How to use the STAR Interview Technique
Questions in interviews can throw up one or two surprises, especially when the words ‘describe a time when …’ is said by the interviewer. When this happens, you need to take advantage of the STAR interview technique. But what is it?
This post will explain everything you need to know about the STAR technique so you can ace your next interview.
The STAR Interview Technique
The STAR technique for interviews helps you to provide concise answers that perhaps you’re unsure of how to approach. It allows you to share notable examples of how you’ve handled previous situations at work that demonstrate why you’re the right person for the position.
STAR stands for:
Breaking down the STAR interview technique
Break down your answer into this effortless way to respond to your interviewer in the best feasible way (see our Interview Tips).
Situation – Describe the situation you were in: ‘I was Head of Sales at Company X during the launch of our new product.’
Task – Explain what you had to do to complete the task, e.g. ‘we launched a new product and had to hit a sales target of 10,000 sold in one month’.
Action – What actions did you take to ensure you achieved your goal? E.g. ‘We did x, y and z to achieve our goals and as part of that I did the following …’
Result – Close your answer with the result: ‘As a result of our efforts, we were able to sell over 10,000 during the month.’
This clear and concise breakdown demonstrates how you not only achieved the target but also your method for doing so, which allows you to easily demonstrate how you work and how you approach a task.
For the interviewer, the result isn’t necessarily important, it’s more about the how and the journey of how you got there. While you answer, they will be thinking of how you might apply your logic to achieving tasks in their own organisation.
How to prepare for behavioural questions
Making sure you’re ready for questions that are best answered by the STAR interview technique is key to acing them. Questions that require examples of things you did can only be answered correctly by being prepared. The saying goes ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and in this instance, it’s correct.
Before your interview, try to think of a few ways you helped to overcome a situation, whether it be through customer service, reaching a sales target or helping a colleague. Your examples will need to relate to the role that you are preparing for – so make sure you read the job description and are aware of the company’s objectives. Both will help you to link areas of your past with questions that you might be asked.
Find a new job with PE Global
Get more interviews for the positions you want with PE Global. Our experts are on hand to find you the role that you’re looking for and help you to get to the next part of your career.
Ask us today for more information on how to secure more interviews so you can use the STAR interview technique to secure your next job.