STAR-method: what’s in a name?

The star-method: the ultimate technique for a thorough interview!

Every candidate can claim that he or she is ‘stress proof’ or ‘creative’. But how do you, as the recruiter, know if that’s true? The STAR(R)-method is an interview technique that tests if the applicant really is what they claim to be. You can, of course, always recruit via social media as well…

STAR-method: what’s in a name?

Every letter of the STAR-method signifies a certain word. That word helps you to think about your candidate’s answers with plenty of healthy criticismSituation, Task, Action & Result. They all come with a number of questions like: 

  • Situation: Can you give an example of a specific situation in the past? Who else was involved? Where did this take place? 

  • Task: What were your tasks? Which role did you assume?

  • Action: How did you handle that situation? What exactly did you say or do? 

  • Result: What was the final result? How did others respond to it? 

The STAR-method used to stop here, but Reflection has joined in as a new addition lately:

  • Reflection: Were you happy with the result? What did you learn from that situation? What would you do differently next time? 

Why STAR(R)?

Everyone shows themselves from their best angle during a job interview. It’s not uncommon for a candidate to throw a couple of white lies into the mix to increase their chances. As a recruiter, it’s your job to see through these sweet little lies by asking additional questions. The candidate will likely struggle to maintain their false claims… 

Standard questions vs STAR(R) questions

An example of a standard question is: “Do you cope well with stress?”. Some recruiters like to ask hypothetical questions like: “What would you do if…?” The problem with these questions is that you never know if the answer is 100% true. Here’s a few good job interview questions to start with!

An example of a STAR-question is: “Tell me how you cope with stress by describing an example from your previous position.” Questions like this will give you a better picture of the candidate. You’ll notice their personality, behaviour, skills, competencies,… Behaviour from the past = the best predictor of future behaviour! 

A woman with a crystal ball predicting the future.