The STAR method is a technique often used by interviewers to collect information regarding the interviewee’s work experience and ability. It is also an important method in mastering your CV to make sure it stands out in the eyes of your future employers.
To implement the technique, you may download the STAR Method Template here and use it while reading this guide.
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What is the STAR method?
The STAR method stands for:
- Situation: What was the background of the event?
- Task: What was your responsibility/duty?
- Action: What action or strategy did you take or use in order to accomplish your task?
- Result What is the final outcome?
In short, the STAR method is a way of telling your story in a clearer and a more logical way. It is a way of clearly pointing to the audience the exact key information they need to know.
It helps you to show the interviewer your strengths and forte in a more structured manner.
First, you will have to let others know about the background of the event, project or challenge faced.
When explaining the situation, you can clearly state the background, time, location, persons involved, circumstances and cause of the event.
Remember, your description should be specific, accurate and precise such that people can understand more about the context. This will help you impress the interviewer or your audience.
Next, you should illustrate to your audience your goal in the situation.
This can be the task that you are being assigned by your supervisor, the challenge you faced in front of you, or the target you need to reach.
After stating your task, you may then focus on the key steps you take to achieve your goal or complete the task.
This should include your strategic plan, your steps in implementing the plan, the detail of your work progress, and the evidence of your work.
You may wish to focus on the most important and impactful action you have taken during the course of implementation.
Finally, demonstrate to your audience the result of your actions. You may also think about the impact your actions had made to different stakeholders.
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When should you use the STAR method?
Want to make use of the STAR method? This method is specifically helpful when we are asked with behavioural interview questions.
Behavioural interview questions
It is likely that you have been asked behavioural questions in your interviews. These questions are intended to ask about your work experience and your way of behaving or handling a situation.
It is important that you make good use of these opportunities to show to the interviewer what you are capable of. In other words, you should tell them what is not already in your cover letter and CV. They are expecting a more in-depth description of your experiences and skillsets.
So what are some behavioural interview questions like? An example of behavioural questions start with:
- “Can you tell me about a time when…”
- “Have you ever…”
- “Tell me an example where…”
These questions are often contrasted with situational questions, which focus on future events or hypothetical circumstances to see how you will act in those circumstances.
While the STAR method may be used for interviews, it is also helpful in drafting your CV.
Since HR often receives a large amount of CVs, it is important to make sure that yours stand out and demonstrate what you have done in the fullest manner.
To do so, you need to make use of the STAR method to tell the HR in simplified wordings through your CV what you have done, the context of your work and the result of your work.
Business case study
The STAR method is also helpful for business teams. The STAR method can be useful for business in pitching or for the performance evaluation of teams within a business.
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How can I make use of the STAR Method?
Now let’s take an example of a person working at an executive committee for a volunteering programme.
The interviewer may ask: “Tell me about a time when you are in charge of a project“.
Using the STAR Method template (and the help of Notability), the information relating to the experience can be organised in STAR.
This will be an answer to the interview question:
Situation: “In 2019, I joined an executive committee to organize a volunteering program aiming at delivering learning classes to children in our community.”
Task: “I was the team leader of the committee and I was responsible for recruiting volunteers for the program and coordinating with 20 team members.
Action: “In order to do that, I conducted weekly meetings with my team members to assign tasks and review our progress. We managed to come up with a marketing campaign and conducted a promotion in online social media platforms and campus.”
Result: “After working as a team for 90 days, I successfully led my team to recruit over 100 volunteers for our program and work with over 50 schools.”