How to Use the STAR Technique to Pass Interviews and Get Good Jobs

By Abdulkabir Olatunji

The STAR technique is used to answer Competence Based Interview (CBI) Questions. These questions are like shorthand for finding out if you sabi d work you say you wan do. The questions can be historical (any question that requires you to answer with a story) or hypothetical .

Let’s assume I am at an interview and they asked the historical CBI question: “Tell me about a time when you solved a critical problem for your organization as a manager.” STAR is the best technique to use to answer this and similar questions.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. For each CBI question, identify the Situation you want to describe. For example,” I was appointed manager at a supermarket where pilfering was rampant.” The Task here would be to tackle the theft from pilfering customers

The Action covers all the ideas and strategies I executed to solve this problem. Which could be: “I called a meeting of security and sales staff and instructed them to be more vigilant and dutiful. I also ensured the CCTV system was upgraded to ensure real-time monitoring

Finally, I made contact with the local police station to ensure that those caught pilfering were duly arrested and prosecuted. A ‘wall of shame’ depicting pictures and CCTV capture of such thieves was placed at the entrance of the supermarket to dissuade potential pilferers”.

The Result is that rate of pilfering dropped by 95% and I helped save the store N1.5 million per month that was previously being lost to theft of supermarket goods.

If this question were asked hypothetically where the interviewers described the scenario I would then use future tense, I will do XYZ till I reach the projected result which is to reduce pilfering at the store and save the supermarket money. Please note that you use STAR without mentioning it in your answer. You use it mentally and tell your story like any other

I hope this helps, if you want more information about STAR or interviews in general, I advise you to register for our paid coaching services. Contact me via WhatsApp on 08085404500.

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