The STAR technique is a great method of giving the interview panel detailed and meaningful answers for competency-based questions.
Situation – set the scene or context for the example that you’re using.
Task – state what was required of you.
Action – here give a concrete example of what you did to solve the task
Result – what was the outcome of the situation and what did you learn from the experience?
If an interview panel asked you to describe a time when you demonstrated great leadership skills you could use the STAR technique to give the following answer:
‘In my previous role, I was part of a busy role that had to produce a batch of financial reports every month to very tight deadlines. The work was shared amongst the team.
A new person had recently joined the team and I noticed that he was struggling to cope with his work. There was a risk that the reports would not be completed in time; he needed some support.
I had an informal chat with him and asked how he was settling into the role. He said that he had difficulty using the IT system, so I offered to train him.
He accepted my offer, and after a week of training he was completing the work to the same standard as the rest of the team. In fact, by his next performance appraisal, he was exceeding his targets. Ultimately, he was not the only one to benefit from the experience – it was also incredibly valuable to me, as I learned just how much I enjoy training others, and I have been doing it ever since’.
When preparing to respond with the STAR technique
- Reflect on everything you’ve already done: studies, paid work, volunteering, self-employment, sports, arts activities, societies, groups, languages, challenges, fundraising, activism, music, travel, etc.
- Think about how much you’ve grown and developed as a person in the last few years – what have you learnt about yourself?
- Use family and friends to help you identify strengths, achievements, values, and qualities – sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint these on your own.