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How to Use STAR Interview Response Technique

Updated: May 6, 2021

The interview is a very crucial part when it comes to beginning or growing your career and can be stressful enough. You might face a lot of difficulties while facing an interview. Especially when it comes to answering the questions that the interviewer asks in a way that would impress the employer.

While in an interview, you feel nervous and this nervousness can hamper your performance. You might blank out even if you know the answer. This might happen because you get confused while organizing your answer.

Sometimes, you have a lot of knowledge about a topic but you couldn't put it up properly in words. And not being able to answer properly can create a bad impression of yours on the employer.

To make things a bit easier for you, there is a technique used to answer or draft your response to an interview question, called the STAR technique of response.

The STAR response method is an effective way that can help you to give answers impressively. This method will help you to prepare more effectively for an interview with less effort.


What is the STAR interview response technique?

STAR stands for 'Situation', 'Task', 'Action', and 'Result'.

To make use of these 4 things in your answer is called the STAR technique of response. This method helps you organize your answer on the basis of these 4 elements.

It is of utmost importance for competency-based interview questions such as "Describe a time when you are under pressure?" or "Share an example of a situation where you faced difficulties in... "

These questions check your decision-making ability and how you handle difficult situations. Answering these questions in an impressive manner can help you create a strong impression on the interviewer.

While these questions seem very interesting, they might appear difficult or confusing when thrown at you in an interview. Before you answer these types of questions you need to take a pause, organize your thoughts, and then proceed to answer.

The STAR technique helps you categorize your answer into 4 elements namely situation, task, action, and results.

When asked a competency-based question, you need to figure out what situation you faced, what task were you supposed to complete, what course of action you took to accomplish the task, and what were the results that you got from it.

Use your authentic voice and share from your heart. Be real. Be you. Tell your story. -Arianna Merritt

This technique also helps you to answer behavioral or situation-based questions. You can express your thoughts confidently and effectively using this technique.

STAR interview response technique works well for the following types of questions:

Here are some examples of behavioral and situation-based questions the interviewer may ask you:

  • What you will do when a team member fails to complete his or her task?

  • What situation leads to increased stress levels for you? How would you face it?

  • Have you ever failed to complete a task within a given period of time? Did you go out of the way to complete it before the deadline?

  • How will you deal with it if your colleague mocks you? What will you do?

  • Did you make any mistakes during an important meeting or presentation? How did you handle the situation?

  • Explain the situation where you had to make a decision and how did it turn out?

  • Did you face such a situation where you were didn't agree with your boss? What was your approach to resolving the difference in opinion?

Now that we what type of questions the interviewer is likely to ask, let us now see in detail how to use the STAR technique and how does it work.

How does the STAR technique work?

How to Use STAR Interview  Responsive Technique

1. Situation:

When asked a situation-based question, think of an example, or an experience where you faced a situation similar to that mentioned in the question.

Elaborate on what type of the situation it was, what were the challenges that you faced, and what was your approach to handle the circumstances.

Be specific and concise. Avoid unnecessary details. The situation that you choose to elaborate on can be from your past work life, a personal experience, or an example that relates the most to the question.

How to Use STAR Interview  Responsive Technique

2. Task:

Next comes, the task that you were expected to complete in that situation.

For example, if your situation is that it was raining heavily the other day and you were supposed to buy medicines on an urgent basis, then buying medicines is your task.

Heavy rain was a difficult situation and buying medicines was an important task that was to be completed by hook or by crook.

Likewise, elaborate on this point by stating what type of task you were given, what was its importance, and how urgent was it, when you were facing a crucial circumstance.

How to Use STAR Interview  Responsive Technique

3. Action:

Now that you know that heavy rain was the problem and buying medicines was important, the next thing you need to think of is the course of action.

What would you do to complete the task? What would you do to buy medicines?

This is the step where you show your skills and abilities. While answering such a type of question, you need to make sure you give a concrete solution and feasible plan of action.

This will show the interviewer that you are a responsible candidate and can tactfully handle difficult situations. Stating a positive, result-oriented solution can help you give an edge in an interview.

How to Use STAR Interview  Responsive Technique

4. Result:

Lastly, explain what was the outcome, what was the result of your action.

Were you able to buy the necessary medicines without getting wet? That's your result.

And if this was the result, you were able to successfully handle a difficult situation and you completed the task with the best possible results.

If you are able to give the best possible solution that would yield appreciable results, you win. And the interviewer knows that you are a potential candidate.

Now that you know the STAR technique you can frame your answers effectively to any of these competency-based questions.

You can prepare for such types of questions well in advance by anticipating scenarios or noting down your experiences from the previous job. Focus on the various different situations where you'd need to demonstrate problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.

You can beautifully showcase conflict resolving abilities, decision-making abilities, communication, and leadership skills while answering these types of questions. All you need to do is consciously think of examples or experiences that you have faced similar to those in question and tactfully craft your answer.

Have a list of your skills and experience related to the job position. Be ready with concrete examples. Make sure that the examples you state portray your skills relevant to the job that you are applying for.

If you are a fresher consider your experiences from an internship or from your educational achievements. You can give examples of your college project or any part-time job experiences.

You can also state the difficulties that you have overcome in your personal life. Use the STAR technique to answer these types of questions and you can get a step closer to your dream job.

Let us know in the comments what was one such situation where you faced a challenge and overcame it with the best possible action and result.


If you found this Blog informative please let me know and visit my website you will find various related blogs and material here.

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