How To Use The STAR Method In Your Interviews




  • — May 4, 2018

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    Candidates are often asked by interviewers to prove their potential value to a company by using behavioral interview questions.
    This is where you have to respond by telling a story of a work achievement.
    The best way to answer these questions is by using the STAR method.

    What is the STAR method?

    S– Situation: Open with a brief description of the Situation and context of the story (who, what, where, when, how).
    T– Task: Explain the Task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (eg deadlines, costs, other issues).
    A– Action: Describe the specific Actions that you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc.)
    R– Result: Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.

    Some behavioral questions you may be asked could start with:

    • “Tell me about a time when . . .”
    • “Give me an example of . . .”
    • “Have you ever . . .”

    If for example, an interviewer asks you ‘Have you ever lead a team before?’ you can easily answer by saying ‘yes’, but by using the STAR method you can build a story that will impress.

    How to answer using the STAR method?

    Situation: My role as sales manager was to ensure that any targets set out for me were reached on time. I was in charge of a team of 6.

    Task: We were nearing the end of our first quarter and were 20% off our target. With a tight deadline of 14 days, I knew it was going to be a struggle to reach the target on time.
    I set the goal for the team to reach the target within 10 days giving us some time to do one last push.

    Action: By giving my team individual daily target. I was able to create a more efficient and effective strategy and ensured that downtime was kept to a minimum. After discussing the situation with the sales director I was able to allocate a small bonus to the person who performed the best.

    Result: As a result of this I was able to motivate my team and by setting out individual daily targets we were able to reach our end goal 5% over target. The bonus structure has now been implemented across all sales departments.

    Tip: Create a bank of answers like these so that you are prepared for any tough questions that may arise.

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    Author: Joanne McDonagh

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