STAR Strategy Examples

STAR is an acronym for a formula which can help you structure your responses. The letters stand for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Most questions center on your past or current attitudes, and your work, academic, or service experiences. When talking about these subjects, choose specific examples to illustrate your answer. Describe the Situation you were in, the Task you were asked to accomplish, the Action you took and why, and the Results of your actions. This will help the interviewer follow your "story" and see your accomplishments.

Entry Level Candidates

Here's an example of a response that uses this method to address an employer's questions about a student's lackluster GPA:

Situation: I entered my sophomore year with a low GPA. I had always done well in school, but I didn't handle the transition to college well.

Task: I knew that if I wanted to succeed, I had to develop better study habits and manage my time better.

Action: I created a calendar and marked the due dates for all of my assignments and tests. Then I set aside certain hours each day for studying, allowing more for peak times like mid-terms or finals. I made up my mind not to change the plan until after the first semester grades so I could give it a chance to work.

Result: My grades improved immediately; I used this system for the whole year and earned a 3.2 while still having time for other activities. My GPA has been strong ever since.

As you can see from the above example, the STAR method can help you answer tough questions clearly and concisely. Practice using this method as you prepare for your interview so you can shine when it really matters.

Experienced Candidates

Situation: One of my duties in my previous position was the responsibility of 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 within our company.

Result: We utilized 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.