By Megan Cunnane
Interviews are often nerve-wracking—what if you forget critical details in an answer and you don’t come off as well as you should? You don’t want to let yourself down in an interview, so you need to keep your responses structured and clear. Thankfully, there is an easy way to do this, even in a high stress situation. Use the STAR method: Situate, Task, Activity, Result.
Take the statement: “Tell me about a time you faced a challenge in the workplace.” How do you answer using STAR?
Situate: what is the context of this story? Were you working under a deadline, who were you working with, etc.
Task: what was the specific challenge at hand.
Activity: what did you do to address this challenge? Try to retell this step by step, maintaining clarity.
Result: Did you succeed? What was the feedback you received? What specifically revealed your success—increasing profit, a positive tweet, etc.
Practice running through this format with a friend before an interview. Have them ask you general questions, such as, “what is a challenge you faced and how did you overcome it?” as well as more specific questions, such as, “tell me about a time you dealt with a customer that was unhappy about the service they were receiving?” (this is applicable to only certain professions, you’ll obviously have to guess what specific questions might be directed towards you in your interview).