Star Technique

Star Technique

The Star technique is increasingly being employed by interviewees to display their skills and understanding of a particular matter. The technique is a combination of four basic skills that play a crucial role in highlighting your past career and approach to work. Getting a grip of the technique can significantly improve your chances of getting the job by demonstrating problem solving skills.

The ‘S’ stands for situation. That situation could be anything from a particular situation you faced at university to a complex problem at your previous job. It’s highly important that you narrate the situation in a simple manner, with a focus on the problem being faced by your company.

You can give a background of the situation and on factors that contributed to or exacerbated the problem. A detailed explanation is necessary but it should be done in less than five minutes. Your interviewers will be impressed by a brief yet concise way of explaining the situation as well as the skills used to address the problem itself.

The ‘T’ in star technique represents the task that you had to accomplish or the problem that you had to solve to overcome the situation that you have outlined. This is a key part of the interview, and your potential employers will pay close attention to your story.

The best way of talking about the task is to state the facts in the most concise way possible. Statistics and related data play an important role in convincing the interviewers about the real extent of a problem but it’s also about how you relate it.

Even more important is the action, which represents the third letter in Star technique. It is action that displays the real worth of a person and interviewers want to see the action you take to solve a problem. It is always recommended to narrate the way you dealt with the problem in a logical, step-be-step manner.

You can start with the basic preparations and planning and move to implementation. Your interviewers will then understand the strategies you deployed and understand a little of your problem solving ability according to the process you used.

The solution that you came up with will take centre stage at this time and the ‘R’ stands for results.  You will probably be asked many questions by the interviewers where they will dissect how you dealt with the situation.

As you see, the theory is the Star technique is very straightforward. Think of a problem you faced, then describe how you addressed it, and the result of your actions. In practice of course it’s never so easy.

As these kinds of questions appear often at interview, it pays for prepare in advance. Think of a scenario, and plan how to describe it to someone else. Then practice as much as you can until you don’t have to think about it too much. This will save too many pauses which can spoil the delivery.

If you were able to solve a problem and used minimal resources then your interviewers will certainly be impressed. If you can then deliver the explanation of those actions equally professionally it greatly improves your chances of getting that job.

Using the Star technique in an interview will really set you above those who don’t. It is a very simple process to describe, but much more difficult to pull off well. It’s lends itself well to those open questions where you’re asked about a time when you faced adversity, or solved a problem, or handled a difficult situation. Without Star, they can be meandering, awkward questions to answer.

Taking the time to answer a question using the Situation, Technique, Action, Results, structure shows intelligence, application and preparation. All things prospective employers get excited about when they see it. In a competitive market, anything that gives you an edge is worth investing time and effort in.

Just remember to keep it real, i.e. truthful, to the point, on topic, and make sure when you’re relating the story that you actually answer the question. It’s very easy to waffle or deviate when you don’t prepare. The technique is only half the answer. The quality of the delivery will also be judged, almost as much as the substance of the answer.

The Star technique is used widely in interviews, so make sure you learn it. Once you have learned it, memorise an answer and practice it well. It could be the difference between success or failure.

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Picture the scene. You’re in an interview, cruising nicely, you like them, they seem to like you. You're answering questions as quickly as they come, then one knocks all the steam out of you. "Tell us when you had to deal with a particularly difficult situation where your actions made the difference."

The phrasing may be different but we have all had to answer them. It doesn’t matter whether you’re applying to become a brain surgeon or work in a call centre, it’s always the same. The reason they are so popular is partly because it makes you think on your feet, and partly because how it’s answered says a lot about the applicant.

They aren’t’ difficult to answer if you have prepared, but they can be if you haven’t. The Star technique is a way of structuring your answer to give precisely the information the interview is asking for, in the order they need it. It’s easy to learn, but slightly more difficult to put into practice.

Read this article for an overview and some helpful tips on using the Star technique to ace your next job interview. It’s well worth the effort, and could mean the difference between being offered the job and being thrown in the bin.

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The future of the candidate mostly depends on the way they handle the questions during the job interview. This is very important part of the job interview, not just for the candidate, but for the employer as well. The candidate can realise what kind of job is being offered by the particular company.

Things like what employee obligations are, what the rules and regulations of the company are and so on. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the people who are working there as well as the working conditions they must face.

On the other side of the table, the employer wants to know what kind of person they are attempting to hire. Of course, there are working skills, education, experience and ambitions, but only one candidate can be suitable for the particular job. Everybody wants to hire only the best one and the perfect way to find it is a job interview.

It’s becoming clear that for most businesses and companies, the only way to hire the right person is to treat them like a human being and acknowledge all their skills and behaviours. The star technique is the unique opportunity for an employer to hire the best candidate. Also for a candidate to show their qualities and skills in the right way.

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