The STAR Approach

So what is the STAR approach?

The STAR approach could really help you to STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD during your interview.

Imagine you are the interviewer, you have heard all of the ‘same old, same old’ responses such as: “I am hardworking, honest, reliable and can work in a team.” Probably back in the day this may have been okay, but remember gaining employment is a battle. And this type of response will not win you the battle of finding employment, or even progressing within your career.

So how actually can those four little letters help? Situation – Task – Action – Result.

This is how you should try and format your interview responses, especially useful if you are going to go for a ‘competency’ based interview. Using the STAR approach to format your responses will enable you to ‘paint’ a picture inside the mind of your interviewer. It will enable you to demonstrate your competencies, show them you are ‘able’ to do the job. After all, that is what they are wanting to know – if hired, could you do the job.

So let’s have a go at using the STAR approach:

Interviewer: Can you give me an example of when you have used team work in any of your previous roles?

Interviewee: (Situation) When working as a Warehouse Operative (Task) I was asked to make sure me and my team loaded the stock onto the wagon before 11.00pm (Action) So in my team I gave clear ideas on how we could do this in the allocated time. I suggested that as a team we all share the different roles needed to complete the task. Once I had completed my own task, I then supported all other team members in also completing their own role. I kept calm under pressure and made sure my team members felt motivated towards the end objective (Result) The result was that, due to excellent team work I completed my role within the time allocated which allowed me to help others. This then enabled me and my team to load the wagon on time. Also, the delivery drivers could meet their own targets and deliver the stock to the shops, making sure all customers and internal staff were also happy.

Can you see how I have painted a picture for the interviewer? I have demonstrated that I am fully aware of what contributes to excellent team work. I also made sure that the results included other staff (internal) and of course the customer. Again, the interviewer would recognise my understanding of building relations with others.

Have a go. You don’t need to have been at work to be able to give a STAR approach response to team work. Think of all the other places you have used team working skills.

Remember, you are fighting a battle. Standing out from the crowd will help you to win your battle.

Tracey Morewood

Author: How To Get On The Employment Ladder.


About Tracey Morewood

I am currently an Employability Tutor and Contract Manager who's main aim is to help those out of work find the confidence and self-esteem to get back into work. I have been working within Offender Learning for almost 6 years but moved to experience different opportunities. Oh and those opportunities gave me the confidence to write and publish my own book. The name of this book is: How to get on the Employment Ladder; You have the skills now learn to develop them. I have helped many people gain employment, and for a lot of them this was something they never thought possible for one reason or another. Anything is possible if we believe in ourselves. My passion has always been about the learner and helping them progress and reach their full potential. Alongside working full time and creating my first book I am also a single mum of two teenage boys. So if there is anyone out there that says they 'can't' I will be saying 'you can'.
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