What Is STAR Method In Interviewing? Best Examples in 2021

The STAR method allows you to reply to behavioral-based interview questions by offering context and highlights from your prior experiences.

Using this approach of responding to interview questions helps you to offer specific instances or proof that you have the necessary experience and skills for the position. You’ll be able to share instances of how you managed issues at work successfully.

In this article, we’ll give you examples of possible STAR method questions you should be aware of to enable you plan better for interview sessions.

What Is Star Method of Interviewing?

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

Behavioral interview questions are inquiries into how you have acted in the past. They are specifically about how you handled particular job circumstances. Employers who use this method evaluate occupations and identify the abilities and traits displayed by high-level workers in that profession.

STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Tasks, Action, and Results. Questions asked using the STAR method prompt you to provide a real-life example of how you handled a certain kind of situation at work in the past.

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What Are The Benefits of the Star Method Interview?

The STAR format is a great way for applicants to provide brief and useful answers. With this method, they can structure their responses to behavioral questions. With these kinds of questions, it is easy to know your candidates better and determine if they have the background to be successful at your company.

The STAR technique gives interviewees a chance to show you how they added value to a situation and the challenges they have overcome.

Furthermore, the STAR method proves the interviewee’s ability to think critically, solve problems, and interact with others. It is also a big factor for employers in trusting them with future responsibility.

Lastly, behavioral-based interview questions allow employers to examine the individual in several ways. Through the way you respond to their questions, they are able to assess your leadership and communication skills.

How to Prepare for an Interview Using STAR

If you happen to be informed that your interviewer will be using the STAR interviewing method, it will be important you prepare in that direction. Here are a few tips to guide your preparation:

#1 Make a List of the Job Qualifications

First, make a list of the skills and/or experiences that are required for the job. It may help you to look at the job listing and similar job listings for indications of the required or preferred skills/qualities and match your qualifications to those listed in the posting.

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#2 Create a List of Examples

Then, consider specific examples of occasions when you displayed those skills. For each example, name the situation, task, action, and result.

#3 Match Your Skills to the Job

Whatever examples you select, make sure they are as closely related to the job you’re interviewing for as possible.

How To Answer An Interview Question Using The STAR Method

Knowing what the acronym stands for is only the first step—you need to know how to use it. Follow this step-by-step process to give the best STAR interview answers.

1. Find a Suitable Example

When faced with a question during a STAR interview, find a scenario from your professional history that better answer the question. This way, you’ll be able to vividly explain whatever you have in mind using the right words.

The STAR interview method won’t be helpful to you if you use it to structure an answer using a totally irrelevant anecdote. That’s why the crucial starting point is to find an appropriate scenario from your professional history that you can expand on.

To stay prepared, you can brainstorm a few professional experiences while highlighting their overall impact.

If you find it difficult during your interview to come up with an example that fits, don’t be afraid to ask to take a minute.

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2. Lay Out the Situation

With your tale decided, it’s time to establish the setting. You might be tempted to incorporate extra information, especially when your anxieties get the best of you. For instance, if the interviewer asks you to tell them about a time you didn’t fulfill a customer’s expectations, they don’t necessarily need to hear the narrative of how you acquired the client three years ago or the whole history of the. All you need to do is to paint the circumstances that led to it and how you were able to handle it.

Your story is expected to paint a vivid picture of the situation. Try not to say too much, just keep it concise and interesting.

READ ALSO: Top 16 Questions to Ask Before An Interview Starts

3. Highlight the Task

While sharing your experience, don’t fail to highlight the task expected to be captured in the story. This makes it easy for the interviewer to connect to your experience and pick out the notable points he/she is looking for.

This part of the conversation is dedicated to giving the specifics of what your responsibilities were in that particular scenario, as well as any objective that was set for you before you dive into what you actually did.

4. Share How You Took Action

Now that you’ve given the interviewer an idea of your job, it’s time to explain what you did. What steps did you take to achieve your objective or address your problem?

Resist the urge to give a vague or glossed-over answer like, “So, I worked hard on it…” or “I did some research…” Always make statements that clearly state the actions taken.

This is your chance to really showcase your contribution, and it’s important you provide specific details. Dig in deep and make sure that you give enough information about exactly what you did. Did you work with a certain team? Use a particular piece of software? Form a detailed plan? Those are the things your interviewer wants to know.

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5. Dish Out the Result

Finally, this is the time where you clearly state how your impact was able to make a difference. Before you get to this point, ensure it’s worth sharing. No interviewer will be pleased to hear, “and then I got fired for not performing my duty.”

If you must end with a negative result, be sure to state the lessons drawn from the experience and how they improved you.

Remember, interviewers don’t only care about what you did—they also want to know why it mattered. So make sure you hammer home the point about any results you achieved and quantify them when you can. Numbers are always impactful.

Examples of STAR Method Interview Questions

Here are a few examples of common behavioral questions you might be asked during an interview:

  • Share an example of a time when you faced a difficult problem at work. How did you solve this problem?
  • Have you ever had to make an unpopular decision? How did you handle it?
  • Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work. How did you react?
  • Tell me about a mistake you’ve made. How did you handle it?
  • Share an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision. What did you do?
  • Explain a situation where you used data or logic to make a recommendation.
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss. How did you resolve it?
  • Describe a time when you had to deliver bad news. How did you do it?
  • Tell me about a time you worked with other departments to complete a project.
  • Share an example of a time when you failed. What did you learn from the experience?
  • Tell me about a time when you set and achieved a specific goal.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to do something.
  • Describe a time when you had a conflict with a colleague. How did you handle it?
  • Have you ever had to motivate others? How did you do it?
  • Tell me about the last time your workday ended before you were able to get everything done.

FAQs On STAR Method

What is the STAR interview method?

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

Why is using the STAR interview method important?


The STAR method of interviewing can be an important tool for providing context behind the major (and minor) wins in your career.

What does the acronym ‘STAR’ stand for?

STAR stands for Situation, Tasks, Actions, and Results.

How do I pass the STAR interview?

Firstly, you need to find a suitable example, lay out the situation, highlight the task, share how you took action, dish out the result.

Conclusion

Mastering the act of sharing your work experiences and how it impacted your work growth is a skill you must have. The STAR interview method offers interviewee’s the opportunity to share specific stories in such a way that highlights and displays how their capabilities match the current job they are seeking. Learn to seize the opportunity.

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