A man and a woman are sitting opposite each other at a small table. She is holding a copy of his CV and is interviewing him for a job

Competency-based interviews and the STAR technique

Hannah Mason • Jul 22, 2021
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Competency-based interviews and the STAR technique

Hannah Mason • Jul 22, 2021

Competency-based interviews are so common, and yet, many people have never even heard of them, let alone know how to perform in them.

We coach so many people to succeed in competency/behavioural-based interviews. One of the secrets that we share is that the ‘S’ in STAR doesn’t just stand for ‘Situation’. S really stands for ‘Specific Situation’.

When the interviewer is asking for an example of when you have done something, they are not looking for:

❌ A hypothetical situation i.e. what you would do if you were faced with that situation

Nor are they looking for:

❌ A typical situation i.e. what you usually do in that scenario

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They are looking for:

✅ A specific situation i.e. something that happened at a specific point in time.

To succeed you need to be able to talk them through the precise steps you took and the result that you achieved.

By framing your answer in the context of a specific situation, you can be sure to tell a clear story that gives the interviewer the details they’re looking for.