Recruiter Blog: Successful interviews require a S.T.A.R.

By Erica Newman

I meet with great students who are fully qualified to do the job at hand. Often times these are student leaders who have the capabilities to excel. How can you ensure you’re answering an interviewer’s question in full, and clearly demonstrating those essential qualities? There’s a simple way to do this - use the S.T.A.R. model. Keep in mind these few easy tips and tricks, and you will set yourself up for success in an interview.

First things first – don’t be afraid to take a moment to think. There’s nothing wrong in saying, “Good question – let me think about it for a moment.” That being said, it’s always great to prepare a few examples ahead of time where you’ve demonstrated a couple of the job-related skills.

Here are the components that make up the S.T.A.R. model


Describe the situation and present all of the relevant details. What might the interviewer need to know to have a good understanding of the situation at hand? Perhaps you’re describing a time when you’ve dealt with a difficult client. How did you end up in this situation? Why was the client unsatisfied, and how were they demonstrating this?


What did you need to achieve? What needed to be done to resolve this situation? Let the interviewer know that you had a good understanding of the situation and the tasks that needed to be completed.


What did you do to resolve the situation, and why did you choose this course of action? Did you consider other alternatives? Why didn’t you choose these as options? Show them you’ve weighed out the options to reach the best possible outcome.


What was the outcome of your actions? Could you have done anything differently? Was the client satisfied? Did you achieve your overall objectives? Explain why your actions were effective and what you learned from the experience.

Finally, get a friend to ask you a mock interview question and practice answering using the STAR model.


Happy interviewing!

Did you find this useful?