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Hashtag CV Hints & Tips
STAR Method For Competency Based Questions Learn what the STAR method is and also how to use it to best answer competency-based questions as your next job interview.

STAR Method For Competency Based Questions

Candidates are often asked questions during an interview asking them to prove their potential value to a company using behavioral job interviews or competency based questions.  The best way to answer these questions is to use the STAR method. 

STAR is an acronym standing for:





STAR Technique Method Illustration

You can download a copy of the STAR technique below to keep on you. 

Download STAR Technique

If you haven’t used the STAR method before it’s a good idea to get some practice before an interview to ensure you remember this method for competency based interviews, so you don’t forget under the pressure. Below is a list of behavioral based or competency based questions to help:

1. Can you describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult complaint at work from a customer?

2. How do you priorities your workload and daily tasks?

3. Tell me about a time you had to turn down a customer request for a good reason. How did you handle the case?

4. How frequently do you support others?

5. Do you have an example of a situation where you had to make a decision when you didn’t have all the facts?

6. How do you keep yourself and your team mates motivated?

7. Have you ever failed on a project? If so describe the situation.

8. Can you describe a situation when you had to convince others?

9. What do you feel are the key values of a leader and how do you demonstrate these?

10. Have you ever acted as a mentor to a colleague?

As you can see, competency based questions can come in many forms.  In using the STAR method you ensure you are able to describe the cycle of the answer to your interviewer, not only giving them the answer but also showing them what role you played and the impact of your actions.

A good way to prepare for an interview, once you have researched the role and the company, is to put yourself into the interviewers shoes. What would I want to know about this candidate? Then apply these into competency-based questions. For example:

“I have an interview for a customer service role and I think the interviewer will want to know how I deal with customer complaints.” The question they may ask could be “Can you tell me about a time you had to deal with a customer complaint?”

Once you have a list of questions, spend some time thinking of possible answers from your previous work experience and practice with a friend. Once you have a list of key achievements you can apply these to not only your interview but also have these to hand when tailoring your CV for the role. Learn more about tailoring your CV.


We’ve already done the hard work with over 10,000 CV phrases ready to use linked to over 550 jobs and growing. We have it covered. If you’d still like some more help, just ask one of our experts at Hashtag CV.


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