The STAR technique is a way of responding to a behaviourial interview question that neatly outlines the specific situation, task, action, and result of the scenario you are describing.
Situation: Talk about the situation that you were in or the task you needed to complete. Describe a specific event or situation, not a general description of what you did in the past. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand why you did what you did. The situation you talk about can be from a previous job, volunteering experience, or a relevant activity from your personal life.
Task: What specific goal were you trying to achieve?
Action: Talk about the actions you took to resolve the situation with. Keep the focus on what you did. Talk about specific steps you took and what your contribution was. Ensure that you don’t describe what the rest of your team did when talking about the project. Use the word “I,” rather than “we”.
Result: Talk about the outcome of your actions and take credit for your achievements. How did the event end? What happened? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Make sure your answer contains more than one positive result.
Ensure that you follow all parts of the STAR method. Be as specific as possible at all times, without waffling or including too much detail. Don’t wait to be prompted to talk about your results, include those without being asked.
Think hard about leaving out examples that do not show you in a positive light – some examples that have a negative result (such as “I completed the project but missed the deadline”) can show your strengths in the face of challenges.
EXAMPLE STAR RESPONSE:
Situation: Web traffic to the University online store had fallen steadily by 10% over the past 12 months and this was affecting sales revenue.
Task: My goal was to restore the traffic to at least the level it had been a year ago – and increase it if I could.
Action: I called Marketers at other local universities and asked them what they were doing to drive web traffic to their online shop. After talking to one Marketer, she recommended finding out what the best selling item was in the Campus shop and making it online only – I discovered this was our branded university hooded jackets. We made the most popular design of hoody an online exclusive and told the shop staff to encourage anyone who inquired about the hoody to check out the online store.
Result: Our online traffic increased by 20% – and overall online sales increased by 5% as more people became aware we had an online store.