What is the STAR Method When Interviewing?

While giving an interview it is easy to answer questions related to academics or job. But it becomes tricky to answer questions that need imagination or are past-experience based. In such challenging situations, one needs the STAR interview method. The method is simple and easy to understand and follow. The method shall help in giving behavioral interview question’s answer easily. 


What is a Behavioral Interview Question?

A behavioral interview question is not a normal academic question but one that requires imagination and also real-life examples. The question asks the person to give an answer on how he will handle a given situation or have handled it in the past. Such questions are easy to recognize because they often have a telltale beginning like “tell me if”, “give me an example”, “have you ever” type of questions. 


How to Answer Such Questions?

The answer shall be one, which has compelling details and also is easy to understand. The answer must not include endless ramblings. Therefore, here one can take the help of the STAR method to answer. It is a simple framework that helps the candidate to form a meaningful story about previous work experience. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Let’s see each of the acronyms in detail here.



Before proceeding with the story it is necessary to frame a suitable example this will help to give the answer with relevant anecdotes. Therefore, take a few minutes to select an appropriate scenario from professional history. To act smartly one can have a few stories and examples ready beforehand. The next step is to lay out the situation in front of the interviewer. The example must be precise, focused, and also crisp. It should be undeniably relevant to the story. 



The next step is to highlight the task. Here the candidate needs to highlight what his responsibilities were in that particular scenario and also the objectives to achieve. 



The next step is to share the actions taken to fulfill the objectives. Here the candidate needs to explain the measures he took to complete the task or solve the problems that emerged while finishing it. It is advisable to not give vague answers. Also, the answer must include how the team worked together, the detailed plan used or how particular software was used. 



Here the candidate needs to focus on the results achieved and the result must be positive else the whole effort is useless. If the answer contains a failed result then the candidate must explain what he learned in the entire process or the reason for such failure that can be improved the next time. The result part is the most crucial one and the candidate’s selection or rejection can depend upon this final answer. Therefore, it is necessary to give a clear ending to the story. One must also try and incorporate some numbers in the story to make it more impactful. 



The STAR method of answering behavioral interview questions is straightforward and one can excel in answering such questions after some practice. While answering one must be confident and comfortable in an interview and also be strategically prepared.

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