How to interview like a STAR

Stary skyWe all know that interviewing for a new job can be stressful, so preparing yourself beforehand is essential. However, knowing how and what to prepare can be confusing, so one technique you can use to counteract this is to follow the STAR method.

In most interviews you will be asked to relate your past experiences to aspects of the prospective job role. You may be asked questions such as ‘describe a time when you worked in a team and what would you have changed?’ By approaching these questions using the STAR technique you will ensure you provide a comprehensive and well structured answer.

STAR stands for:

Situation – identify the situation and context to your interviewer

Tell – provide more detail about exactly what it is you did

Action – describe what the experience taught you and the consequences

Result – show the positive impact of the situation/task

Begin answering the question by briefly identifying the situation that you were faced with. Touch on who you were with, the timescale of the task and what needed to be done. You will also need to relate your situation to the given question, so if you are asked to describe a time you overcame conflict explain who was involved and how the situation arose.

Once you have briefly identified the situation you need to build on the question and relate it to yourself. Tell the interviewer how you acted in the situation; explain which skills you used and who was affected.

In some ways this is the most important area of STAR. After identifying the situation and telling the interviewer more about it you need to expand on what you personally learnt, how you were affected and how the experience will aid you in the proposed position. At this point you should have already explained what you did. So you will now need to tell the interviewer why you did it.

Finally you need to summarise your experience. What went well? What would you change if you were to do it again? This is your chance to conclude your explanation and show you are able to reflect.

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