the situation.
A: Action - describe what you actually did in the situation.
R: Result - describe the outcome of your actions, including any impact you made or lessons learned.
By following this method, you can provide a clear and concise answer to behavioural interview questions, demonstrating your skills, abilities, and experiences in a well-structured way. The STAR method helps interviewers understand the specific actions you took and the results you achieved, which can help them better evaluate your suitability for the job.
Why Should I use STAR to structure my response?
The STAR method is an effective tool to use in an interview because it helps you present your experiences and accomplishments in a clear, concise, and organized manner. The following are some of the reasons why you should use the STAR method in an interview:
It shows your problem-solving skills - By using the STAR method to describe a situation, task, action, and result, you are demonstrating your ability to analyze a situation and identify a solution.
It highlights your specific accomplishments - The result portion of the STAR method allows you to highlight the impact you made in a particular situation, which can help the interviewer understand your value as a candidate.
It helps you stay focused and organized - The structure of the STAR method helps you stay focused and organized during your interview, allowing you to provide specific examples that support your qualifications.
It helps the interviewer understand your experience - The STAR method provides a clear and comprehensive picture of your experience and helps the interviewer see how your past experiences can be applied to the job.
It makes a positive impression - A well-structured and thoughtful answer using the STAR method can make a positive impression on the interviewer and help you stand out from other candidates.
Do I have to follow the exact order?
While the STAR method provides a structure for answering behavioural interview questions, you don't have to follow the exact order of Situation, Task, Action, and Result in every answer. The most important thing is to make sure you cover all four elements in your response. Sometimes it may be more natural to start with the Action, for example, or to describe the Result first. As long as you clearly explain the situation, task, action, and result of your experience, you can use the STAR method in a way that works best for you.
It's also important to remember that the STAR method is just one tool to help you answer behavioural interview questions. Your goal is to communicate your experiences and accomplishments in a clear and concise manner, so feel free to use other techniques or methods as needed to help you achieve that goal. The most important thing is to be prepared, confident, and concise when answering behavioural interview questions, and to focus on providing specific examples that demonstrate your relevant skills and abilities.
What other method can I use?
In addition to the STAR method, there are several other techniques and methods you can use to answer behavioural interview questions effectively:
PAR: The PAR (Problem, Action, Result) method is similar to the STAR method, but focuses specifically on the problem and the solution. This method can be useful if the situation you're describing was particularly challenging or complex.
CAR: The CAR (Context, Action, Result) method is another variation of the STAR method, which provides a similar structure but emphasizes the context in which the situation took place.
SAR: The SAR (Situation, Action, Result) method is another alternative to the STAR method, which focuses on the situation, action, and result in that order.
SOAR: The SOAR (Situation, Obstacle, Action, Result) method is another tool for answering behavioural interview questions that focuses on the obstacle you faced in a particular situation and the actions you took to overcome it.
S.T.A.R.T.: The S.T.A.R.T. (Situation, Task, Action, Result, and Takeaway) method is a variation of the STAR method that includes a final step in which you describe any lessons learned or takeaways from the experience.
These methods can help you answer behavioural interview questions effectively, but the most important thing is to choose the method that works best for you and to be prepared to clearly and concisely explain your experiences and accomplishments.
Best wishes for your next interview!
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