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Telling a STAR story

February 15, 2012

When listening to a story words are transformed into a visual picture. Meaning is wrapped around the personal interpretation as descriptions are expressed. Story telling is an art that brings meaning to words describing events and experiences that are laden with facts that paint a picture.

In business the telling of stories is a way to communicate experiences. Behavioral Interviews are a perfect time to be telling short stores.

STAR stories have a simple structure that is perfect for behavioral interviews:

S – Situation: Set the context of the story by providing a description of a situation or event. Establish the conditions quickly and the circumference of the story to keep it in scope. Do not lose focus of the story’s objective. If the response is too long, the audience will be lost due to boredom.

T – Task or Problem: State the problem with an intuitive focus on the situation just described. What is going on in the situation that requires an explanation?

A – Action: Talked about the actions taken in response to the task or problem listed above. Too much detail may result in a glassy eyed stare from those listening.

R – Result and Impact: This is the punch line. List the result of the actions taken. Include measurements or explanation of changes because of the above steps.

Story telling in business is an engaging way of communicating information. The continuity created through the tread of ideas tie together a flow of connected experiences.

Response to behavioral interview questions can be short stories. A few sentences to identify the situation with a stated problem addressed, action taken, and results. Keep the story short, to the point, and memorable.

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