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INTERVIEW TIPS - How To Shine At Your Next Interview Using The Star Method

Posted 6th June 2023 • Written by Lidija Globokar on •

When the moment comes and you hear the interviewer ask a question starting with “Tell me about a situation where…”, “When was the last time that…”, your STAR radar goes off and you structure your reply the following way:


Situation: give a short overview of the situation - who was involved, when did it happen, what exactly happened. Try not to spend too much time explaining the situation, your interviewer only needs a rough idea of it. The more important parts come afterwards.

Task: you enter into the situation. What were you tasked to do in the explained situation? What was your role?

Action: Next, you explain which action you took. This is where you can take your interviewer through your thought process and explain why you did what you did. It’s your moment to shine!

Result: Don’t end your story with a cliffhanger! Share the results of your actions - what was the outcome? What result did you achieve thanks to your actions? This is a great opportunity to share your learnings about this situation as well.

Examples of STAR interview questions

Knowing the structure and purpose of each part of the S-T-A-R interview questions is an excellent start to get ready for a job interview. The next step would be to prepare your answers to very common STAR questions. It is more about having specific examples in mind and not learning the entire structure by heart.

Depending on the position you apply for, the questions might vary of course, but here comes a non-exhaustive list of the most common STAR questions:


Conflict management: Tell us about a situation when you had a conflict with a colleague or team member and explain to us how you handled it.

Time management: How do you deal with tight deadlines? Can you give us an example of how you handled these kinds of moments in the past?

Problem-solving: When something occurs that you haven’t planned, how do you react? Can you share an experience when you faced a challenge while carrying out a specific project? What was the outcome?

Interpersonal skills: Can you share a time when you had to persuade a colleague or manager of your idea? How did you approach the situation?

Answer the questions respecting the S-T-A-R structure and write them down on a piece of paper or save them as a document on your computer. You might have difficulties choosing the right example because you have too many of them, or struggle finding an example. Either way, discuss your different options (or the lack of them) with a friend or colleague and ask them what they find most suitable for the role you are applying for.


If you are still at the beginning of your career and might not have an actual example from a work context, you can also think of situations in your private life or a volunteering activity. After all, it’s better to have an example at hand and show that you actually have experienced certain situations instead of missing an opportunity to showcase what a stellar employee you are.


Getting ready

Right before the interview, go through your notes and remember the situations you could share when asked STAR questions. As mentioned at the beginning, job interviews often are stressful situations and can lead to nervousness. If you have a virtual interview, make your life easier and put a Post-it with the S-T-A-R structure on it. By doing so, you immediately know what you have to talk about when it comes to this part of the interview. The examples will then come more easily to you and will speak for themselves.

 Shine on!

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Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK