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STAR interview method

The STAR Interview Method

Everyone can agree job interviews are pretty stressful. From the moment you receive the request, it’s normal to be excited and nervous at the same time. This is your chance. 

But some questions can really make the interview process uncomfortable. Like talking about times you’ve failed, or a conflict at work. 

There’s one easy method to help you present your answers in a job interview: the STAR interview method

The STAR acronym means:

  • Situation: Set the scene to begin the story.
  • Task: Describe the specific item in this situation, which was your responsibility.
  • Action: Explain exactly the steps you took to achieve the task.
  • Result: Share the outcomes of your actions.

STAR is a structured approach to respond to behavioral interview questions that always occurs in this order. To better prepare to answer interview questions in this format, let’s better understand what each part entails.

          Situation

First you need to describe the situation. This doesn’t mean that you need to explain your overall work experience, or go into too much detail. Stick to a brief 2-4 sentence description of the situation, providing enough details to help the interviewer get acquainted with the relevant facts as they apply to this answer.

          Task

The task is the core aspect of the story, it’s the reason you’ve selected this story to share. Highlight your involvement in the situation.

The task describes the situation in further detail, the goal, and how you fit the situation.

The task does not describe the actions you took – that comes next.

          Action

After you’ve described your assignment and goals, you need to explain what you actually did. Avoid providing generic and overly general answers like “I did some research” or “I’ve worked really hard.”

Try to provide references and details where possible. Describe the plan you had and then how the reality was different from that plan. Here you can highlight your ability to recognize how and why they may have differed.

          Result

The result is the big finale, where you describe the outcomes and how you contributed to them.

Talk about what was accomplished, or what wasn’t and how you learned from it.

Depending on the question, describe your role and how it helped or stalled the situation. But try to finish the story with a strong conclusion on a positive note.

The Bottom Line

The STAR method can be applied to all kinds of questions. It works because it helps you frame a story in a relatable way, providing just the right amount of detail.
 
Before an interview, it’s a good idea to spend a few hours preparing your responses to common questions. But don’t memorize your answers and sound like a robot. Once you’re at the interview, be as human, genuine, and natural as possible. Leave the automation to Mockmate.

 

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