Even if you have years of software engineering experience under your belt, job interviews can be stressful! Not to worry, here is a secret recipe – STAR interview technique, that will help you explain how you navigated bumps (or bugs?) along the road on a previous software development project before ultimately arriving at a positive result.
Typical examples of interview questions that can be answered with STAR method are ‘Describe the last project you worked on’ or ‘Describe a difficult bug you were tasked with fixing in a large application. How did you debug the issue?’. You can also expect to answer questions like ‘How do you solve the challenge of communicating a highly technical issue to a stakeholder without a technical background?’
Using STAR technique, you can set yourself apart through your ability to clearly and concisely respond to interview questions, connecting your background to the vacancy requirements as well as showcasing your problem-solving skills.
What is STAR technique?
The acronym STAR stands for –– situation, task, action, result. You can use additional ‘R’ for reflection. Each pillar helps you tell a well-thought-out short story in a logical, easy to understand order.
Situation – What was the challenge?
Task – Explain what your responsibilities were in that situation. What role did you play?
Action – Describe what steps you took to overcome the challenge. This part of your answer requires the most in-depth description, as it largely indicates your suitability for a position.
Result – What was the result of your action? Focus on the value that your solution delivered.
Reflection – What did you learn from this situation? What would you do differently, or maybe the same, next time?
Practice your story to make sure you have at least 2-3 STAR examples from your previous experience, and do not limit yourself only to technical challenges. Demonstrating your soft skills such as leadership, coaching, and collaboration during your STAR story is important to leave a great impression on the hiring manager.