The STAR response method is helpful for keeping answers to behavioral-based interview questions focused while still providing the detailed information that the interviewer needs. Remember that behavioral-based questions ask about your previous experiences because the way that you handled previous situations is likely to be a good indicator of your future performance.  STAR is an acronym for Situation- Task(s) – Action(s) – Result(s).  Each word represents key information that should be provided in an answer.

Situation: Start by explaining the situation so the interviewer understands the context of your answer. Don’t spend too much time on this. It is not necessary for the interviewer to have a detailed understanding of the situation; they are more interested in how you handled the situation.

Task: Next, talk about the tasks that you took responsibility for completing or the goal of your efforts.

Action: Then, describe the actions that you personally took to completed the task(s) or reach the goal. (Tip: Instead of saying “We did xyx,” say “I did xyz.”) Be sure to highlight the skills or character traits addressed in the question. This is a very important part of your answer because it is essential for you to demonstrate that you have a high level of knowledge of the particular skills the interviewer is trying to analyze.

Result: End by, explaining the positive outcomes or results generated by your actions. You might emphasize what you accomplished, or what you learned.

Example Responses Using the STAR Method

Preparing to Use the STAR System

The Employment Process Menu


Step 1: Understanding Employers and the College Recruiting Process

    -Maintain a Positive Attitude

Step 2: Determine Career Goals and Skillset

Step 3: Identify Preliminary Target Employers and Industries

Step 4: Develop Effective Marketing Materials

Step 5: Search for Specific Employment and Research Target Companies