The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Office of Career Management staff and recruiters from companies offer advice in answering behavior questions. Focus on telling a great story or task, explain what you did specifically with examples, and be sure to share the result or business outcome. Don’t use the word “we”… focus on the STAR technique: – Situation – Task – Action – Results.
Situation: Describe a coursework or workplace Situation you experienced, or a task you worked on, and identify the professional skill you used in the situation.
Task: Describe the Task and identify ONE accompanying professional behaviour, focusing on a specific example that illustrates or shows the professional behaviour you used to resolve the task (e.g. initiative, leadership, conflict management).
Action: Describe the Actions you took to resolve the task. (Taken together, these are all evidence of your professional behaviour.)
Result: Show how your actions led to a good Result.
S – Situation
E.g. I was faced with several problems during a clinical placement.
T – Task
E.g. During clinical placement last term, I was challenged with problem-solving opportunities every day while on client intake.
A – Action
E.g. During my placement at a local massage clinic I was responsible for the intake process. This involved talking with the client, clarifying the nature of the problem they were having, and deciding on a course of action, or treatment. Ensuring that each client received a personalized treatment plan required the application of theory to practice which was a great challenge that I enjoyed very much. Each question I asked was designed to get an answer that informed the treatment plan. I adapted my communication style to suit each client which enabled me to ask questions in a way they understood and felt comfortable responding to. I was then able to make informed decisions and provide top notch service to the clients.
E.g. My adaptability and problem-solving skills resulted in a 95% return rate of my clients. The feedback I received from my clients indicated that they were comfortable with my approach and pleased with the results of the treatment which decreased pain, and stress while increasing mobility. The clinic I was at extended an invitation for me to complete my next clinical placement with them.
Please note that the Table of Professional Skills and Behaviours in Section 7.1 has full STAR stories for each of the 10 professional skills.