In the interview, there are various sorts of questions in which very important ones are behavioural and competency-based questions. There are various ways in which we can tackle the questions.

The best and most effective way to answer a high scoring behavioural or competency answer depends on:

  • Choosing the right structure

  • Choosing the right example

One of the best and effective ways to answer the questions can be using the STAR model. It will enable the candidate to showcase to the interviewer that he/she is the best fit for the position.

Here, you can showcase the same by telling the story which can show your skills, abilities, achievements.


What is this STAR model?


The star model is a simple and effective method for interviewees that provides complete, answers in a concise manner with an example to showcase it better.


The example of questions which can be answered better by the STAR model is:


  • What is your strategy for developing effective teams?

  • Can you tell me about a time when you worked well under pressure?

  • How do you analyze complex problems?

  • Describe the most difficult management experience you’ve faced.

  • Explain a time how you solved a difficult problem.

  • Please share with me an example of a time you solved a dispute between co-workers.

Though there can be many questions the STAR technique can effectively help you to answer as it is one of the powerful ways to answer how you handled situations at the workplace.


STAR is one of the most recognized techniques by interviewers and hiring managers. It provides a structure to the candidates which will be more receptive by the interviewers.


STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.


Situation: This helps to open up the story by giving a brief description of providing context. Here, you answer basically answers who, what, where, when, and how of the question. Try to be specific by providing important details and do not be general.


Task: Once the context is established, then you need to explain the way in which you tackled the task. Here, highlight the challenges, and hurdles that were faced by you. Also, mention the task which needed to be accomplished. You can also use examples for the same.

Choosing the right, relevant, and real example is vital. So, choose the example based on the following parameters.


Relevant: Make sure that the example is relevant in regard to the role you are giving the interview and it should clearly be related to your competency being explored.


Complex: The task should be complex enough for the role and should have been for a duration which is long enough.


Impact: Always choose an example that has a powerful impact regarding to scale, reach, growth, results delivered.


Action: Briefly describe the steps you took to complete the task. During the whole description of action keep the focus on you. Highlight the traits and skills which helped you to complete the task.


Result: Close the story by telling the results you achieved. What was the result? What did you learn? What did you accomplish?


Few examples of answering through STAR techniques are as follows:


Question 1: – Tell me about a time when you performed well under pressure.


Now just see the answer as per the STAR techniques and follow all four steps.


Situation: One day, at my last job, one of my coworkers had an emergency in the family and needed to miss work for some time, but the problem was a very important project was left unfinished and the manager was also not there.

Task: I was asked by my supervisor to take the project, and complete it without any leniency on the deadline, I took some days to complete the project that otherwise would have taken several weeks.

Action: I asked for permission to grant a reduction in my weekly goals so that I can give more time to the allotted special project. I delegated my weekly goals to other teammates so that they were also not delayed.

Result: As my daily goals were reduced, I could dedicate more time to the special allocated project. This helped me to complete it on time and with accuracy. I was appreciated by my supervisor for my attitude and zeal, and the result was I was given many more projects after that, which in the end resulted in the promotion and raise in pay.

As you can see this answer is punchy, more exciting, and demonstrates more clearly the actions completed in a step-by-step way.


Points to remember for correct answers using STAR Techniques:


  • Messages should be structured and logically ordered.

  • The content of the message should be tailored to meet the needs and interests of the interviewer.

  • The message should be clear and concise in a language that is appropriately understood by the interviewer.

  • Check to understand the interviewer and adapt the message and tone accordingly.

  • Use the most effective channels that are appropriate in the situation.

  • Use real-life examples that are authentic as per your past experiences and void using fabricated examples.

  • The answers should be in regard to the job description so make sure to have detailed information on the job description and what is needed.

  • Always start your answer with a proper introduction and use first-person in communication.

  • Review your CV so that everything is in accordance with each other. Your CV, Job description, and your answers.

  • You can also have a list of points to check before the interview to help to give the interview.

Now, you are fully prepared for competency or behavioral questions. So, follow the above blog and answer them with 100% confidence.

About the Author: Anju Jindal

Anju is a trainer, entrepreneur, and career growth specialist who helps students, working professionals, women, and Job seekers to reach out to their goals by implementing a Career Growth plan

To get latest updates follow me on social media

Related course

Interview Skill Blueprint

Related series