Using the STAR Method in an Interview

Posted on April 24, 2014 with No Comments

Computers shaking handsOver the last few years, we’ve written various posts about the interview process and how to best prepare for such a daunting step within the job search. However, the one thing we haven’t discussed is the importance of learning and practicing the STAR method, so you’re probably asking yourself; what do we mean by the STAR method? Well, it’s a tool you can use when you’re asked either a situational or behavioral question during an interview. STAR is an acronym for:

Situation, Task, Action, Result/Resolution

So, if an interviewer asks you:
“Tell me about a time when you led a team and it went well?”

    • By using the STAR method, you’d describe an example when you led a team and it was a success- the Situation.
  • For example, “Last year, I coordinated and led a team of volunteers on an Alternative Spring Break in New Jersey where I was responsible for 6 students for a week.”

    • Next, you’ll want to describe the work or Tasks you performed.
  • For example, “I drove all of us to New Jersey to help a small community center with the restoration of their town center near the waterfront where Hurricane Sandy occurred.”

    • At this point you’d want to describe your role as the leader- your Actions.
  • For example, “As part of my role, I collaborated with the Community Center Director each day to determine the top priorities, whether it was clean up or restoration of the building, then I’d delegate a job for each of our student volunteers.”

    • Finally, you’d want to describe the result of your leadership- Result.
  • For example, “By giving each volunteer a job, we created a more efficient work environment and ended up finishing the restoration sooner than we had expected.”

    So, what are the benefits of using the STAR method?

    • You’re guaranteed to answer questions with clear examples.
    • It should keep you within the suggested 2 minute time frame for your answers.
    • And it will showcase the skills you’ll bring to the position you’re applying for.

    Practice using it, and then try it in your next big interview. It’s guaranteed to help you succeed.

    ~Danielle

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