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How to Employ the STAR Method in Your Job Interview

STAR Behavior Job Interview- Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Preparing for a behavior job interview can be nerve-wracking, but using the STAR strategy can help you successfully navigate through it. In this type of interview, competency-focused questions are asked, such as “Tell about a time when…” or “Share an example where…”. It’s crucial to pre-formulate your answers and practice beforehand. To better understand how to approach these questions, let’s take a look at each component of the STAR method.


Examples of Behavioral Interview Questions


Before diving into the details, let’s go through some examples of behavioral interview questions that you may come across:


– Tell me about a time you needed to complete a project under a tight deadline.

– Have you ever given extra effort to a project?

– A team member refuses to complete his or her task. How did you handle it?


Task: “Show” How You Dealt With Situations


During a behavior job interview, interviewers are not just interested in what you did in certain situations, but rather how you accomplished the task. Here are some tips on how to approach this:


– Consider the strategy you followed: Did you have a plan in place? Did you take into account the needs of others?

– Understand relevant laws and regulations: If applicable, mention your knowledge of labor laws or any other regulations related to the task.

– Highlight your proficiency in software or tools: If there were any software or specific tools involved in completing the task, mention your proficiency in using them effectively.


Step #1 Before the Job Interview


To effectively answer behavior interview questions, it’s important to prepare beforehand. Here’s what you can do:


– Make a list of the skills mentioned in the job posting: Identify the skills that are important for the job you’re applying to and shape your answers around these skills.

– Match your skills and qualifications: Connect your skills and qualifications to the ones mentioned in the job posting. Be honest and specific in your explanations.

– Be specific in your answers: Avoid vague statements and provide specific information to support your answers.


Example of a Vague Answer vs. a Behavior Interview STAR Response:


Vague answer: “I was a project manager responsible for redesigning a restaurant. I chose a team and finalized the colors, designs, and furniture. I also presented the final presentation to the general manager and hired contractors.”


Behavior interview STAR response: “Sales dipped 18% in the last three months, and I was asked by the general manager to be the project manager for a redesign. The goal was to increase sales. To accomplish this, my first task was to identify the causes of the sales dip and ensure that the staff wouldn’t sabotage the project. I implemented an ‘open project’ approach to gather information from the staff and understand if the issue was related to staffing, quality, or something else. After collecting and analyzing the data, it became evident that long wait times for tables were a major frustration for both staff and patrons. To address this, I consulted with a restaurant design expert and decided to add a bar and snack lounge instead of more tables. I presented multiple alternatives and chose Workflow software for managing the project. I built a team of 5 individuals with diverse skill sets and collaborated with 2 advertising agencies for a reopening campaign targeting customers who sought a relaxing evening. As a result, sales surged over the next few weeks, with a 12% increase in patronage. Our focus on higher-priced items and listing good wines further boosted sales by 3%. Overall, there was a 12.3% increase in clientele and a 22% increase in sales over a 12-month period, leading to a 4% increase in profits for the investors.”


Employing the STAR Method in Your Job Interview


When using the STAR method, remember that you should focus on how you would handle the situation. Consider the following points:


Relevance: Discuss the aspects of the situation that are relevant to the job and showcase your skills accordingly.

Highlighting skills: Identify the skills you want to emphasize in your answer and demonstrate how you utilized them to achieve successful results.

The “right answer”: While there is no specific “right answer,” aim to provide a response that showcases your problem-solving abilities, adaptability, and effectiveness in achieving desired outcomes.


By preparing and using the STAR method, you can effectively demonstrate your capabilities and leave a lasting impression on the interview panel. Good luck!


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