How to Master the STAR Method for Interview Questions? [With Answers for 2021]

“Tell me about the time when you were…”, …”, “What do you do when…”, “Have you ever…”, “How did you…”, “Give me an example of…”, When the interviewer asked you this question, you did not see that coming. Did you? Situational and behavioral questions are really hard to answer until and unless you have actually been in that position. It’s hard to come up with a false story on the spot when the interviewers drop these kinds of questions.

Preparing for a STAR Method interview is the way you can excel in answering such questions in a smart way and this article will do that for you. It will teach you what actually this method is and how you can master your interview.  It’s time to dive into this article!

Let Us First Understand What Actually STAR Method of Interview is:

As you can see the STAR Method stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This method is a structured interview technique that offers us a format of responding to the tricky behavioral-based questions asked in an interview in which we discuss a specific situation that could be a real-life example, a task and the action you took to resolve that situation and the after results that you accomplished through your efforts.

For example, say, you are the departmental head of a designing company. The top manager has assigned you a task to complete an order (T: the task that had to be done) for a client within two days (S: the situation you were in) and your team feels a little demotivated as they are not sure if they could complete the order. This is the situation and your task is to meet the deadline, complete the order and so you have to work under pressure.

(A: actions or steps that you take) You take necessary actions, first, you motivated your employees and made them believe that you got this and that you have a plan in your mind to complete the job. You schedule overnight work with greater efficiency. Now, your employee morale is high and each of them, including you, is working on this project and as a result, (R: Results you achieved) you are successful to accomplish the task by completing the given order.

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There could be a variety of questions that the interviewer can ask you.

Types of Questions for STAR Method of the Interview

  1. Share with us an example of a time where you had a lack of resources and had to work under pressure?
  2. Explain a situation where you used logical reasoning to solve a difficulty?
  3. Explain a situation where you were given a task and you successfully completed it? How did you achieve that success?
  4. Explain a situation where you and your boss are not on the same page? How would you deal with such situations?
  5. How did you solve the most difficult problem at your work?
  6. How did you deliver bad news or a contract failure?
  7. How would you delegate the work in your department to complete a project within a given deadline?
  8. You failed to meet a deadline. How would you explain that situation to your boss?
  9. How did you handle a mistake you made at work?
  10. How would you cheer up a demotivated workforce?
  11. You and your subordinate are facing a conflict. How did you handle the situation?
  12. You are the team leader. Explain how did you organize and manage the work and the members of the team?
  13. Tell me about the time when you had to placate an unsatisfied client?

These were examples of some common questions that are asked in an interview.

How Can You Get the Most Out of the STAR Method Technique?

Talk about the situation:

When the employer asks you a behavioral question, you should come up with a suitable example for that situation. Few things to keep in mind when you give such an example is that recall recent situations that show the same behavioral patterns which can help you to showcase your leadership skills, decision-making ability, and teamwork. The situation could describe any event that you were a part of, for example, internships, part jobs, or a volunteer experience.

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Keep your answer relevant:

Don’t start your answer by saying that, “If I would have been in such a situation…”. Why? Because doing so will make your answer look absolutely vague and the employer may not find your answer engaging or relevant.

Instead, start your answer by giving a prepared answer or an example of a situation that you have already been in. This would make you sound confident and relevant. Now, I understand you cannot foresee what the interviewer is going to ask you, but this article would give you a layout of some questions that could be asked in the interview.

Give a clear picture of the situation to the employer, make sure that the situation gives no question in the mind of the employer.

Keep the explanation of the situation short:

For example: If the interviewer asks you to explain a time where you were an intern of the organization, and one day in the absence of the manager and you got into a conflict with one of your co-workers.

Your Answer Should be: “During my internship with a marketing company, I faced a server issue due to lack of resources our website was crashing, the situation was pretty confusing to me as I was new to the organization.”

  1. Explain the task that given to you and the action you took:
  2. Make sure you highlight the task given to you.
  3. The responsibility is given to you and how you perform this responsibility will be the only thing that will make you stand out.
  4. This will give the interviewer a picture of the area/department that you specialize in.
  5. Do not get carried away in explaining the task because the action you took to solve that task is the real-hero here.

For example: Continuing the previous situation, “Being an intern there it was my responsibility to manage the given resources and as I was on the lower-level part of the management, I kept calm and I managed to resolve the lack of resources issue by contacting the functional-head and explaining him the whole situation and we were able to overcome that problem. I figured out that it was a software issue as it had some bugs in it and so I quickly fixed it once I came to know about it.”

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In this way, you can show your contribution in solving the problem.

It’s the RESULT time:

  1. Tell the interviewer what you accomplished.
  2. Share your results and how you shined out in the situation and don’t hesitate about taking credits for how you handled the situation. Make your answer contain multiple positive results to increase your chances of getting hired.

Example: “Later on, I was rewarded by my employer with some incentives and got a better stipend for my work.”

You can even give a situational answer to the question. Instead of discussing an actual situation, imagine what you would do if you were in that situation but don’t answer it hypothetically, answer by being present in the situation, as if you were a part of it already.

Be careful that the interviewer will immediately be able to find out if your story is built on a weak foundation or if you just came up with some imaginative story as they are sitting on the other side of the table because they are experienced. Prepare short descriptions for some situations and if asked, be ready to give more details about the given situation.

Conclusion

This process of the interview may sound a little profuse but I hope this article will help you tackle behavioral-based interview questions using this method, it’s like the essence of the STAR method. Be honest and specific with your answers. One of the most amazing things about STAR interview methods is that it suits all kinds of interviews and all aspects of the hunts for jobs.

The key to excelling in such interviews is to practice and prepare. Get thorough with the acronym STAR as it will make the way you give your answers simpler and in perfect order. This will help you ace your interview. Do comment below how this interview helped you and do share with your friends who are aspiring to do a job in any field.

I hope that you enjoyed reading the article!

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/iycjournal/fulltext/2009/07000/the_routines_based_interview__a_method_for.7.aspx
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10572250802329563