The STAR Technique and why YOU need it. - Your Talent Solutions
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The STAR Technique and why YOU need it.

A lot of people have not heard of the STAR technique but when it is explained to them, they often find it is closely aligned with how they answer questions anyway. The STAR technique is a method of answering questions that helps you keep your responses on topic, concise, and crucially, to the point. 

Most interviews will include some behavioural or competency-based questions. These are used to assess your experience and skills, and often prompt follow-up questions and conversations based on how you respond. Reviewing and learning the STAR technique will give you a head-start ahead of your interview. You will find that when you review the STAR technique you start to think of pertinent examples from your career that you can reference during the interview. 

We love the STAR technique and candidate feedback following interviews has been incredibly positive too. We have found that candidates were able to concentrate better on responding and really showcasing how they can support the goals of the business when keeping their answers focused. What’s not to love? 

We know interviews can be daunting and often the nerves kick in when you don’t want them. The STAR technique will help you to focus and conquer those nerves and ace that interview. Practice makes perfect, so spend some time grasping the technique, and you will be on your way to showing the best of you. 

What is the STAR technique? 

SITUATION | TASK | ACTION | RESULT 

Situation 

Set the scene – give the background and context to the specific situation. Include detail (when, who with, where) and the challenge you faced. 

Task 

Describe your exact responsibility. Explain what you were expected to do. 

Action 

How did you manage the situation and overcome the challenge? Was it a solo or team project? Your challenge here is to describe how you assessed the original situation and what your response to this was. Include details here. 

Result 

State the outcome of the actions. Was it successful, did you learn lessons? Did productivity increase? Was the project delivered on time or early? 

What prep can you do? 

  1. Think of examples in your career that you can reference. If your interview is online then use post-it notes around your screen to remind you of these! 
  1. Include situations that went well 
  1. Include situations that were more challenging but that were overcome 
  1. Develop these with practice – think of the details 
  1. Practice describing the situation-task-action-result for multiple scenarios 
  1. Keep to the point – practice delivering these answers without embellishing or getting distracted 
  1. Make sure you select favourable examples 
  1. Detail – Add specifics – when, with, where etc. 

There are myriad sources online to provide additional information on the STAR technique but make sure you do your research and give yourself the best chance of success in that important job interview. Review some of these tools and practice answering some of the hypothetical questions you can find online. Getting this right could be the difference between success and failure! 

What questions might they ask? 

  1. Give me an example of a target you have set and how you have achieved it 
  1. Tell me about a time you did not achieve your objective. How did you handle it? 
  1. Tell me about a difficult challenge in your career, how did you remedy the problem? 
  1. Tell me about a time you used data to make a suggestion 
  1. Tell me about a time you had to work with another department on a joint project. What did you do? 
  1. Can you tell me about a time you failed? What lessons did you learn?? 
  1. Have you ever had conflict with a work colleague? How did you resolve the problem? 
  1. Tell me about a time you had to think on your feet to manage a situation 
  1. Tell me about a time you had to work to a tight deadline 
  1. Have you ever had to correct one of your managers? How did you deal with that? 

Your practiced questions may not come up but getting familiar with the STAR technique and some of your historical examples will help you feel confident, prepared and armed with the right representations of your career at your fingertips. 

Behavioural questions are designed to ask you to describe how you have handled certain situations in the workplace and this helps the interviewer predict your behaviour in situations in your new workplace. Using the STAR technique provides a framework for you to follow, allowing you to answer questions concisely. 

I used the STAR technique in my last job interview and had to field questions in French and English. This certainly helped me control the things I was able to and enabled me to show my experience and skill in the most positive light possible. It really does work! 

Have a look here for more help VIDEO 1 or here VIDEO 2 

Get practicing and go and ace that interview! If you have any follow-up questions, then please email james@yourtalentsolutions.co.uk

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