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How To Answer Star Interview Questions

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Anticipate The Behavioral Interview Questions You May Get Asked

STAR Interview Technique – Top 10 Behavioral Questions

Anticipating the questions you may get asked is one of the top ways to prepare for an interview. In order to ready yourself, look at the types of situations you might get into based on the job description. Think about how an interviewer could ask you about a similar situation youve faced in the past.

For example, if the job description says this position coordinates logistics for the organizations annual conference, then your interviewer may ask:

Tell me about a time when you had to coordinate a large-scale event and something went wrong with the logistics. How did you handle the situation?

If the description says this position serves as the first point of contact for members who have questions or complaints, then your interviewer may ask:

Tell me about a time when you were confronted by a disgruntled or otherwise difficult person that your organization was serving .

If the description says this position manages the organizations editorial calendar, then your interviewer may ask:

Tell me about a time when you had to manage several multi-layered projects with overlapping deadlines. How did you stay on top of everything without letting things fall through the cracks?

If the description says the person in this position needs to be able to adjust priorities on the fly, then your interviewer may ask:

Tell me about a time when you had to re-prioritize to take on an unexpected and time-sensitive project.

Why Do So Many People Struggle When Answering Star Interview Questions

There is so much advice out there now both online and offline videos, blogs, books etc.

And yet why do so many people get them wrong?

We constantly see clients who come to us for interview coaching and who have had poor experiences in a competency interview.

Quite often a client will have had feedback saying that their answers were not detailed enough. They are surprised by this because they will have talked and talked in the interview so how can they not have given enough detail?

Other will have prepared and yet are stumped because the questions they prepared for dont come up exactly as they planned. They get asked the question in a different format and they just go blank.

The top problem we see is poor structure and this is where the STAR method comes into play.

Read More:Learn more competency based interview questions here and get answers and examples plus learn about the 12 most common competencies you are likely to be asked about in your interview.

Putting It All Together

Its making sense now, isnt it? Heres one more question-and-answer example for some added clarity.

The Interviewer Says:Tell me about a time when you had to be very strategic in order to meet all of your top priorities.

Your Response:

Situation:In my previous sales role, I was put in charge of the transfer to an entirely new customer relationship management systemon top of handling my daily sales calls and responsibilities.

Task:The goal was to have the migration to the new CRM database completed by Q3, without letting any of my own sales numbers slip below my targets.

Action:In order to do that, I had to be very careful about how I managed all of my time. So, I blocked off an hour each day on my calendar to dedicate solely to the CRM migration. During that time, I worked on transferring the data, as well as cleaning out old contacts and updating outdated information. Doing this gave me enough time to chip away at that project, while still handling my normal tasks.

Result:As a result, the transfer was completed two weeks ahead of deadline and I finished the quarter 10% ahead of my sales goal.

The STAR interview process for answering behavioral interview questions might seem a little overwhelming at first. But it will become second nature with a little practice. And make no mistake, practicing is definitely something you should do.

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What Is Your Greatest Achievement

S – When I was a manager at Cafe X, we would always get a lot more customers than usual during the summer. It would almost always be packed, and sometimes, there were not enough servers to handle the work. And if someone got sick or unexpectedly could not show up – things were only worse.

T – So, I had to come up with a system so that we would not get overwhelmed during those 3+ months.

A – To make sure we were prepared, I realized we needed a better schedule. For the next summer, I had a very strict shift schedule ready, and a reward system in case someone couldnt show up for their shift. If someone called in sick, whoever filled in for them would be rewarded with extra pay. And if there was absolutely no one else available, I would personally fill in for them instead.

R – Overall, the summer went pretty smoothly with minimal accidents. We didnt get ANY negative reviews on TripAdvisor for the summer .

What Are Behavioral Interview Questions

How To Answer Interview Questions Star Method

Interviewers ask behavioral interview questions to learn how you have behaved in previous work situations. In your answers, employers are looking for examples of your past actions that may be predictors of how youll act when you face these situations again. These questions are more open-ended than a yes-or-no question and usually ask you to share stories or examples from your previous jobs.

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How Do You Handle A Challenge Give An Example

What They Want to Know: Regardless of your job, things may go wrong and it wont always be business as usual. With this type of question, the hiring manager wants to know how you will react in a difficult situation. Focus on how you resolved a challenging situation when you respond. Consider sharing a step-by-step outline of what you did and why it worked.

