What Is The STAR Model? – Definition And Application

Most people are struggling with job interviews. Whether they are being nervous or simply faltering under pressure, there are certain issues that most of us had to deal with at one point. But oftentimes, the issue is not due to our composure. Instead, it is a product of bad preparation.

Presenting all your accomplishments, skills and experience during an interview is an arduous task. This is why we have the STAR model. It is a technique that everyone can use to make their job presentation better.

It is a model based on practical situations as a way of proving that you possess certain skills. The candidate will give examples where he or she overcame work-related obstacles.

What does STAR stand for?

It is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It is a pretty simple concept that works in almost all circumstances and is one of the best ways of explaining things that you encountered during previous employment. 

STAR is especially effective when answering competency-focused questions where interviewers expect you to present real-world business issues. It helps recruiters learn more about your behavior and how you employ your skills and experience when the going gets tough.

These questions are very important as companies are always dealing with new situations in an ever-changing environment. Adaptability is a trait that is highly respected in the corporative circles and can make or break your job application.

Previous performance is also important as it can outline future tendencies. The model is also a good way to determine your overall understanding of the matter and whether or not your knowledge can be used in a day-to-day business environment.

Situations where you might consider using STAR model

As already mentioned, the STAR technique can be used in most of the cases given that employers are particularly interested in practical situations. So basically, whenever you’re asked about something, you can use the model to provide a concise answer.

Here are some of the questions in which STAR model may come in handy:

  • What were the worst deadlines you had to meet and how did you handle them?
  • Have you gone above and beyond to help the company? Give us an example.
  • Have you ever had an issue with a problematic coworker? How did you resolve it?

If you’re new to job interviews, you might not realize that the STAR model is ideal for these situations. However, oftentimes recruiters will help by pointing out that you can use it for such questions. So, you won’t have to overthink it.

Breakdown of the STAR model

As already mentioned, this phrase is used to explain Situation, Task, Action, and Result. Here’s what it means in practice:

  • Situation – Real-world business situation that is relevant to the asked question
  • Task – What was your particular task in this case? What was expected of you? Even if your manager wasn’t around, what is your perception of what had to be done?
  • Action – What kind of action did you perform in order to accomplish that goal?
  • Result – What was the end result of your actions?

STAR model is pretty intuitive and is actually a step-by-step process. Everything comes naturally so you won’t have to overthink it even if you’re not completely sure what this abbreviation stands for.

If you’re actively looking for a new job, then these tips are definitely something to keep in mind. Wherever you can get an advantage, you need to capitalize on it and try to “move the needle” in order to get the dream job you deserve.