What is the STAR method, and what can I do to ensure that I am doing the right things to make sure I can land that next great role?
STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result, a format for behavioural interviewing that is the standard across many industries, and organisations around Australia.
The STAR method is a structured approach to answering interview questions. It requires you to provide specific examples of your relevant experience by breaking them down into four components:
Situation – Laying the situation example – The situation provides context to the situation/specific example
Task – What was the goal to be achieved, what tasks did you complete
Action – The actions you took to reach those goals or overcome the situation
Result – What was the result of those actions
It breaks down your experience in an easily digestible way, that will quickly showcase your relevant experience for the role.
The key to the STAR method is ensuring that the examples provided are specific to your actions and outline the steps you took and the outcome of outcome actions.
It is essential when responding, that you do not generalise group actions, the hiring manager is looking for specific activities taken by you.
Preparation is Essential
One of the major reasons why people fail in interviews is when they don’t have responses ready. It is impossible to predict all the possible questions, but some common questions get asked across many industries.
Some Common STAR Example questions include:
- Tell me about a time that you dealt with conflict at work.
- Give me an example of when you provided exceptional customer service.
- Tell me about a situation when you had to adjust to change quickly.
- Describe a work situation that was stressful and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time you disagreed with a leader and how this disagreement was settled.
- Give a specific example of a time when you solved a problem in the workplace.
- Describe when you received constructive feedback and how you took it on board.
- Tell me about a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
- Describe a time you have had to negotiate with a contractor/supplier.
- Give me an example of how you solved a complex problem at work.
- Describe a time when you made a mistake and how you handled it.
- Tell me about a time a customer was unhappy and how you resolved the situation.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you disagreed
- Describe a scenario in which you effectively collaborated with a colleague despite any personal differences or interpersonal challenges between you two.
- Describe a time you had to go above and beyond your regular duties to get a job done.
To get you started, here is an example of how you could respond well. This is a guide; you must draw on your own experiences to provide answers.
Question – Give me an example of a time when you provided exceptional service.
I was working with a customer on the telephone struggling to place an order online due to their disability.
It was my job to reassure the customer, explain the available products, and talk them through the purchasing process.
The company policy was to spend two minutes with each customer. However, because of the situation, it was necessary to take longer to service the client’s needs.
I started by asking the customer several questions to establish their needs. I then explained the available products I felt would be suitable and the different pricing options for each. Finally, I walked the customer through the online ordering process and reassured her every step of the way.
Even though the call took longer than expected, it was essential to assist this customer to ensure they could complete the sale successfully. This not only made the client happy but also created a customer for life.
This example not only demonstrates strong customer care and empathy but also shows an understanding of the importance of long-term customer retention.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you feel comfortable in an interview situation, try practising with family or friends. Get used to the answers you will give, so it feels natural.
Other Helpful Hints
- Ensure you use positive language, even when addressing difficult situations, or reasons for leaving roles
- Check the company website and thoroughly understand the company, background and values.
- When you discuss previous positions, speak respectfully about the company and staff and be honest about your past experiences.
- Finish the interview positively, thank the interviewer for their time and express your interest in the role.
Shine Bright Like a STAR!
The STAR method can leave a positive and enduring impression on the interviewer. Illustrating your skills in an in-depth and meaningful way helps paint a picture of how well you can do the job and may lead to your next excellent job offer!
If you are interested in a new role, please check out our latest vacancies here https://redappointments.com.au/job-seekers/latest-vacancies.