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STAR – How to frame your answers.

by Maud Hollis


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In the competitive world of job interviews, I am often looking for ways to help candidates stand out and effectively and confidently communicate their skills and experience. Using the STAR method is a great way to structure your responses in a clear and concise manner and allows you to highlight your strengths to potential employers.

STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result, and it provides a logical method for structuring your responses to competency-based interview questions. Here’s how you can effectively use the STAR framework to frame your answers during interviews –

Situation – Start by setting the scene, provide some context to the specific situation or challenge you encountered. Describe the who, what, when and where of the scenario providing your audience with a clear understanding of the circumstances but keep it concise.

Task – Once you have outlined the context, focus upon the specific task you were given within that scenario. Highlight what was expected of you and the objectives you needed to achieve, as well as timescales you were working to.

Action – Describe the actions you took to address the task or navigate the situation. Focus on the steps you personally took, the strategies you utilised and the skills you employed to overcome obstacles or achieve the desired outcomes. Be sure to emphasise your contributions, decision making process and the rationale behind your actions. Pay attention to the language you use during the interview and make a conscious effort to frame your response in a way that emphasises your actions, rather than general statements that focus on the wider teams efforts.

Result – Conclude your response by discussing the outcomes and results of your actions. Highlight the impact of your efforts and provide measurable results, such as increased efficiency, service improvements, financial savings or improved team performance. By exhibiting the positive results you achieved, you reinforce your ability to deliver tangible results.

When responding to interview questions, it is important to tailor your answers. Demonstrate your understanding of the values, culture, and priorities of the organisation you are applying to, and point to alignments. Ensure you draw parallels between your experiences and skills with those of the organisation. When using the STAR approach, always think about how your example relates to the organisation’s vision and corporate objectives.

By following the STAR approach, you can effectively structure your response to highlight your skills, experiences and accomplishments. Remember to practise using the STAR method before your interview to ensure you can confidently and effectively communicate your experiences during the interview.

Mastering the STAR approach can help leave a lasting impression and increase your chance of landing your dream job.


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