You just spent hours meticulously submitting job applications. You attached a resume only to fill out the exact same information on the company’s website. Now you are waiting for your phone to ring or to see a new email notification.
Want to be more productive while waiting? How about preparing and practicing how you’ll nail that interview. After all, a resume only gets your foot in the door. One of the best ways to prepare for your upcoming interview is to learn the STAR Method.
1. What is the STAR Method?
STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. The STAR Method is a useful technique to help prepare for and answer interview questions meant to gauge your ability to handle on-the-job situations.
Practicing this method of answering questions will help you develop and prepare clear and simple responses using examples from your life, making you look quick on your feet and better suited for the role.
2. How to Use the STAR Method for Behavioral Interview Questions
To better understand how the STAR Method can help you answer behavioral interview questions, let’s take a deeper look at what each of the letters stand for.
A. Situation: Start by describing the situation or event that you were in.
B. Task: After you describe the situation or event, explain the task you had to accomplish.
C. Action: After you describe the task, outline the specific actions you took to complete that task.
D. Result: And finally, finish by telling the interviewer the results of the actions you took.
3. When Should You Use It?
The STAR Method is specifically designed to help prepare you for behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interview questions help a recruiter decide whether you are the right candidate for the job.
These types of questions are easy to recognize and often start something like this:
4. Hypothetical Question Using the STAR Method
Let’s try an example to see how it works in practice. The following is an example behavioral interview question and a mock-answer using the STAR Method.
Behavioral interview question: Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
A. Situation: I felt a lot of pressure at my last job when we were given a last-minute major assignment with some very tight deadlines.
B. Task: I had to find a way to make sure I got everything ready on time for this major assignment without letting obligations with other clients fall through the cracks.
C. Action: I called my other clients to see if they had any availability to re-schedule meetings for a later date. All of them had no problem accommodating my schedule and appreciated that I gave them advanced notice rather than cancelling last minute or forgetting about them all together.
D. Result: With my other clients taken care of, I was able to focus 100% of my time on that major assignment and get everything done by the deadline.
The more you practice answering questions using the STAR Method, the more natural it will feel. There are plenty of examples of behavioral interview questions online. To better understand the method and prepare for possible questions, practice as many examples as you can find. By so doing, the STAR Method will almost be second nature to you.