STAR method, a technique for assessing skills and competencies

When it comes to selecting the right candidates for a job, human resources professionals have their work cut out for them. Today we talk about the STAR method, a valuable technique for assessing skills and competencies.

Finding people with the right skills and competencies that fit the company’s culture and values is not easy. In this sense, the STAR method is a structured interview technique to assess these variables.

STAR is an acronym that represents the four key stages of the method: Situation, Task, Action and Result. Through a series of questions, interviewers can guide candidates to provide specific examples of past situations in which they have demonstrated relevant skills.

Método STAR, técnica para evaluar habilidades y competencias
STAR method, a technique for assessing skills and competencies

Key stages of the STAR model


In this first stage, the interviewer asks the candidate to describe a situation or challenge he or she has faced in the past. The objective is to obtain information about the context in which the candidate exhibited his or her skills.


Now, the interviewer inquires about the specific task the candidate had to perform in that situation. The goal is to understand his or her responsibilities and expectations in that particular context.


At this stage, the interviewer seeks to know the specific actions the candidate took to attack the situation or complete the task. The objective is to assess the candidate’s skills and competencies in action.


Finally, the interviewer seeks to know the specific results or achievements that the candidate obtained thanks to his or her actions. The objective is to evaluate impact and success in previous situations.

Application of the STAR method in personnel selection

This tool can be used in all stages of the recruitment process, from resume review to final interviews. Below, we will detail the steps to apply it effectively.

Step 1: Identify key competencies

Before starting the selection process, this is essential. These competencies will act as a guide during the interviews based on the method.

Step 2: Develop structured questions

Once the key competencies have been identified, generate questions that should be designed to elicit specific examples of past situations where candidates have demonstrated the required competencies.

Step 3: Conduct interviews

During interviews, interviewers should ask method-based questions and encourage candidates to provide detailed and specific answers.

Step 4: Evaluate the responses

Once the interviews are completed, interviewers should evaluate the candidates’ responses. This involves comparing the responses to the key competencies identified and analyzing the results and accomplishments achieved in previous situations.

Step 5: Make informed decisions

Based on the evaluation of candidate responses, HR professionals can make informed decisions about which candidates advance to the next step in the selection process.

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