Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method of Answering Interview Questions

About Behavioral Interviewing and the STAR Method

Behavioral Interviewing is a popular method for finding the right fit for an organization. The basic premise is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is understanding past performance in a similar situation. It focuses on experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that are job related.

The STAR method provides a logical approach to answering questions by describing one of your past successes in responding to the question.

What is STAR

STAR = Situation – Task – Action – Results

Situation 
Describe the situation that you were in (what was the problem you needed to solve).  This can be from a previous job, volunteer experience or any other relevant event in your personal life. Make sure you describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Task 

What was the task that you needed to accomplish (the solution to the problem)

Action

Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team. Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved
What happened? What was the outcome? What did you learn? Discuss how the task was successful as a result of your action.

This gives the interviewer a story that tells them about you and what kind of employee you are, which is much  more powerful than just telling them.