24 STAR Interview Questions & Answers
OK, so you’ve heard about STAR interview questions but what is it? You are looking to get prepared for your upcoming interview and a friend or family member told you to look into the STAR method.
Or maybe the employer told you that you’d be asked STAR interview questions during your interview session and you’re looking for example answers.
In any event, we’re here to help break down what the STAR method is, what STAR interview questions you might get asked, how you might answer them and get your sights set on how you’d prepare for this session.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Table Of Contents
- What Is The STAR Method When Interviewing
- What Part Of The Interview Process Do STAR Interview Questions Get Asked?
- Why Are STAR Interview Questions Asked
- How Do I Prepare For A STAR Interview
- 24 Example STAR Interview Questions
- 5 Best STAR Interview Questions & Example Answers
- Are STAR Interview Questions & Behavioral Interview Questions The Same?
- How Do You Answer A STAR Situational Question
What Is The STAR Method When Interviewing
The STAR Method stands for Situation, Task, Ask/Action, Resolution/Result. This means that both the interview question and the answer is intended to set you up to describe a situation, describe the task you were challenged with, the action you took and the resolution that it had.
- Situation: A scenario in the working environment which sets up a potential conflict that you and the team had to resolve together. Something like a short deadline or an unhappy customer.
- Task: The challenge that you were set to overcome. Meaning, the output you or your team was expected to be able to achieve through the situation.
- Action: The action or actions that you decided to take in order to deal with the situation and be able to achieve the task you were assigned to do.
- Resolution/Result: When these three things come together (STA) what business result happened as a result of your actions. This is the conclusion or the proof behind your abilities. Should be primarily focused on business or customer results.
Pro fact: Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages conducted a number of studies on nonverbal communication between humans. He found that only 7% of the message to another person is conveyed by words. While 55% came through nonverbal elements. Telling your STAR interview answer in an impactful way is a critical part of increasing your chances of employment.
What Part Of The Interview Process Do STAR Interview Questions Get Asked
STAR interview questions are usually asked after your pre-screen, phone interview or first-round interview sessions. It can vary depending on the environment and the companies preferences for how many rounds of interviews they have before they make you an employment offer. In primary cases, STAR interview questions are going to be asked on-site, not by phone.
That means you should be prepared to answer STAR interview questions if:
- The interviewer has told you that you are going to be having a STAR interview.
- You've had a pre-screen or phone interview already.
- You've had the first set of interviews and they asked you to come back for a second round of interviews.
Why Are STAR Interview Questions Asked
At the core of it, STAR interview questions are asked by the employer to be able to test your core competencies. This is a way of testing your prior work experience as well as your general IQ without having to work with you, yet.
When STAR interview questions are asked, they generally try to uncover your ability to:
- Have clear, professional communication (in a variety of scenarios, like conflict to client services).
- Make decisions in a variety of scenarios.
- Take initaitive when the opportunity strikes itself.
- Plan and organize in an efficient way.
- Show team leadership and organization.
How Do I Prepare For A STAR Interview?
In order to prepare for STAR interview sessions, it is important that you spend the time to both know your answer for the potential STAR interview question you might be asked but also have a list of recent experiences that you might be able to pull your answer from.
Here are some things that you’d want to do in order to prepare:
- Write down and recall recent work situations that show favorable action, behaviors or work experiences (such as leadership, customer service, planning, etc.).
- Write down a short description of each of the situations that you can recall so that you have a map of how you’ll explain your answer more efficiently.
- Ensure that your answers have a successful outcome or measurable results that you can share with the interviewer.
- Ensure that your answers aren’t lies or embellish true events as your future employer could check with your prior employer about the accuracy of that situation you brought up.
- Ensure that your answers are extremely specific and targeted to the job you are perusing.
24 Example STAR Interview QuestionsBelow is a list of the most popular STAR interview questions that you are likely to be asked in an interview. There may be interview questions which resemble the ones below and are asked in a different format. But generally speaking, they are asking the same interview question.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you had to comply with a policy you didn’t agree with.
- Discuss an important document you were required to complete.
- Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to get the job done.
- Describe a situation in which you persuaded someone to see things your way.
- Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation and how you dealt with it.
