Use the STAR Analysis Method as an Interview Technique – Young African Leaders Initiative


Mwenga is a local lawyer who volunteers his time and expertise at a free legal clinic near South Kivu, DRC. Photo courtesy of USAID.

 

Answering job interview questions succinctly and knowledgeably is a vital skill to landing the perfect job. Using the right tools and strategies can help you make a great first impression. When preparing for an interview, remember the STAR Analysis. The STAR Analysis is an interview technique you can use for behavioral and situational interview questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. This technique can help you craft concise responses to interview questions using real examples from your personal work experience. 

 

Hiring managers use behavioral and situational questions to decide if you are a good fit for a job. Using the STAR analysis can help you fully address the interviewer’s question while demonstrating situations where you overcame challenges at work. The STAR Analysis method helps you create a clear and engaging story that shows employers how you handle conflict and find resolutions. Here’s what each part of the technique means:

 

S – Situation: Set the stage of the story by sharing meaningful context about the situation or challenge you faced. It is always best to describe the most recent and relevant work experiences but it may be appropriate to talk about academic projects or volunteer work if you are in the beginning stages of your career. You should spend the least amount of time on this part of your answer because the interviewer is more concerned with the actions and results of your experience. 

T – Task: In this section, describe your responsibility in the situation and the goal your team wanted to accomplish. Similar to the situation stage, you’ll want to focus on one or two points that best illustrate the task you need to complete. 

A – Action: Explain the actions you took to solve the problem. Dedicate a large portion of your response to this section as it is the best indicator of your fitness for the role. Identify the most impactful steps you took to solve the problem and avoid including the entire team in your response. Involving the rest of your former team by using the word “we” can take the focus of the interview off of you. 

R – Result: Relate the outcome of the conflict and your role in solving the problem. Make sure to dedicate a decent amount of time to this section. When possible, quantify your successes using solution data, or concrete examples to improve your response. Discuss what you learned during the experience, how you grew, and how you plan to continue to grow because of the situation. 

Now, think of a time when you had to complete a task within a tight deadline. Describe what the situation was and use the STAR analysis to come up with a constructive way to handle the problem.

(typed answer)
S
T
A
R

Next, take the YALIProfessionals Personal Assessment to examine how to handle workplace challenges and improve your reaction to conflict.

Created with inspiration from Indeed, and the Balance Careers.

Are you interested in building your leadership skills? Visit our YALIProfessionals page for more tools and resources to advance your career.



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