Job Interview Questions Answers And Tips To Prepare

The most common jobinterviewquestions that employers ask, examples of the best answers for each question, and If you’re in a hurry and want to speed up your interview preparation, here’s a list of the top 10 interviewquestions employers typically ask, example answers, and tips for giving the….. View job listing

Read Also: Top 10 Behavioral Questions

Become A Pro At The Star Method Today

The STAR response technique helps you master behavioral-based interview questions thoroughly and professionally. If crafting answers to interview questions is something you struggle with, the STAR method can ensure you’re delivering succinct and compelling answers. By taking adequate time to prepare for your next interview, reviewing some of your professional strengths, and implementing the STAR method, you’ll be well on your way to acing your next interview.

Landing the interviews, but not the job? You might want to consider getting professional help from one of our expert interview coaches.

Find A Suitable Example


The STAR interview method wont be helpful to you if you use it to structure an answer using a totally irrelevant anecdote. Thats why the crucial starting point is to find an appropriate scenario from your professional history that you can expand on.

Theres no way for you to know ahead of time exactly what the interviewer will ask you . With that in mind, its smart to have a few stories and examples ready to go that you can tweak and adapt for different questions.

Brainstorm a few examples of particular success in your previous job, and think through how to discuss that success using the STAR framework, says Lydia Bowers, a human resources professional. Repeat that exercise for a few types of questions.

If youre struggling during your interview to come up with an example that fits, dont be afraid to ask to take a minute. Im always impressed when a candidate asks for a moment to think so that they can provide a good answer, says Emma Flowers, a career coach here at The Muse. Its OK to take a few seconds.

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Star Interview Question Examples

Here are a few examples of common behavioral questions you might be asked during an interview:

  • Have you ever had to make an unpopular decision? How did you handle it?

  • Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure at work. How did you react?

  • Tell me about a mistake youve made. How did you handle it?

  • Explain a situation where you used data or logic to make a recommendation.

  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss. How did you resolve it?

  • Describe a time when you had to deliver bad news. How did you do it?

  • Tell me about a time you worked with other departments to complete a project.

  • Tell me about a time when you set and achieved a specific goal.

  • Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone to do something.

  • Describe a time when you had a conflict with a colleague. How did you handle it?

  • Have you ever had to motivate others? How did you do it?

  • Tell me about the last time your workday ended before you were able to get everything done.

Related Article: How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

How To Use The Star Method During A Phone Interview

Phone interviews are frequently used as a method for screening candidates prior to a more in-depth interview. However, even an initial interview will have opportunities for STAR interview responses. For example, you can give examples of your recent work experience to highlight your competencies and expand on the accomplishments listed in your resume. Below are a few things to keep in mind when giving a phone interview:

  • Speak to your audience. If possible, try and research the person interviewing you beforehand. If it is a recruiter or human resources officer, they may not have an in-depth technical understanding of subject matter such as programming or IT.
  • Take advantage of not having a visual connection. Refer to the written STAR responses you created in case you forget a detail or two. Donât have too much information though you donât have time for reading.
  • Keep a measured pace. Pay attention to keeping a comfortable conversation pace and talking speed. It is easy to talk too fast or think that small pauses last forever during a phone interview.
  • Listen carefully. Make sure you are in a quiet location and use headphones if you can. Its easy to miss question details and other subtle cues. Consider writing down the questions and repeating them before answering.

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Tell Me About A Conflict Youve Had With A Coworker And How You Resolved It

Answer: During the team meeting, a colleague ended up expressing some frustration with our team process. I wanted to make sure I was part of the solution. So I asked them if there was something we as a team could be doing better. It seemed that getting the floor and asking for their opinion helped. We ended up taking some of the recommendations they made.

Related: Answering Tell Me About A Conflict Youve Had With A Coworker

Example : Share An Example Of A Time You Had To Manage Multiple Competing Priorities

Use The STAR Technique to Ace Your Behavioral Interview
  • Situation: Explain the scenario. Why was it difficult or complex to manage?

Eg: During my time at , we were working on a big project with a lot of moving parts.

  • Task: Give an overview of your responsibilities and how they played a part in the situation.

Eg: A colleague was taken off the project, so extra responsibilities fell to me. We were working to a tight deadline, so I needed to manage the project and make sure that all the tasks were done on time.

