The STAR method is a way to structure your responses during an interview. It’s a great way to provide a concise and informative answer that will impress your interviewer and give greater insight into your past achievements and the impact you’ve had as an employee. So let’s break down exactly what the STAR method is, and how it can help you shine!

What is STAR?
  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

Pretty simple, huh? So how do you put it into action during an interview?

Situation

The first element of the STAR method is situation. Think of this as the step where you set the scene for the interview. This is where you explain the scenario, who was involved, and when or where it took place. It’s the point where you provide context to the interviewer before getting into the nitty-gritty. Let’s imagine that you provided help desk support in your previous role. In this scenario, your situation is that you were working at the help desk answering customer calls for IT support.

Task

This element of STAR refers to something that you were required to do (your task). The goal here is to be specific and select a succinct example of a task that you were involved with that is relevant to the interviewer’s question. In our IT help desk example, your task might have been dealing with an upset customer who was looking for help with a technical problem and is in need of your expertise to solve.

Action

The next step is to outline the actions that you took to achieve the task. Say you worked in retail, and your task was to provide fantastic customer service, then the action could be that you quickly assisted the customer, and you were able to find them exactly what they wanted in a timely manner.

Result

The final element of STAR is the result. What was the outcome? Did you resolve the situation? Did you have to take other further actions? What did you learn from this? While having a great result is a good way to wrap up a STAR scenario, if you had a less than satisfactory outcome, but one that you learned from or that ultimately led to a positive achievement, then that can still be a great example to include in the interview.

Interviews can be stressful and putting your best foot forward is a significant part of achieving a successful outcome. STAR is a great way to structure your responses, and can help you to stay on track to showcase your strengths and experience, and to stand out as a candidate.

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