Throughout your professional life, you will encounter many behavioral-based questions in job and internship interviews. All of these questions can be answered perfectly with the STAR method. If done correctly, this structured manner of responding to behavioral-based questions is guaranteed to impress employers.

So…what is the STAR method?

To demonstrate this technique, we will use the following example behavioral question: “How do you handle and respond to conflict when encountering a difficult person?”


SITUATION: Detail the background and provide a context. What happened? Where? When? 

Example: “Last summer as the head lifeguard of my local public swimming pool, one of our pool patrons was unhappy with the fact that the I heard lightning and wouldn’t allow them to be in the pool.”


TASK: Describe the challenges and expectations.  What had to be done and why?

Example: “It was difficult because the patron was extremely upset, saying that she had drove 45 minutes and promised her kids that they could swim. I needed to find a way to calm her down and explain why we couldn’t allow them in the pool due to safety reasons.”


ACTION: Elaborate on your specific action.  What did you do?  How?  What tools did you use? 

Example: “At first, I tried to explain the safety hazards in a polite, calm manner in order to reason with her. When this didn’t work, I had my manager come and speak to her, to provide an additional opinion and perspective.  Finally, the patron understood, but was still upset. To make up for this, I offered her a free-admission pass to the pool for next time.”


RESULTS: Explain the results, accomplishments, recognition, savings, etc.  What did you get out of this experience?

Example: “In the end, the patron was happy and understood that I had to follow safety rules.  She was appreciative of the customer service and ended up leaving me a good review on our staff page.  I learned to be patient, reasonable, and poised while dealing with a difficult client.”



This sure-fire technique will help you answer behavioral questions and will help your interviewers understand who you are.  Take advantage of the STAR method.

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