STAR Guide

The STAR guide is a technique for structuring answers to interview questions.  The guide is designed to ensure that your answer is thorough and easy to understand.

Sample Question : How do you provide excellent customer service?

Situation

Quickly provide a broad description of the background where your example is taking place, including your role.

“When I was working as a receptionist in a local motel, we were responsible for responding to special requests from our guests.  Sometimes guests would ask for something that was very unusual.  For example, one person asked if we could deliver a birthday cake to his room for his son’s 6 th birthday.”

Task

Share more details about the problem, challenge, or task that you needed to address.  Demonstrate that you are able to grasp the “big picture” and understand the responsibilities of your role.

“Even though we didn’t offer room service, I thought that going the extra mile in this circumstance would really make the guest happy, and that not helping would make him and his son very disappointed.  My job was to ensure that guests had a positive experience so they would recommend the motel to their friends.”

Action

Describe several possible courses of action and explain why the one you chose was best. Give details that illustrate what you were like in action.

“I told him that we didn’t have room service, but that I would be happy to see if a local bakery could be reached.  I phoned several bakeries, and found one who could have a cake ready within a few hours, but couldn’t deliver it.  I checked back with the guest to make sure that the price and cake flavor were right, then made arrangements for our motel’s airport-shuttle van to pick up the cake during one of its runs.”

Results

Analyze the outcome of your action and the resolution of the situation.  Indicate whether or not you would follow the same course in the future. 

“The cake arrived and the guest was ecstatic.  They wrote a letter to the motel expressing their appreciation and have recommended the motel to several friends, who always ask for the ‘birthday cake person.’  The whole process didn’t take much time or money, but certainly impressed the guest.”

See and hear the STAR Guide explained in the Types of Interview Questions Tutorial as part of our Online Tutorials!