The S.T.A.R. technique can help you answer behavioral questions

Use the S.T.A.R. technique to answer behavioral questions by showing your skills in action.

The four components of S.T.A.R. are:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result

Think of your answer as a short story — 45-60 seconds in length:

  • What was the problem?  Identify the Situation and the Task (the beginning)
  • What did you do?  Discuss the Action you took (the middle)
  • What happened?  Conclude with the Result of your action (the end)

Use S.T.A.R. to respond to the question, “Tell me about a time when you gave exceptional customer service.”

I am a student worker in St. Olaf’s Admissions office. Last week I answered a call from Mrs. J., who had some very specific questions. When I suggested that she call the academic departments involved, she sounded annoyed. She said that her phone call had been transferred several times already.

I offered to gather the information for her and to call her back later that afternoon.

I talked with my supervisor, explained the situation and said what I planned to do. Then I made a couple of calls to get the information I needed. I had to go to class that afternoon, but I returned afterward to follow through, even though it wasn’t my usual time to work.

When I returned the phone call to Mrs. J., she was very appreciative. She said that the St. Olaf Admissions Office had been more responsive than the other colleges she had called. She then made an appointment for her son to have a campus visit next month.

What are questions about negative experiences or weaknesses?