How To Use The STAR Technique

Before the holidays roll around, you can expect a busy time for recruiting. These days I’m spending a lot of time to coach clients who have successfully factored the recruitment cycle into their job search and been called for job interviews. One important aspect of my interview coaching services is to help job seekers use the STAR technique to answer behavioral questions.

What is the STAR technique?

STAR is an acronym for four key concepts:

(S) What was the SITUATION in which you were involved in?

(T) What was the TASK you needed to perform?

(A) What ACTION did you take?

(R) What RESULT did you achieve?

By following this step-by-step process, you can give your best answers based on concrete examples, showing that you possess the required experience and skills for the job at hand.

Answering Interview Questions Using STAR

Let’s consider a question like: “Tell me about a time you had difficult interaction with your boss”.

The crucial starting point is to find a relevant scenario from your work history that you can elaborate on. With your scenario selected, it’s time to paint a clear picture of the SITUATION you were involved in. For example: “In my previous growth marketing role, my boss decided to reduce global marketing spending by 20% and was looking to increase the company’s financial performance significantly.”

Now, it’s time to highlight your TASK and where you fit in this story. For example: “As the senior manager, my role was to forecast global marketing spending, and the current insights and trends were supporting a 15% increase rather than a 20% reduction. When I told this to my boss, I was faced with resistance to change his decision.”

Next, you should explain what ACTION you took to solve the problem. For example: “I decided to deal with his resistance by developing dashboards and reports to better convey data driven insights and trends. Next, I worked with the country managers to generate crucial findings.”

As the final portion of your response, it’s time to show the positive RESULT you achieved. For example: “As a result of my efforts,  my boss made a decision to increase global marketing spending by 15%, which led to an increase in overall revenue by 22%.”

Remember, less is more. So when you use the STAR technique during an interview, focus on important details, keep things concise, and provide numbers when you can. (More interview tips to get the job)

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