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The STAR Approach: How to Answer Interview Questions Effectively

When you are interviewing for any role, regardless of the position, you can expect to be asked behavioral or situational interview questions. These questions give the employer a lens as to how you would handle different situations that may arise in the workplace. Some examples of these types of questions include:

“Give me an example of an analytical challenge you have had to overcome.” “Describe a time you had to juggle competing priorities.” “Talk about a time you had to persuade a group of people to implement an idea that you had.” “Describe a scenario where you had to work with a difficult person and how you overcame it.”

The Situation-Task-Action-Result (STAR) Method is a four step approach you can use to answer behavioral interview questions effectively. Check it out below:

  1. Situation. The situation may also be called the context. Provide a detailed description of the problem or situation at hand. Tip: If you can, try to provide a situation that could be applicable to the role for which you are interviewing.

  2.  Task. Now talk about the specific goal you generated in order to overcome the situation. In other words, what did you need to accomplish?

  3. Action. What did you do in order to work towards your task (goal)? Describe the specific steps your team made while also outlining what specific role you played in the process and any important lessons you learned along the way.

  4. Result. Lastly, discuss the outcomes. What happened as a result of your efforts? Describe what you were able to accomplish and how achieving your goal impacted the success of the overall organization. Tip: Whenever possible, use numbers to quantify the impact you made.


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