The S.T.A.R. Technique

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The S.T.A.R. Technique

This week’s topic is application forms and, in particular, competency-based questions. These questions have become very popular with recruiters, colleges and universities and being able to answer them correctly and effectively will be crucial to your success in the application and interview process. Here is a short video from Nicola to introduce you to the topic. There are some supporting materials and further reading below.

The whole idea behind Skills-Based interviewing is the fact that the best indication of how someone will perform in the future is how he or she have performed or acted in the past when presented with a similar situation.

Employers use the behavioural interview technique to evaluate people’s experiences and behaviours so they can determine the applicant’s potential for success. What this means for us is that we already know from the outset that we will be asked questions that will get us to give examples of how we have done things in the past.

Giving examples of how you have done certain things in the past is good, but there are formats that we can follow to help us give the best answer possible. The one that we will be looking at today is the STAR technique.

The S.T.A.R. Technique
Situation &  


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 generalised 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 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 them what you might or would do; tell them what you actually did.
Results you achieved What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?

Here’s some interview questions that you can print and practice at home.

Interview Questions 2019-20