STAR stands for:
Situation (What challenging work situation did you encounter?)
Task (What was your goal for handling this situation?)
Action (What did you do to resolve the problem?)
Results (What was the outcome of your actions?)
Here’s an example of how to use the STAR format:
“Tell me about a time that you disagreed with your manager.”
“My manager and I disagreed about how many times a month I should call on Dr. Jones to sell him Product X (Situation).
My goal was to determine whether I should call on Dr. Jones twice a month, as my manager wished, or whether I should call on him four times a month, which I believed I should do (Task).
Here is how I approached my goal (Action). I analyzed my sales data for the last six months. The data showed that as long as I was calling on Dr. Jones four times a month, his sales increased by 3% monthly.
At a meeting with my manager, I showed him my findings. He acknowledged that calling on Dr. Jones four times a month resulted in a 3% monthly increase in sales and agreed that I should continue to call on him weekly.
The result of my conversation with my manager was that I continued to call on Dr. Jones four times a month and have seen 3% increases in sales every month since (Results).”
So, you can see how the STAR format helps you structure your answers and demonstrate how you approach and solve problems. Practice using this technique for the most common behavioral interview questions, and you’ll feel confident that you can respond successfully to any question thrown your way.