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Star Interviewing

STAR Interviewing Response Technique for Success in Behavioural Job Interviews

One strategy for preparing for Behavioural interviews is to use the STAR Technique, as outlined below. (This technique is often referred to as the SAR and PAR techniques as well.)


Read up on the technique, and then try it out with response builder.

Situation or

Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. You must describe a specific event or situation, not in a generalized description of what you have done in the past

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 what you might do, tell what you did.

Results you achieved

What happened? How did the event end? What did you accomplish? What did you learn?


Ideally, you should briefly describe the situation, what specific action you took to have an effect on the situation, and the positive result or outcome. Frame it in a three-step process, usually called a S-A-R, P-A-R, or S-T-A-R statement:

Situation: Task / Problem: Action: Result/outcome:



Situation (S):

Advertising revenue was falling off for my sports magazine, and large numbers of long-term advertisers were not renewing contracts.


Task: (T)

I was given an opportunity to reverse the situation and improve profitability.


Action (A):

I designed a new promotional packet to go with the rate sheet and compared the benefits of sports magazine circulation with other ad media in the area. I also set-up a special training session for the account executives with a professional business consultant who discussed competitive selling strategies.


Result (R):

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.


It's also helpful to think of your responses as stories. Become a great storyteller in your interviews but be careful not to ramble.

It's difficult to prepare for a behaviour-based interview because of the huge number and variety of possible Behavioural questions you might be asked. The best way to prepare is to arm yourself with a small arsenal of example stories that can be adapted to many behavioural questions.