STAR Method

If you’ve ever had a structured interview, you are likely familiar with the STAR method of interviewing. Most agencies are utilizing the structured interview method because it gives them a glimpse of how the candidate has reacted to certain situations in the past. Based on their responses, they can determine if the candidate would be a good fit for the position they are applying for. Employers will ask a series of questions that will require the candidate to pull from a past experience and apply it to the question asked. For example, if the employer wants to see how the candidate will respond to a circumstance not ordinarily in their job description, they may ask, “Describe a time when you went above and beyond at work, school, or in another situation.” Naturally, this open ended question tends to invite a long winded response. However, with the STAR method, the candidate has a framework for answering this type of question. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. When asked a structured interview question, try to remember this acronym. I’ll break it down a little bit further below.


S- Situation

  • “I’ve worked at a busy grocery store for about 5 years. About a month ago, an elderly woman came in and bought several bags worth of groceries.”

T- Task

  • “My job as a cashier is to ring customers up and wish them a good day. However, I noticed this elderly woman struggling to get the bags in her cart after I rang her up.”

A- Action

  • “I immediately notified my manager that I need to close up my lane for several minutes while I assisted the customer with her bags and to load her car. I assisted her out of the store, to the car, loaded her groceries in the trunk, and helped her in the front seat of her car.”

R- Results

  • “I returned to the store and was immediately thanked by my boss. Later on that day, the customer’s daughter called and wanted to speak to my manager. She told him how grateful she was that I assisted her mother. I felt really good about that. It may have not seemed like much to me, but it meant a lot to the customer and her family. It taught me that simple acts of kindness truly does go a long way.”

Just like that, all four points are addressed. It can seem a little daunting at first to recall past events to answer the interviewer’s questions. But a little practice with the STAR method and few prepared stories on your end will help you significantly in the interview process.

Check out our other interview tips for more advice before the big day! Good luck!

Until next time,


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