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How to Use the STAR Technique to Ace Your Job Interview

We all want to prove our worth in a job interview, isn’t it?

What if we tell you there’s a technique that you can use to crack your next interview?

Yes, that’s true.

If you get nervous when it comes to behavioural questions, here is a technique that you can use to wriggle out of your fears and come out victorious.

The STAR interview technique is made to help you craft answers in a structured manner.

1. What is the STAR Technique or STAR Method of the interview? 

The format of STAR interview technique allows an individual to form a clear association in mind to answer questions which are usually expected to be asked by the interviewer in the behavioural interviews. To answer such questions, one has to be prompt in providing real-life examples, that how you took an initiative to handle a real-life situation and how it ended up to benefit you professionally. 

So, all you need to do in such a scenario is to think of the right example to fit in the question. The second step is to share the relevant details about a situation in compelling and easy to understand way without being pointless.

So, this is where the STAR technique helps you to make valuable answers by giving you a framework to tell meaningful stories about the professional past to the interviewer.

So, let’s break down that framework. STAR is an acronym that stands for:

  • Situation: Try to set the right scene and give all the required details of your example. Setting the scene helps you in making the interviewer understand the exact responsibilities and core intentions of the management from you.
  • Task: In this step, you must frame the responsibilities that you were assigned in the project. Describing a summary of responsibilities in the right way will help the recruiter to explore your situation better. In addition to this, your responsibilities define your level of expertise during the interviews.
  • Action: The third step in the STAR framework is the action. Here, you must incorporate a few relevant points from what productive steps you took and merge them in your answer for the interview question. Explaining your actions will define your strengths and perspective towards professional opportunities.
  • Result: Finally, to conclude it’s better to end it on a positive note with the right set of results you achieved through your actions. This will be the best way to show how you foresighted the results with your planning.

By utilizing these four steps of the STAR interview technique, it will be easier to form meaningful responses for a behavioural interview question. The STAR interview technique is also called the CAR method, which stands for Context/Challenge, Action and Result.

2. In what type of Interview questions, you can apply the STAR interview technique?

The behavioural interview would include assumed, perceptive, and temperament-based questions. To make it easy for you to understand, here we have listed some of the commonly asked behavioural interview questions.

  • Tell us about a mistake you’ve made. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work. How did you react?
  • Tell me about a time you worked with other departments to complete a project.
  • Tell us about a time you had a conflict at work.
  • Share an example of a time when you faced a difficult problem at work. How did you solve this problem?
  • Share an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision. What did you do?
  • Explain a situation where you used data or logic to make a recommendation.
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss. How did you resolve it?
  • Describe a time when you had to deliver bad news. How did you do it?
  • Let us know about a time when you performed well under pressure.
  • Share an example of a time when you failed. What did you learn from the experience?
  • Tell me about a time when you set and achieved a specific goal.

3. How to use the STAR interview technique to answer your questions?

While it’s difficult to know what you’ll be asked in an interview but by preparing for the most common interview questions, you may better your chances in the interview. Most behavioural questions have a pattern, frame your answers according to the pattern, and chances are you’ll be able to answer any behavioural question satisfactorily. 

The idea is to tell a story keeping in mind the situation, task, action and result, and showcase skills, and abilities most relevant to the job.

So, to better your chances of succeeding in an interview, it is important to make a transition from the traditional interview pattern to the STAR interview technique.

Pro Tip: When answering using STAR method, it’s better to use first person singular such as – I did such and such…. – instead of ‘we did…’ to keep the spotlight on you. 

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