The STAR interview method is a surefire way to ace your interview questions. Here’s how to utilize the STAR method for effective answers.
How to Use and Master the STAR Method for Interviews
STAR Method Interview
If you want to succeed in a job interview, you need to understand how to answer job interview questions. Although you might have the best work experience and the most impressive skill set, if your interview answers aren’t up to par, you run the risk of having a hiring manager disregard you outright. The key is in using the STAR method to talk about previous work situations effectively. Here’s how to use it.
What Is the STAR Method?
The STAR method is a unique method of answering certain job interview questions. The acronym STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result, which describes the setup for the answer that you’ll give to a question using this method. This acronym accurately describes the path that you’ll take through the answer: you describe a Situation, talk about the Task you had to do, describe the Action that you took to accomplish the task, and discuss the Result that you ended up with. Here is an example of the STAR technique in action:
Talk about a time when you had to deal with an angry customer.
When I was at my previous job, we once had a customer who was very upset after his order took much longer than anticipated to ship, and upon arriving, it was broken in transit. I was assigned to his case as one of the main customer service representatives at the company. With permission from a supervisor, I re-shipped his package with expedited shipping, then provided him with a coupon for 20% off his next purchase. He ended up making another purchase later that month and was very happy with our handling of the situation.
A STAR response helps interviewees highlight specific skills using real-life examples,and showing a hiring manager how well you can perform in similar situations. This STAR framework makes it easier for you to impress recruiters and effectively discuss your competencies so that the hiring manager understands how your skills relate to the real world.
What Are Some Common Questions To Use the STAR Method With?
The STAR interview method works with a wide variety of questions. Most commonly, you’ll use this method with behavioral interview questions. Here are a few common related questions that you might see at a job interview:
- What was an example of a time you had to work under pressure?
- How have you dealt with stressful situations in the past?
- Can you talk about a time when your team had to meet a tight deadline?
- What was a difficult decision you and your team members have had to make recently?
- Have you ever had to work with a frustrating coworker at a previous job?
- Talk about a time when you had to turn a negative outcome into a positive outcome.
- How has teamwork benefitted you in a previous job?
As you can see, the common theme connecting these types of questions is that they’re all asking about a specific situation. When hiring managers ask these example questions, they want to know more about how you handle different situations that may also come up in your next job. Most of the time, STAR interview questions are all about how you manage different experiences because that shows a hiring manager how you’ll manage experiences in the future.
How Can I Practice Using the STAR Method?
The best way to practice using the STAR method is simply to start using it. During a job search, you’re likely going to have to answer job interview questions dozens of times, and the best way to get better at these questions and answers for your next interview is to rely on them for your current interview. If you can, ask your friends to help you by asking you different behavioral interview questions and having you answer them using the STAR method. If you’ve created a resume (such as with ResumeNerd’s resume builder), go through your work experience section and use the STAR method to talk about key achievements you’ve listed.
FAQ: STAR Method Interview
Almost certainly. An interviewer will typically want to know a little bit more about different experiences in your resume and cover letter, especially if they have questions about things like your achievements, job duties, and general work experiences. Plus, behavioral interview questions also open up the floor for you to talk about all of your past experiences. If you have anything in your resume that you think an interviewer is likely to ask about, such as career changes or internships, prepare to talk about it before the interview.
One of the best tips to prepare for an interview is to do some research on the company. Is the company expecting you to be lighthearted or solemn? Do they want you to be geared more toward progress or routine? Are they interested in unique experiences or doing the best with a common experience? These are all questions and answers that will influence how you respond to interview questions. Learning more about a company will help.
Generally, questions that don’t ask about specific examples from your past won’t work well with the STAR interview technique. For example, if an interview lays out a hypothetical situation and task, and asks how you would handle it, you would only being talking about your actions, and not results. If the question centers on specific experiences in your past, use the STAR method. Otherwise, use these interview tips from ResumeNerd.