August 4, 2021, by stykjsk
How To Be a STAR
By Katy Skillen, third-year Master of Nutrition and Dietetics Student
Recently, I’ve been trying to use the STAR (situation, task, action, and result) technique in interviews. This method helps you systematically answer application or interview questions. It helps you include all the key points that interviewers want, but without going off on a tangent. STAR is an acronym for four key concepts: Situation, Task, Action and Result. By addressing each point, you can provide a comprehensive, yet succinct and relevant answer. And here’s why…
Shows off your wealth of experience!
When mentioning the Situation, this allows you to highlight some of your important achievements or previous roles. Come with some pre-planned examples. You can mention a previous job that is relevant to the role, or maybe you want to highlight that you did a year abroad or were on a committee at University. Coming prepared with ideas helps you sound more confident, as well as accomplished. Top Tip: Choose a range of examples to use for different questions; you’ll sound more interesting and experienced!
Links your skills to the role
The Task part is where you talk about what you were responsible for in that situation. This is important, as it allows you to relate the experience to the role you are applying for. For example, if your interviewer is looking for someone with leadership skills, then you can highlight a task where you organised a large team. This is a great way to demonstrate that you meet the job criteria, by providing real evidence! Top Tip: most jobs provide a list of essential and desired skills; look through these before the interview and try to think of a task for each one and how you demonstrated these skills.
Keeps it related to the question
The Action part of this question can be the most important element. The STAR technique means that you have built up to this point, creating more emphasis. It also gives you the chance to explain why you chose this action, providing interviewers with an insight into your mindset and thought patterns. Top tip: make it personal; talk specifically about what you did, and not what your team did. For example, say “I did,” instead of “we did.”
Creates a learning curve
The Result part allows you to describe what you accomplished. This creates an impactful finish to the question and ends the story on a positive note! This also allows you to highlight what you learned and how you are going to apply this to future jobs, specifically the role that you are applying for. Top tip: be specific about what you achieved. For example, if you’re talking about meeting a sales target, state how much this was, and the impact of this.
Take a look at our interviews webpage which outlines the different types of interviews you may have. It’s a good idea to prepare before the interview by recording yourself answering potential questions and listen back to it. You can find a critical friend or book an appointment with an adviser who can give you honest feedback on how you present your answers. Use the Graduates First portal to record yourself, get feedback and watch your video back. So, there you go, the guide on how to fully maximise STAR to smash your next interview. All that’s left to say is… good luck!
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