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STAR technique

Situation Task Action Result

The STAR technique can be used when developing your resume, when answering key selection criteria and during behavioural interviews.

When describing your skills, avoid using generalised statements such as "Excellent communication skills." Show how you have developed relevant skills by providing recent examples from your work experience, volunteering, studies or extra-curricular activities.

Your aim is to include in your statement, the Situation, Task, Action and Result (STAR).

Situation and Task:

  • Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish
  • Use a specific example; do not be vague or general
  • The example can come from work, volunteering, study, personal interests or hobbies
  • Give enough detail so that the employer fully understands the context

Action:

  • Logically and concisely take the interviewer through the steps you took to handle the situation or resolve the problem.

Result:

  • Explain the results of your actions:
    • What did you achieve? Quantify results if possible.
    • How did the situation end?
    • What did you learn from the experience?

Examples

Job interviews

Use the STAR technique to answer behavioural interview questions. For example:

"Describe a situation when you used your initiative to make a positive impact during a team project"

S: During my summer internship at XYZ Consultancy, I was responsible for managing client relations for 2 community events.

T: I noticed that attendance at these events had dropped by 30% over the past 3 years and wanted to do something to improve these numbers.

A: I designed a new promotional packet to go out to the local community businesses. I also included a rating sheet to collect feedback on our events and organised internal round table discussions to raise awareness of the issue with our employees.

R: I utilised some of the wonderful ideas received from the community, made our internal systems more efficient and visible and we raised attendance at both events by 20%.

Resumes

The STAR technique can be used to provide brief examples of skill development in your resume. For example:

Planning and organising

  • Coordinated promotional activities for Deakin Commerce Society's annual ball in 2014. Organised printing and distribution of 20 posters, contacted 400 members and generated 300 likes during a targeted Facebook promotion. Attendance increased by 20% over previous year.

Selection criteria

For information on how to use the STAR approach when addressing selection criteria, go to:

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