STAR interview technique

Using the STAR interview technique to get the job

Interviews can be tricky to prepare for, especially when you consider the fact that you just don’t know what the employer is going to be asking you. Given that none of us has a crystal ball and that every interview is different, I’m going to introduce you to the STAR interview technique which regardless of what type of job you’re in the running for, has yielded excellent success rates and led to candidates landing their dream job.

The STAR interview technique won’t give you a script of exactly what to say to every question, but it does offer an excellent framework for responses so that you give the employer the exact information they’re looking for and a method for ensuring you cover all bases and highlight your skills.

Where should you be using the STAR interview technique?

At the beginning of the interview, the employer might ask you to confirm a few basic pieces of information, such as the details of your current employer or any qualifications you currently have.
This is pretty much straight forward stuff, and it’s later on in the interview where you can make the most of the STAR interview technique.

Once the employer starts to ask questions like ‘can you give me an example when you had to work as part of a team on a particular task’ then this is when STAR comes into play.

I’ll break down each element of the technique so you can see exactly what the answer requires and how you can give the best answer possible.

Situation
Start off by explaining why you were given this task and try to set the scene for the interviewer as much as you can.

Task
Specify what your role was in the task, who you were working with and exactly what duties were your responsibility. This will help showcase your skills and highlight how well you work as part of a bigger team.

Action
This is the really important part – talk about what you did to make the task a success and not just what the team did. The employer wants to know specifically how you performed and how you decide what would be the appropriate action for the task.

Try to give as much detail as you possibly can as the interviewer probably won’t be familiar with the task or project but will be looking for key skills and good decision making.

Result
Finally, tell the employer just how well you performed the task by detailing the results and the wider implications for the business.

For example, you could say something along the lines of ‘once the project was completed and new processes put in place, the outbound sales figures increased in the first quarter by 13%’.

This information qualifies your successes in the mind of the interviewer so give as much statistical detail where relevant.

The STAR interview technique really is a tried and tested method for interview success, so put a little practice in before your interview and you’ll start a far better chance of gaining the outcome you’ve been hoping for.

For more information on the STAR interview technique and how you can use it to wow at your next interview, contact the team at Appointments on 01782 338787

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Emma Bonfiglio

About the author, Emma Bonfiglio

Managing Director at Appointments, Emma has spent 15 years building up a stellar reputation for commercial recruitment excellence across a variety of industries and sectors. There’s no staffing challenge Emma hasn’t encountered and her insight into the recruitment landscape has assisted countless clients achieve their goals over the years.


Specialising in the legislative and procedural side of business operations and through her extensive knowledge and continual training, Emma has a wealth of legal and contractual recruitment knowledge to help advise and support organisations of any size and in any industry.