Ace Your Next Interview With the STAR Method

In today’s marketplace, more and more employers are using behavioral-based interviews. This style of interview is designed to examine applicants based on past behavior and performances.

A behavior-based interview might start off with questions like “Tell me about a time when . . .” or “Give me an example of . . .” Sometimes, people can be tempted to ramble when answering these questions.

But, there is a way to add structure to your answers. Today, I’d like to go over something called the STAR Method. Here’s how it works:

“S” stands for “situation.” The first part of your answer should explain the context of the situation you’re describing.

“T” stands for “task.” After you explain the situation, explain your role in it.

“A” stands for “action.” Describe what you did to overcome, fix, or address the situation.

“R” stands for “results.” What was the outcome of the situation?

“Following the STAR method creates a streamlined response instead of a rambling one.”

Now that you understand the STAR Method, let’s review an example.

Imagine you’re in an interview and are asked to recount a challenge you experienced at work. You might answer by saying something like, “I was hired on as a director of sales for an assisted living center, they were at 74% occupancy.” This portion of your response constitutes the “s”—the situation.

Then, you might continue with a phrase like, “It was my role to develop their referral lead base.” Now you’ve covered the “t” portion of your answer—your task.

After that, you may tell them “I went into the marketplace and developed relationships with hospital systems and physician groups. I led marketing events and really became the face of the community. I developed long-standing relationships.” With this response, you’ve established your “a”—your action.

Finally, it’s time for your “r”—your results. In this scenario, you might finish by saying, “As a result, we grew to 95% occupancy within nine months of my tenure.”

Following the STAR Method creates a streamlined response instead of a rambling one. However, you still won’t know what questions you’re going to be asked when you’re going into the interview. My advice is to pull up qualifications, pull out hot buttons, pull out some skill sets, and get with the recruiter you’re working with. Have some stories relating to your qualifications and skill sets in mind as you enter the interview.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.