STAR is the acronym to help you remember all of the elements that should be in the answer to any behavioral interview question.

There is a specific way to answer these questions we call the “STAR format.”

STAR is the acronym to help you remember all of the elements that should be in the answer to any behavioral interview question.
S = Situation (Basic context for the story. Brief and specific.)
T = Task (What your specific role was in the story.)
A = Action (The action you took to resolve the task.)
R = Result (The outcome of your actions.)
The recruiter wants to know how you performed in the situation, so you should tell the story using the word “I” as much as possible.

Let’s look at an example:

Question: Tell me about a time you had a classmate or co-worker disagree with you and how you handled it.
Bad answer 1: I’ve never had a disagreement with a classmate or coworker. I get along with everyone.
Why it’s a bad answer: This can make the recruiter think you a) are lying, b) are unaware of when others disagree, c) are unable to assert yourself, or d) don’t interact with other people more than absolutely necessary.
Bad answer 2: Sometimes I’ve had disagreements, so I try to listen to their point of view and find a compromise.
Why it’s a bad answer: This is not a specific example, and anyone could say this. They will insist on a specific example, and once they have one, they’ll ask questions about it, so you don’t want to just make up a story.
Good answer: Once I was in a general business class where I was in a team of 8 students who had to reach a consensus on an ethical problem to research and present. I really wanted to do a project on companies that “astroturf” on Yelp and similar sites, but one of my group-mates wanted to do our project on prescription drug disposal processes. (Situation/Task) I suggested we each do some baseline research to see what types of resources and cases currently exist that we could use for our project, and bring that information to the next group meeting, so the group could decide which project would be more interesting to work on. (Action in the form of an “I” statement) After we did that, the group decided “astroturfing” was more relevant to their daily lives, and the cases were more recent, so it would be a more interesting project. The other person agreed to support that topic, and it wound up being a very good presentation that earned us a good grade. (Result!)

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STAR is the acronym to help you remember all of the elements that should be in the answer to any behavioral interview question.

APA

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