STAR Interview Method: Everything You Need to Know

In most job interviews, employers will ask a variety of questions including situational interview questions. Here's how to answer.

Ashley Robinson |
Categories: Interviewing

In most job interviews, employers will ask a variety of questions including situational interview questions. These are typically asked in a format like "Tell me about a time when…". Interviewers use these types of questions to predict your on-the-job performance. They want to see how you would and have handled situations in the workplace. An easy, helpful way to tackle these types of questions is to use the S.T.A.R interview method. We'll break it down:

S.T.A.R. Interview Method:

Situation.

Give the interviewer a brief summary including the problem you were solving or goal you were looking to achieve. This should answer the who, what, when and where basics.

Task.

Explain exactly what was required of you. List your responsibilities and game plan to resolve the situation.

Action.

Describe what steps you took to reach a solution. This is a great time to list obstacles had to overcome during the process. Feel free to elaborate on your thought process so that the interviewer gets a better sense of how you think.

Results.

This is probably the most important part of the S.T.A.R interview method. It's like the ending to a story. Explain the outcome of the situation and any lessons you learned along the way that could help you the next time around.

Check out this example using the S.T.A.R method:

Q: Tell me about a time you had to deliver excellent customer service following a complaint.

A: “(Situation) I once had a customer call and complain that they waited over two weeks for a reply regarding their order. (Task) I needed to address the customer’s complaint and figure out what went wrong with their order. (Action) First, I apologized and got their order details. Then, I passed the information along to my manager that contacted them within the hour. I investigated why no one followed up about the order, it was the combination of a wrong cell phone number and email address. I let the customer know and we offered her a discount on her next order. (Results) In the end, the customer was happy with how we resolved the situation. She not only continued ordering from us, but posted a positive review online.

Using this format, you’re sure to deliver well thought out answers that will really impress the interviewer!