Tarka Talent

Our guide to the STAR interview method

If you’re preparing for your next interview, our guide to the STAR method is a must-read. Our specialist recruitment consultants have detailed how you can use this tried and tested technique to answer questions to the very best of your ability.

This guide is sure to help you in your job search.

 

What does STAR mean?

 

STAR is an acronym for an interview technique that can be applied to any question that asks you to give an example of your previous work. For instance, the question could start with “Tell me about a time when you…”.

The acronym means…

S – situation

T – task

A – action

R – result

By following each of these four steps, you will be able to tell the interviewer exactly what they want to hear. Applying this technique will allow you to give a concise and effective answer, without missing any relevant details.

So, let’s put it into action…

 

Which examples can you think of?

 

The first step to applying the STAR method is to think of which examples you can use in your interview. It’s important to think of a few different examples that can be applied to a variety of questions, as it’s very rare to know exactly what you’ll be asked.

To do this, we would recommend thinking about all of the achievements you made in your previous role. From there, you can consider which align best with the job you’re currently applying for.

By taking the time to do this first step, you’ll increase your chances of having an appropriate story to tell in your interview.

Now, you can use the STAR method to tell your anecdote.

 

Situation

First, you want to set the scene by giving relevant context to your anecdote.

When giving context, it can be easy to give too much detail. It’s important to keep this section concise by only focusing on the most relevant details during this section of your response. Otherwise, you risk moving off topic and not actually answering the question.

 

Task

Having set the scene, you can now set up your involvement in the story.

In the “task” section of your answer, you’ll want to explain what your responsibilities were in the story. Think about what your role was at the time. What was your primary goal in the company/team at the time?

Remember, focus on your personal involvement, rather than the whole team.

 

Action

This portion should form the bulk of your answer as you discuss the steps you take to solve the problem/achieve the goal. Be very specific for this section, including:

  • The exact steps that you took
  • Names of resources and/or software you used
  • How you worked with other members of the team

Detail here is crucial.

 

Result

Finally, you need to share the outcome of the story. While this is the last step of the STAR method, it is certainly the most important and mustn’t be forgotten.

Sharing the results with any stats or data to reinforce these results is the best way to end your answer, driving home your involvement with the story. Evidence can really support your answer and help you stand out from the crowd.

 

Looking for more support with your job search? Get in touch!

 

Tarka Talent is a recruitment agency focusing on the Strategy, Transformation, and Change Management space, specialising in both permanent and contract roles. We’re made up of ex-consultants and specialist recruitment consultants, so we’re uniquely positioned to support you in your next search.

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