A Guide to The STAR Interview Method

The STAR Interview Method is a common interview technique used by both interviewers and applicants. The method stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. It is a system used by employers to gain a better understanding of how candidates would perform day to day in the role they are interviewing for. It is a great way of evaluating a candidate’s way of thinking, their decision-making methods and social skills.

At GPW Recruitment we know exactly what it takes to properly prepare job-seekers to use the STAR method to answer interview questions.  It begins by explaining the STAR method in further detail, offering ways to correctly assemble a solid answer to a question you may be asked in your interview.

STAR Interview Method Explained

You will normally be asked a question that relates to a scenario or something you may have to do on a regular basis in your new job. If you respond using the STAR interview method, you will put yourself in a strong position to successfully answer and negate the question.

In this first part of the method you must describe a situation you have been in that is similar or works in a comparable way to the question or scenario you have been asked. Include enough information so that the interviewer will be able to determine it is relevant to the question.  If your description lacks detail then it is more likely the interviewer will not see your point as relevant.

Here you must talk through the goal and what you were aiming to achieve in regard to the situation you have just described. What task did you need to complete? What part of the task were you responsible for?

The next step in using the STAR method to answer an interview question, is describing the actions you took to complete the task or to complete the parts of the task you were accountable for. Try to focus on the specific aspects you conducted and worked upon. While working as a team is an admirable trait, in the case of answering STAR questions you need to get across how you contributed individually.

Finally, what was achieved in the end? Describe to the interviewer what results you attained following the recognition of the task at hand and the actions you took to complete it.  Always use examples with a positive result; it is unlikely the interviewer wants to know about work you performed that did not give you the results you desired.

Study STAR Interview Examplesstar method interview prep guide

There are many STAR interview question examples available and many you can adapt to relate to the job you are applying for.  Study them and think about the answers you would give if you were asked them yourself.  This will allow you to prepare for the possibility that you are in fact asked one of them in your job interview.

By preparing in advance you will be giving yourself a practice run of your answer. This will allow you to figure out what works and what does not in time for when you answer for real.

STAR interview examples include the questions below, which you can adapt to roles you have previously worked in so that your answer can reflect what is required:

  • Discuss a time when you had to work to a tight deadline
  • Describe a time when you have had to work alongside a difficult colleague or one who did not perform their work as required
  • Talk through a time when you have had to prioritise a list of tasks

The examples above are just a small collection of questions used in STAR method interviews. By getting in touch with our supportive, experienced team you will be able to find out further information regarding STAR and how best to prepare yourself for a job interview.  Contact us by calling 01744 454 300 or by emailing jobs@gpwrecruitment.co.uk.  If you wish to take a look at our current vacancies you can view our jobs board.