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STAR method

STAR method

STAR method

Situation
Task
Action
Result

Whether you are writing a CV, completing an application form or answering questions at an interview, the STAR method is a great way to structure examples. It helps employers and course providers evaluate the skills, qualities and experiences you have that would help you fit with the job, course, company or institution. If you can quantify any results or impact you made, even better.

Situation

Explain the situation that you were in. This should be a short description, it could be: ‘during my degree’ or ‘whilst working in a bar’.

Task

You need to briefly explain what you did and how you met the criteria for success. If you were working in a group, explain the overall group task but focus on your own role.

Action

This is the most substantial part (around 50-70%) of any example and you need to include:

  • What you did.
  • Why you did it.
  • How you did it.
  • Which skills you used.

Result

There is little point in explaining the situation, task and action if the employer or course provider is left wondering whether what you did made any difference. So be prepared to explain:

  • What happened as a result of the actions you took?
  • What did you learn?
  • What would you do differently or improve?
  • What impact did the result have on the team task?

Checklist

  • Use an example that is up to date and relevant.
  • Describe the group task but focus on your actions. 
  • Make sure the task and action are as related to a job or course description as possible.
  • In the action part of the example, cover the skills and qualities that are being sought.
  • Try to use an example with a positive outcome.
  • Be concise.