What is the STAR technique and why do we use it?
The STAR interview method is an easy-to-remember technique to help you answer interview questions and is used by many organisations. The STAR technique interviews give you the opportunity to showcase your skills and suitability for the role by offering real-life examples of how you used your abilities to great effect.
The STAR technique is also an easy way to evidence competencies as part of a personal statement. The benefit of using the STAR framework is that you are really able to demonstrate skills and competencies.
Make sure that you focus in on the 'action' area of this framework as this is where we really get to see you shine, which often leads very naturally to the result (the impact of your actions),
SITUATION - What was the situation and when did it take place? Try starting your answer with a specific example, “The situation I found myself in was…” to provide context for the rest of your answer.
TASK – In this section you should outline what was the task and what was the objective? Try using key phrases like “my role in this was to be responsible for…” or “my role was to be involved in…” or “the objective was to…” Phrases like this help to outline the criteria you needed to meet to succeed.
ACTION – In this section make sure to explain which actions you took to meet your objective. This is where you really get the chance to tell us how, why and what you did.
Start with ‘I’ and provide as much detail as possible so as to demonstrate your actions, skills and experience within the situation you have chosen. Try using ‘Power Words’ such as ‘organised’ ‘demonstrated’ ‘supported’ ‘negotiated’ ‘planned’ etc., as these will help you get to the point in a succinct manner. This is your chance to really showcase your individual skills so always remember to focus in on what you did, rather than the wider team.
RESULT – What was the impact of your actions? Try using sentence starters like “As a result of my actions…” and then provide an end that demonstrates an outcome or development. Where possible, give measurable information relating to facts and figures and use descriptors to explain how you achieved this success, e.g. “increase”, “enhanced”, “avoid”, “prevent”, “eliminated”, “improved”. Be specific and look to provide words that demonstrate the impact of your actions.
Video courtesy of Graduate plus Birmingham City University