What On Earth is STAR (And How To Use It In Your Interview)?
The STAR Method is a structure you should be using to form interview answers where you need to give an example. It’s basically the key to answering any interview question starting with “Tell me about a time when you…” or any other variation.
Broken down, STAR looks like this:
Situation – Set the scene
Task – What was your role and responsibilities?
Action – Explain the steps that you took
Result – Describe the outcome
These are the four steps that you need to take to tell your anecdote concisely and effectively without leaving out any necessary details. This is exactly what the interviewer wants to hear!
Here’s how we recommend that you use the STAR Method in your next interview to land you your next role…
First, you’ll want to find the perfect example to answer their question. Unfortunately, there’s often no way of knowing exactly what questions will be asked, so you’ll want to have a few prepared.
When thinking about what examples to prepare, recall your biggest successes in your previous role and, if you can, align them with the role/business you’re applying for. This will increase your chances of the anecdote being appropriate for your interview.
Top Tip: Brainstorm your successes and pick out the most relevant to the company and role you’re interviewing for.
Situation is all about setting the scene for the story you’re about to tell.
When planning your response, make sure to only consider the necessary details. It can be very tempting and very easy to go overboard in this part of your response. This could lead to you straying off-topic and not actually answering the question.
Top Tip: Keep this part of your response concise, only divulging the necessary details.
So, you’ve set the scene, now it’s time to set up your involvement in the story.
Not to be confused with the Action portion of your answer, here you’ll want to explain your responsibilities and interests in the story. What was your role? Your purpose/goal in the company at the time?
Top Tip: Focus on yourself when answering the question, not your team.
Action should be the lengthiest part of your answer.
What actions did you take to solve the problem/achieve the goal? You’ll want to be specific for this part of your answer, including:
- The steps you took
- Names of software and resources used
- If/how you worked with others
Top Tip: Detail here is important!
Last, but certainly not least, the results… Although this is the last step to STAR, it’s arguably the most important and you definitely don’t want to forget it!
Finish your anecdote with the results of your actions. If you have any facts or figures, include them here, it’s a great way to conclude your answer nicely.
Top Tip: Evidence (if you have it) can really support your answer.
Have an interview coming up? Good luck! And let us know how you get on using the STAR Method.
3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, strategy & transformation, and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at www.3search.co.uk