A few weeks ago my learning circle started working through each others’ career checkups. Following that, a few folks started talking about framing their experience effectively in interviews. Around the same time, Thiago Ghisi shared a few nice tweets about using the STAR format to answer interview questions. Pulling those all together, it felt like a good time to pull together a quick template to practice using the STAR format to share experiences. I also write up a few example answers from my own experience.
The STAR format comes down to:
Situation surrounding your Task
Task you undertook (or were assigned) to address the Situation
Actions to accomplish the Task
Results of your Actions
I’ve personally never used the STAR method in interviews, but have organically gotten to a similar structure. One challenge in interviews is that you want to come across as engaged and present, and
it’s easy for structure to get in your way. Even if you don’t directly incorporate something quite this methodical into your answers, I found it helpful to practice with folks on formatting their stories this way.
STAR: Uber SRE answering, “Tell me about a time when you had to change your organizational structure to solve an important problem.”