Shine In Your Interview–the STAR Technique

“Tell me about a time when…”

“Give me an example of…”

“Take me through a project where…”

If your interview question begins with one of these phrases, there is a good chance that you are being asked a behavioral interview question. These types of questions serve as a tool for recruiters to measure your future/potential success with their company via your past behaviors. It is not enough to know your experiences inside and out; when answering behavioral interview questions you need to structure a response that is both easy to follow and to the point. This is where the STAR technique comes into play.

STAR stands for Situation or Task, Action, and Result.

This technique can be used as a roadmap when formulating your response to these types of questions:

Situation or Task: Describe the situation or task–be specific, not general.  Provide enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Action: Describe the action you too, making sure to keep the focus on you. Even if you are discussing a team project, talk about what you did.

Result: Describe what happened, how the event ended, what you accomplished, and what you learned.

So now what?

Craft responses to behavioral interview questions using the STAR method. Any experience on your resume is fair game for a recruiter, so make sure you have STARs for these. Once you have structured your responses, practice makes perfect. Majority of College Career Centers offer mock interviews–schedule a behavioral interview with a career advisor when you are ready, and receive feedback on your STAR technique. Good luck interviewing!


Heather serves as a Career Advisor for Loyola University Chicago’s Career Development Center. In her role, she assists students and alumni with their overall career development through individual counseling, group workshops, and in the classroom via her Career and Life Planning Lab. Heather’s areas of expertise within the career space include networking, social media engagement, ePortfolios, resumes, and personal branding. Prior to working in Career Services, Heather worked for Sony Music in the areas of Marketing, Sales, and Promotion.She received her BA in Communication & Culture from Indiana University and her MA in Higher Education & Student Affairs from The Ohio State University – GO BUCKS! You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Related posts:

  1. Your Resume Has 6 Seconds to Shine
  2. How To Be an All-Star at Your Internship
  3. Here’s a Quick Way to Become a Star Manager

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