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STAR technique

Situation Task Action Result

The S.T.A.R 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.

Situation or 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 take the interviewer through the steps you took to handle the situation or resolve the problem
  • Keep your answer clear and concise and focus on what you did, not what you might do

Result:

  • Explain the results of your actions.
    • What did you achieve?
    • How did the situation end?
    • What did you learn from the experience?
  • Even negative aspects and situations where things went wrong can be discussed positively as learning experiences.

You want to create a short, concise statement only 2 or 3 lines long that focuses on the actions you took. Where possible, quantify examples with figures e.g. "Produced 18 monthly newsletters with readership of over 200" has more impact than "Produced monthly newsletter".


Example of a S.T.A.R  Answer

Situation: During my internship last summer, I was responsible for managing various events.

Task: 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.

Action: 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 organized internal round table discussions to raise awareness of the issue with our employees.

Result: We utilised some of the wonderful ideas we received from the community, made our internal systems more efficient and visible and raised attendance by 18% the first year.

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