- Give me a specific example of a time when you used good logic in solving a problem.
- Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to achieve it.
- Tell me about a time when you had to use presentation skills to influence a groups opinion.
- Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or coworker.
- Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
- Tell me about a time when you delegated a project effectively.
- Give me an example of a time when you used deductive reasoning skills to solve a problem.
- Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem.
- Describe a time when you anticipated potential problems and developed preventive measures.
- Tell me about a time when you were forced to make an unpopular decision.
- Tell me about a time you had to fire a friend.
- Describe a time when you set your sights too high or too low.
- Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize tasks.
- Give me an example of a time when you had to make a fast decision and how you did it.
- Tell me how you deal with conflict.
- Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you.
- Tell me about a difficult decision you’ve made in the last year.
- Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed.
- Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
5 Best STAR Interview Questions & Example Answers
Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills.
Answer: When I was my previous company, we had a few weeks to complete a really important project. There was about 12 of us involved in this project. And our team felt a little uneasy about the fact that we didn’t have a strong grasp of the needs of the project. We continued forward and unfortunately made a few mistakes. The management team wasn’t entirely pleased with our team performance. I was one of the first ones to take the onus on our performance and say there are a few things we can improve next time. The fact that I wasn’t scared to admit that we tried, did our best but learned some lessons made the rest of the employees follow suit. Management respected us for taking ownership and gave us another shot on another project. We crushed that one.
Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without the information you needed.
Answer: There was a conflict between two colleagues. And both of them felt as though the other was lying about the situation. Unfortunately, no one was around when the incident occurred to help validate which one of the employees was telling the truth. One of them was going to be terminated. I made the decision to listen to the person who was being less aggressive in their delivery. We ended up later finding out that the employee who was terminated was at fault.
Tell me about a conflict you’ve had with a coworker and how you resolved it.
Answer: During the team meeting, there was a colleague who ended up expressing some frustration with our team process. I wanted to make sure I was part of the solution. So I asked them if there was something we as a team could be doing better. It seemed that getting the floor and asking for their opinion helped. We ended up taking some of the recommendations they made.
Tell me about a time you failed.
Answer: I worked in customer service and had to deal with a very angry customer. Our product had failed on them, and they wanted their money back. The company policy was very strict on “no refunds,” and this customer was a rare unsatisfied one, as our products were often quite dependable. I stayed calm, remained polite, and offered a store credit, coupons, and other solutions. The customer was not having any of it and let me know we would not receive their business again before hanging up. From this experience, I learned that working within the policies of a company can indeed be difficult. However, I could have taken more time to listen to the customer’s concerns and level with them, rather than just throw solutions out there. Customer service is about making the customer happy, and being an effective communicator is a big part of that.
What is your greatest achievement?
Answer: My last employer had a history of missing the mark when it came to preparing promotional activities. It was no fault of their own— they were a small company and the budget focused on the product itself, which was smart and understandable. While I was employed as a marketing supervisor, I took the time to make a very low-cost plan for three different promotional events. We managed to have enough in the budget for all three, and we brought on a ton of new clients through them. I think my ability to brainstorm and budget are important to this position, and that achievement really proved that to me.
Are STAR Interview Questions & Behavioral Interview Questions The Same
Yes. Behavioral and STAR interview questions are the same. They are asking you to describe work experience through a situation that you were tasked within the workplace. If you are looking to learn more about behavioral interview questions, we have a complete guide here.
How Do You Answer A STAR Situational Question
Here is a sample answer to a STAR interview question that uses a situation as part of the guidance for the answer. Instead of going through the interview question, we’re going to show you what your answer should contain, using the STAR method.
Example Situation: We had a tight deadline in which our team wasn’t prepared to be able to fulfill.
Example Task: I was asked to help ensure that our team was able to finish this project in time for our client.
Example Action: I took charge, motivated our team with incentives that I got approved by our leadership team, which ended up being a day off two-days from then. Afterward, ensured we were well organized with our tasks to work efficiently, ensured everyone was clear on our goals, then we went to work.
Example Result: We were able to complete the project by the following day, with a few hours to spare. The team took their day off, felt humbled to have accomplished such a big ask and were rewarded by the whole company for their valiant effort.
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