What is the STAR Technique?

Every day, we have the privilege of interviewing candidates. Regardless of their level of experience, one consistent observation stands out: candidates often face difficulties when it comes to answering behavioural-based questions.

Interviewers love to ask behavioural questions because it links back to the old saying: “Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour.” The key here is to showcase how you responded in a variety of situations and how this can translate to overcoming future challenges.

How can we describe a behavioural style interview, such as the (STAR) method?

Behavioral questions are easily recognizable as they often begin with phrases such as “Tell me about a time when…” or “Describe…” or “Give me a specific example of…”.

The STAR method is a simple yet highly effective approach to addressing behavioral interview questions. While you may not always have advance knowledge of the specific interview questions, you can prepare a list of notable career accomplishments that highlight your critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, leadership skills, communication style, and capacity to perform under pressure to achieve results.

To present yourself in the best possible light, here are some valuable tips on employing the STAR technique:

What does a successful STAR response look like?


Here’s your introduction, setting the stage. Just like starting a new project, consider the 5 Ws: who, what, when, where, and why.

Addressing these points in a simple sentence or two is the first step in capturing your audience’s attention. For example:

“In my last role as a Project Manager at a reputable transportation company, I worked alongside the leadership team to implement a sustainable booking solution, addressing the costly and complex nature of interspace travel between Earth and Mars.”


Describe your responsibilities within the overall project. This is about focusing on your individual contribution, for example:

“I led a small project team of 4 and collaborated at an enterprise-wide level across the organisation to understand where the inefficient processes were.”


What steps did you take to overcome the challenges? This is about showcasing your individual achievements, for example:

“Working with a team of analysts and developers, I oversaw the end-to-end lifecycle of this project. One of the most important initiatives I took involved presenting a training plan to ensure every department was familiar and comfortable with using the new system.”


Describe the outcome by using qualitative examples – regardless of whether the project was a success or a failure. For example:

“The project was delivered on time and within budget. As a result, the company saw space travel bookings from Earth to Mars increase by 35% in the first 12 months after go-live. Due to the user-friendly interface and functionality, the next step has been approved to create a mobile and tablet application as well.”

How to prepare for your next interview

As previously mentioned, preparing for your upcoming interview by having a variety of STAR responses in the form of notable project accomplishments will enable you to present your experience with confidence and persuasion.

A great approach to prepare is to review the job ad or position description, identify the role’s key responsibilities, and consider the challenges that would be unique to that role.
From this, you can craft STAR responses that show behaviours needed to overcome these challenges such as critical thinking, relationship building, teamwork, conflict resolution – tailor this list to the specific job.

Practising your responses in front of a mirror, video record yourself speaking, or asking someone for feedback are also helpful techniques to overcome anxiety and build confidence when preparing for your next interview.

During an interview, if you find it challenging to provide an example, it’s perfectly acceptable to take a brief moment to gather your thoughts. Simply inform the interviewer that you need a moment and utilize that time to choose the best example from your prepared list.

Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional, employing a structured response technique like STAR will enable you to present yourself in the best possible light and hopefully secure that coveted role!

Frazer Tremble Executive is a comprehensive talent and customer consultancy that empowers businesses to transform and thrive. Whether it’s facilitating changes in customer relations, workforce management, operational processes, or technology integration, you can rely on our expertise to give you a competitive advantage in attracting top talent or finding your next career opportunity.

Laura Frazer

Are you ready to get prepared?

Laura’s key areas of expertise sit within the roles: CX, Project Services, Process Improvement, Business Transformation & Executive Search


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