What is the STAR method?

In a job interview, you know how to present your background as well as the companies in which you have worked. However, you still feel like you are reciting your CV and find it difficult to value your experiences; which penalizes you compared to other candidates who are quicker to come forward.

If you are wondering how to make your presentations more convincing, the STAR method will certainly provide you with the solution. What is the STAR method?

The definition of the STAR method

The STAR method is a disruptive method that values ​​past actions and experiences.

Beyond the declarative dimension ("I am agile", "I know how to manage a team"), this method constitutes a demonstration by proof through the presentation of concrete achievements. Particularly useful for structuring your presentation during a job interview, it also allows you to personalize and energize it.

What does the acronym STAR stand for?
STAR is the acronym that designates the four concepts to be addressed to build your presentation:

  • S stands for Situation, that is to say, the description of the context which allows you to give a global vision to your interlocutor
  • T for Task, which designates the mission and the objective to be achieved
  • A for Action, which corresponds to all the actions you have initiated to successfully complete the task
  • R stands for Result, which allows you to highlight the results and the effects of your actions, in particular by mentioning figures.

How to use the STAR method?
With the STAR method, the idea is to move away from the classic presentation - of your journey, for example - to offer tangible elements to your interlocutor.

How to use this method effectively?

  • Identify the topics you want to present to enhance your skills. For example, setting up an ERP to emphasize your ability to define processes, manage complex projects and manage a team.
  • Imagine the questions the recruiter is likely to ask you during the job interview. For example: describe to me the project you are most proud of, or what difficult situation you had to deal with.
  • Once you have defined the subjects that will potentially be discussed during the interviews, break down your answer according to the 4 axes of the STAR method: In what context did you carry out the project? What was the goal to achieve? What actions have you taken? What were the results of these actions?
  • Summarize your answers through a few notes and keywords, which you can refer to during the job interview.

Note: in both form and substance, focus on your own accomplishments and not those of your team. Indeed, your interlocutor seeks to know your skills, your achievements, and your personal results. To orient your presentation on you, preferably using the I.

An example of putting the STAR method into practice
You have just sent your application for the position of human resources manager within an IT services company. Since your CV has been selected, you have the skills required for the job. It remains to prove to the recruiting manager that you are a suitable candidate. To the question: describe to me a project that you carried out in your current position, for example, you can focus on the last recruitment campaign that you carried out within your company.

  • Situation: 2 years ago, the SME in which I work is in the process of restructuring; in particular, it needs to digitize all of its services and reorganize its processes. This new strategic direction represents a big stake for the survival of the company, which evolves in a very competitive universe. Hence the decision to quickly set up an IT hub.
  • Task: as the HR manager of the SME, I was in charge of recruiting a team of developers as part of the digitalization of one part of the company's services.
  • Actions: implementation of a recruitment campaign, implementation of a CSR policy and new communication media to work on the attractiveness of the company, hiring of a recruitment officer to carry out the pre-selection profiles, development of new recruitment and profile rating processes, development of an onboarding course to promote the integration of new employees.
  • Result: I set up the IT department in less than 5 months by putting together a team of 10 people. Of the 10 employees recruited, 9 were confirmed at the end of the trial period. Three of them moved up their skills to management positions. For each of these recruitments, I worked on the professional path and the general path

Why use the STAR method?

Interest in the candidate

  • Whether it is for a job interview, an annual evaluation interview or a project point, the STAR method allows you to illustrate your skills and experiences.
    By incorporating concrete details into your presentation, you provide a better understanding of the scope of your skills. You also integrate a storytelling dimension that will arouse the interest of your interlocutor and make him understand your qualities without you needing to state them.
  • The other advantage of the STAR method is to structure your speech. By organizing your presentation according to the 4 angles of the method, you sweep the subject in a global way, by putting the focus on the essential points.

Interest for the recruiter

  • Many recruiters know and practice the STAR method during recruitment interviews. In particular, it allows them to better analyze the relevance of a profile according to their needs. Familiar with this structuring of discourse, they thus gain an immediate understanding of your course.
  • Evoking your past accomplishments also allows the other person to project you into a future position and imagine how you could manage a project or an issue. If you can get this thinking done in a recruiter, you are on your way to land the job.