The STAR Method

The STAR method is a simple and powerful way to story-tell during interviews.

Use the STAR method to plan your answers to interview questions and to show your skills and experience on a CV or application form.

What does STAR mean?

  • Situation - the situation you had to deal with
  • Task - the task you were given
  • Action - the action you took
  • Result - the result of your action and what you learned

When to use STAR

When you're being interviewed, the STAR method will give you structure and allow to maintain forward momentum when answering scenario-based questions. You can use it to highlight skills and attributes you have that the employer is looking for.

When using it remember to keep the examples simple, short and free of jargon. Don't state the stages of the STAR mnemonic. Just try and let the words flow without obvious breaks in between each stage. This might take a little practice and you can do that with a friend or family member.



Interviewer: "Tell me about a time where you had to resolve a team conflict."


Situation: "I was working in a small office and a heated argument broke out between two of my colleagues over a pay dispute."

Task: "I was the closest to them so I took it upon myself to diffuse the situation by intervening."

Action: "I stood in between my two colleagues and calmly asked them to break it up and take a break. I instructed them to split up and for one of them to go to another room in the building whilst I got my manager looped in."

Result: "My manager was grateful for me stepping in before a fight broke out and that I diffused the situation."


Here's a list of example question from the University of Alabama's website that you could practice with a friend:

  • Tell me about a time you showed initiative.
  • Describe an experience where you interacted over time with someone from a different background.
  • When have you had to make a decision with limited information?
  • Describe a time when you demonstrated adaptability.
  • Tell me about a time when you were not successful. What did you learn?
  • Tell me about a time when you worked under pressure.
  • Tell me about a mistake you made. How did you handle it?
  • When have you gone above and beyond what was expected?
  • Have you ever encountered a difficult customer?
  • Describe a time when you worked with a team. How did you contribute?
  • How have you demonstrated leadership?
  • Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a team member, classmate, coworker, or supervisor.
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