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What Is The STAR Method And How Does It Help You Interview Better

When you are interviewing, you use your “career stories” to describe your prior experiences and offer examples when answering behavioral or situational questions. These examples from your career help the interviewer imagine working with you, understand your thought process, and make your CV come to life throughout the conversation. Do not waste time telling them “I’m a hard worker,” instead, tell them the story about one of your accomplishments to highlight your skills.
Each career story must be told with the key details included and that is how methods such as STAR, SBI or CARL will help you. We’ve covered SBI and CARL in other blogs for you.
Remember, as you progress through the interview process you want to adapt your career stories for each interviewer (recruiters, hiring managers, teams, leadership, culture); Read more about how to do that in our blog How To Interview Prep for Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Teams, Leadership And Culture or work with one of our coaches and we’ll help you.
Aim for three to five career stories per role and this is how to use the STAR method as a template:
  • Situation
    • What company or client and team structure did you work in?
    • What was your role on the team?
  • Task
    • What problem were you trying to solve or what challenge did the situation present?
    • Prepare 1-2 constraints (if you experienced them) per task. Here are 2 examples
      • Behavioral
        • Example: a coworker or stakeholder disagreed with your proposed solution; communication issues due to a change of leadership or lack of process or documentation
      • Technical
        • Example: a non-technical client or stakeholder wanted you to build a feature that wouldn’t work for their product
  • Action
    • What was your strategy to develop a solution?
    • What plan(s) did you build or collaborate on to achieve the desired results?
  • Result
    • What was the result of your actions?
    • Prepare 1-2 solutions to the constraints you noted in the Task (if you experienced them)
      • Behavioral
        • Example: You presented data and/or research to validate your idea and the coworker or stakeholders agreed to your proposal
      • Technical
        • Example: Your team created a clickable prototype or MVP to demonstrate the problem with the request and presented a successful alternative solution
There are an infinite number of examples depending on your area of expertise. The key is to have a core set of these career examples (some referenced in your resume) that you can access when it’s time for interview prep. You start with the example as written above, then you tailor each example for the interviewer and role you are targeting.
Our Allora Interview Prep Worksheet gives our clients an easy way to do this. If you’re looking for interview coaching at any stage of your career, book a free session with an Allora coach and learn how we can help you!
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