The STARR method is a tool that can be used when answering behavioural based questions in the face to face interview. These will be questions that the interviewer asks to explore your past work experience. The method can be used to articulate an answer to a question such as “tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer”. Don’t worry if you don’t have much work experience, an example from a past behaviour is as impressive, for example school projects, community service or other activities.

Following the step by step STARR method will separate you from other candidates on the day once it demonstrates that particular behaviour or skills that is being questioned.

Before going to the interview, review the skills and behaviours that the position requires. Think of a bunch of examples of times that you demonstrated the top skills that are required that had a positive outcome. . Next think about how you can explain those stories in the STARR format.


Situation – Choose a situation or task that you were involved in. Describe what the situation was. You should keep this brief but provide enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Task – What was the objective of the situation and what was required of you? What was your specific role in this example?

Action – What did you do? What skills did you use to do this? Link this area to the skills that the job you are applying for requires.

Results – What was the outcome of this situation?

Reflection – Reflect on the STAR process. What would you do differently the next time now that you know how this situation went? This section of the STARR method is where you can show your ability to self-improve.

Each answer using the STARR method should last about 2 minutes. Think of examples that would fit in with the job description that will boast your skills you already have. This will also help to keep the interviewer engaged. When asked “tell me about a time when you did…” give them a time when you did it, not when your team or group did it. If you only have an example from a time when you worked as a team, place the emphasis on what you contributed to the team. This will also help to quantify your success with this particular example. Keep it short. Practice some answers to help with the flow of your answers using the STARR method.

By Rachel Gaynor

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