In a job interview, the interviewer typically wants to know how you handled situations in your previous work experiences. The STAR technique is a structured method for answering behavioural interview questions that can help you effectively demonstrate your skills and qualifications.
What is the STAR technique?
The STAR technique stands for:
Situation – Describe the situation and when it took place.
Task – Explain the task and what was the goal.
Action – Provide details about the action you took to attain this.
Result – Conclude with the result of your action.
This method involves breaking down your answer into these four components to provide a clear and concise response to the interviewer.
What sort of questions need a STAR response?
Have you ever been asked an interview question that begins with “Tell me about a time when you did…?” It’s likely that the interviewer was asking a competency question. The purpose of these questions is to gauge how a candidate would handle certain situations by requesting specific, ‘real-life’ examples to support their responses.
Here are a few examples of competency-based questions:
Competency-based questions can be challenging, but by using the STAR technique, you can provide clear and concise answers that demonstrate your ability to handle various situations.
Here is an example of how to use the STAR technique to answer this question – ‘Tell me about a time you had to complete a task within a tight deadline and describe the situation and how you handled it?’
“While I typically like to plan out my work in stages, I can also achieve high-quality work results under tight deadlines. Once, at a former company, an employee left the company days before the deadline of one of his projects. I was asked to assume responsibility for it, with only a few days to learn about and complete the project. I was assigned a team and delegated the work, and we all completed the assignment with a day to spare. In fact, I believe I thrive when working under tight deadlines.”
Let’s breakdown that response step-by-step to see how STAR was implemented:
Situation – “Once, at a former company, an employee left the company days before the deadline of one of his projects” – This starts to answer and outline the start of the question ‘tell me about a time you had to complete a task within a tight deadline’.
Task – “I was asked to assume responsibility for it, with only a few days to learn about and complete the project” – This outlines the task in hand.
Action – “I was asked to assume responsibility for it, with only a few days to learn about and complete the project. I was assigned a team and delegated the work” – This shows how the candidate acted by quickly learning about the project, worked in a team, and delegated work to complete the project on time.
Result – “we all completed the assignment with a day to spare” – This demonstrates the candidate’s ability to work under tight deadlines and produce high-quality work; effectively answering the question in four easy steps!
In conclusion, the STAR technique is a valuable tool for any job seeker preparing for an interview. By breaking down your responses into Situation, Task, Action, and Result, you can effectively showcase your skills and qualifications to potential employers.
So, if you want to increase your chances of acing your next job interview, make sure to use the STAR technique to effectively communicate your skills and experience. Stellar Select can help you along your journey and comfortably prep you for any given role – See what jobs await!