What is the STAR?
The STAR technique is a process that helps you to respond efficiently and effectively to those tricky interview questions that ask you to reflect on your experience. It will help you to ace every interview. These types of questions will often begin, “Tell me…?”, “Describe a situation…?” or “Give me an example of a time when…?”. Interviewers ask these kinds of questions to understand how you will perform in the role.
Using this technique, you can match your answer to the question and perform better at interviews by outlining the:
- Task required to address the situation
- Action you took to complete the task
- Result of your actions
Explain the Situation
Start by describing a specific situation or problem rather than a general explanation of many situations because this will make sure it resonates. It could be your experience from a previous job; voluntary experience; or any relevant event.
Provide details because the interviewer must fully understand how your situation matches the question they have posed.
Introduce the Task
Make your interviewer understand the objective you were set or your realisation of what was required to turn the situation around.
Describe YOUR Action
The spotlight is on you therefore describe the approach you took to address the situation.
- Tip #1: Provide precise and methodical detail. What did you do and what were the specific steps you took?
- Tip #2: Keep the focus entirely on you. People tend to use the collective “we” to describe contributions at work since we are often working with a team. When explaining actions in an interview, focus exclusively on what YOU did by using “I” not “we”.
Own YOUR Result
The most important part of your response. To nail it like a pro, describe the positive outcomes of your actions and what you accomplished. Besides that, put these results into clear context by throwing in some metrics, numbers or percentages.
- Tip #3: This is YOUR moment and YOUR accomplishments so keep the focus on yourself.
- Tip #4: Delight the interviewer by ensuring they understand that the result outperformed expectations.
Give me a specific example of a time when you used logic to solve a problem?
S: Interest in our marketing services was declining with less clients renewing contracts and revenues down.
T: I was tasked with generating new ideas that would revive interest in our services, retain our most important contracts and increase revenues year on year by 10%.
A: I conducted research that revealed increasing competition in the market for traditional services. I decided to prioritise our design capability and overhaul our digital presence to promote this service. I also set-up a special training session for the sales team so they could promote this service in new business discussions.
R: As a consequence, the business won eight pitches for new business. Two previous clients returned to us, which increased sales revenue by 30 % over the same period in the previous year.
Your appearance, passion, values and likeability only gets you so far in interviews.