  • Action: Break down the steps and tactics you used to manage your time, responsibilities and priorities. Take time to highlight the most important actions you took.

Eg: I mapped out all the projects deliverables with a Gantt chart, with steps and key milestones. I then communicated the plan to my manager, and delegated parts of the work to my colleagues, making sure they understood the scope and the deadlines.

  • Result: Share the outcome. How did your actions and critical thinking make a positive impact?

Eg: Thanks to my collaborative approach, we were able to launch the new project ahead of time which was a first for the organisation.

The journey from jobseeker to team member isnt always easy. Once youve overcome any common resume mistakes and secured yourself an interview, the STAR method can hopefully help set you up to score your dream ethical job!

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Employers Love Star Competency Interview Questions Why Is That

Put simply they remove the risk of bias.

In the past managers would often hire based on gut-feeling. They might give the job to someone based on how they looked or dressed or how they spoke. While there still remains a risk of human bias Competency Interviewing reduces this dramatically.

In addition, past behaviour is taken as an indicator of future performance. In other words, if you have done it once, you can do it again. Employers believe that they get more qualified candidates who will perform better in the role.

Tell Me About A Time When You Experienced Conflict On The Team And How Did You Resolve It


I was tasked with implementing a new project management system. This meant I had to coordinate the tasks and goals across several teams. Unfortunately, there was a long-simmering conflict between two of the team leaders who were going to have to work closely on this project.


I started by creating the timeline, then figuring out when those two people would work together to accomplish joint tasks.


I met with each of them individually to explain that they would be working together and asked how I could help things work smoothly. As a result of those meetings, I was asked to sit in on all of their project meetings as a neutral third party and provide feedback. I was also copied on every written communication to ensure things were handled professionally and appropriately.


There were a few times when friction was a problem. But, because I was involved from day one and acted as a neutral third party, we were able to finish the project on time. Projects that were completed on time increased 20% during Q1 and Q2 this year.

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Most Common Job Interview Questions And Answers

Here’s an interviewquestion that definitely requires an answer relevant to the job. If you say your biggest achievement was improving throughput by 18 percent in six months but you’re interviewing for a leadership role in human resources, that answer is interesting but ultimately irrelevant… View job listing

Sample Interview Question And Answer Using Star Method


Lets assume the interview question is as follows:

Can you give me an example when you have worked well as part of a team?

Heres a great answer to this question using the STAR technique


One Friday afternoon, at approximately 4pm, my line manager rushed into the office and said that a delivery of stock was due any minute now. The delivery was scheduled for the following Friday, but the courier company had got the dates mixed up and therefore it was arriving a week earlier. This meant we had to drop everything and get ourselves prepared for the unexpected delivery.


The problem was, most of us were due to leave at 4:30pm that day, so there were not many people around to carry out the task of taking in the delivery, which usually takes at least an hour to unload and stock check.


I immediately volunteered to stay behind late to help the company out in its time of need. I set about preparing for the delivery by getting together a small group of workers who I knew would help me achieve the task quickly and accurately. Then, I handed out jobs to the people in the group, which including handling the goods, checking them off as they came through the warehouse and also stocktaking. I briefed all of the team so that everyone knew their role within the task. Once the delivery arrived, we worked hard to achieve the end goal.


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Common Interview Questions And Answers

This interviewquestion seems forward , but if you’re asked it, you’re in luck: There’s no better setup for you to sell yourself and your skills to the hiring manager. Your job here is to craft an answer that covers three things: that you can not only do the work, but also deliver great….. View job listing

Common Star Interview Questions

Below are common behavioral interview questions that may be asked, which prompt a STAR response from the interviewee. These will be asked in addition to more common interview questions like, “Why do you want to work here?”

Tip: As a candidate, before your next interview, practice taking the STAR approach to behavioral interview questions. Write your sample answer down on a piece of paper and ensure the story only takes 90-seconds or less to tell. Practice telling your work experience story with a friend, colleague, or family member.

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Make A List Of Examples

Interviewers develop questions to determine how successful a candidate will be, given the specific tasks of the job. Obviously, you want to present your experiences as clearly as you can, using real examples, and highlighting situations where you were successful.

Learn how to use the STAR interview technique to give well thought out and complete answers.

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