How to use the STAR technique at an interview 

 

The STAR technique is a method of answering competency based questions at interview. A competency based question will normally start with “tell us about a time when you…” and will be related to competencies/ skills listed on the job specification. 

So what is the STAR technique? 

Situation
As the first part of your answer to a competency based question create a brief context- was this a skill you demonstrated at university, during your internship, during a university play or as part of a sports team?

Task
Then become more specific. What was the task you faced specifically and how did this relate to the people you were working alongside. 

Action
This is the most detailed part of your answer. Talk about what you specifically decided to do and why. Ensure you speak as “i” rather than “we” as this demonstrates that you personally have the skills the employer wants you to demonstrate. Feel free to talk about any challenges you faced and how you overcame these. 

Result
Ensure the example you use has a positive result. If you can quantify the result in some way, even better. For example increased sales by 15%.

Here’s an example answer using the STAR Technique

“Tell us about a time when you had to juggle lots of tasks simultaneously”

S– Whilst at university I had to submit a weekly essay and also juggle being captain of the football team
T– I knew that I had to be very organised in order to ensure my football team were successful and my studies did not slip. 
A– I decided to create a diary attached to my email where I segmented my time. I even planned for time when I would be travelling to the football pitches for training and during these periods planned reading that would be beneficial to my essays for university. 
R– My football team climbed 5 places in the universities league and I was able to achieve a 2:1 grade thanks to managing my time efficiently. 

Try using the STAR technique next time you go into an interview!

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