STAR Method for Responding to Interview Questions

A few important tips for using the STAR method:

  • A strong STAR response will last one to two minutes.
  • Be brief in your setup. Give just enough background or contextual information for your story to make sense.
  • The result is critical. Everything in your example builds towards this component.
  • Use the structure of the acronym for direction if you forget what you were saying. If all else fails, skip to the R, result.
S for Situation. Sent the scene for your example.

“Last semester I took a psychology course that required a group project to examine motivation. The professor assigned each student to a 4-person group. My group decided to look at what motivates college students to participate in community service activities.”

T for Task. Describe the specific challenges and tasks that are important to answer the question.

“As a group, we developed a plan to distribute the work between us. However, after the first few weeks, it became apparent that one of our team members was not completing her part of the project and she missed one of our group meetings. The rest of the team decided that we needed to reengage her.”

A for Action. Talk about actions taken to accomplish the tasks.

“I took the initiative to set up a meeting with her where we discussed her interest in the projects well as the other academic responsibilities. After talking with her, it was clear that if we changed her contributions to tasks that better fit her skills and interests, she would most likely contribute at a higher level.”

R for Result. Present the results that were a result of the action chosen.

“It turned out that the team could redistribute tasks without compromising so every member got to work on the pieces of the project that were of most interest to them. In the end, we completed the project and received positive feedback from our professor.”

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