STAR Interviewing Response Technique for Success in Behavioral Job Interviews
One strategy for preparing for behavioral interviews is to use the STAR Technique, as outlined below. (This technique is often referred to as the SAR and PAR techniques as well.)
Situation or Task (ST)
- Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish.
- You must describe a specific event or situation, not a
- generalized description of what you have done in the past.
- Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.
- This situation can be from a previous job, from a volunteer experience, or any
- relevant event.
Action You Took (A)
- Describe the action you took and be sure to keep the focus on you.
- Even if you are discussing a group project or effort, describe what you did — not the efforts of the team.
- Don’t tell what you might do, tell what you did.
Results You Achieved (R)
- What happened?
- How did the event end?
- What did you accomplish?
- What did you learn?
Example STAR Story:
Situation or Task (ST):
- Advertising revenue was falling off for my college newspaper, the Stetson Reporter, and large numbers of long-term advertisers were not renewing contracts.
- I designed a new promotional packet to go with the rate sheet and compared the benefits of Reporter circulation with other ad media in the area. I also set-up a special training session for the account executives with a School of Business
- Administration professor who discussed competitive selling strategies.
- We signed contracts with 15 former advertisers for daily ads and five for special supplements.
- We increased our new advertisers by 20 percent (quantities are always good) over the same period last year.
Remember this is a story that has some excitement, not a boring reading of events. Keep the interviewer interested in the results.
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