Ace Your Next Interview With the STAR Method

Behavioral interview questions are the bane of job seekers’ existence, but they are essential to hiring managers as they help predict a candidate’s future performance and behavior. These questions are designed to assess your personality, abilities, and skills, so it is extremely important that you answer these questions tactfully. Stumped on how to answer these questions? Use the STAR Interview Method to answer these questions in a straightforward manner and satisfy all questions from the prompt.

STAR Interview Method

The STAR Interview technique helps tell a meaningful story that the interviewer can use to determine if you are a good candidate for the role and company. Behavioral interview questions usually will start off with a phrase that prompts a story. Some examples:

  • Tell me about a time when…
  • Describe a situation where….
  • What do you do when…

STAR is an acronym that helps you answer all aspects of the question in a story format that makes it easy for the interviewer to understand. Let’s break down the acronym:

Situation: Set the scene and give necessary details of your example
Task: Describe what your responsibilities were in that situation
Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved

Using this structure shapes your story, making it easier to share a focused answer. But how do you use this to form an answer?

How to Answer Questions With the STAR Method

1. Find a suitable example

Write down different stories of when you faced adversity in your work life that can be used to show your strengths. Know these stories, but don’t memorize them. Leave them open ended to adapt to the question and don’t make it sound like you’re reading a script. 

2. Give context

Set the scene, but only include necessary details. You don’t want to sound like you’re talking to a friend, so give context to your story so the interviewer knows the situation. 

3. Highlight the task

What is the purpose of the story you’re telling? What role did you have in the story and what task did you need to complete? This gives additional context to the interviewer. 

4. How did you take action?

You’ve given a backstory to your answer, but now there needs to be action to how you handled a situation. What steps did you take to solve a problem or reach a goal? 

5. What was the result?

How did your actions help you reach your goal or solve a problem? Giving a result allows the interviewer to see how your contributions were helpful and how you can benefit their team. 

 Use this template to craft an easily digestible story to answer the prompt. After you’ve gone through this process with a couple examples, it is important to practice but not perfect. Rehearse what you are going to say but don’t memorize it because your story will sound inauthentic, especially if a question asked is a little different than what you’ve memorized.

Practice Questions

  1. Describe a situation in which you were able to use persuasion to successfully convince someone to see things your way.
  2. Give me a specific example when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.
  3. Give an example of a time you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  4. Describe a time when you were under pressure and how you dealt with it.
  5. Tell me about a time when you worked with a colleague who was not doing their share of the work. How did you handle it?

We hope that you learned how to successfully answer behavioral questions and wish you luck on your interview! Here are some more practice questions to use in securing a job:

Behavioral interview question bank (1).

How will you answer these questions? Let us know in the comments section!

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