Behavioural Interview Technique STAR

One of the most common interview methods is behavioural-based interviewing, but why is this technique so pivotal to identifying the right candidate? The purpose of this technique is to ascertain your skill compatibility, cultural fit and competency for the position. Often, you will be prompted to provide in-depth examples that demonstrate your ability to complete certain tasks or provide insight on how you would approach a scenario. By responding to these questions, you are providing insight and highlighting to the interviewer your key skills and attributes as a prospective employee. Preparation and research are key when interviewing; therefore, creating and practicing answers to common behavioural questions that align to the role will demonstrate that you can articulate your responses and provide relevant examples of your experience which will assist the interviewer in understanding your point of view.

Often, behavioural questions will begin with phrases like “Can you provide an example of…” or “Tell me about a time when…” But how should you answer behavioural questions? One technique is the STAR format which breaks your answer into four key parts:

'S' Situation - What’s the situation or issue you need to solve? 
'T' Task - What task was required from you to solve the issue?
'A' Action - What action did you take?
'R' Result - What was the result? 

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to use the STAR technique:

Question: Tell me about a time when you improved a process.

Using the STAR technique you could respond as follows:
'S' Situation – In my current role, generating the sales report required a manual process, and because of the many steps involved, it is very labour intensive and time consuming. 
'T' Task –  I analysed the business and discovered that the sales reporting requirements incorporate assessing different variables that affect forecasting and sale results.   
'A' Action – I decided to create an automated report that could be utilised across various reporting objectives including forecasting that required minimal input.  
'R' Result – I improved the accuracy of forecasting by X% and reduced reporting time by X hours per week, which resulted in savings of X amount per week.

In this example, using the STAR format allowed the interviewee to articulate their ideas, thoughts and experiences. 

Aside from STAR, there are other techniques that you can use to answer behavioural interview questions. They are called SOAR and CAR. SOAR stands for Situation, Obstacles, Action and Result while CAR means Challenge, Action and Result. Whether you choose to use either STAR, SOAR or CAR, having a technique will assist you in answering behavioural interview questions effectively.  

For more examples of possible behavioural interview questions, contact Aston Carter today for a copy of our comprehensive Interview Questions Guidebook.