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What is the STARR answer technique, and how do I use it?

Book open Reading time: 3 mins

We know that interviews can be daunting. One of the best ways to feel confident is to research, prepare, and practice. We’ve already spoken about how you can prepare by identifying your strengths [link]. In this article, we will talk you through a good structure for diving into examples you might speak about during an interview. 

What is the STARR technique? 

STARR stands for: 

  • Situation 
  • Task 
  • Action 
  • Result 
  • Reflection 

It is an easy way for you to check that you are giving an interviewer the right depth of information, and critical reflection, when speaking through an example of how you have demonstrated a particular strength. You have very likely heard of the STAR method; at Fidelity International, we like to add the extra R for reflection - we think that can be the difference between a good answer, and a GREAT answer. 

How can I use STARR in my answers? 

Here’s an example of how you might answer an interview question using STARR! 

Situation/Context – Demonstrate an understanding of the strength and why being organised is important: 

  • I anticipate in my intern/graduate programme at Fidelity, I will work on a range of projects and tasks, many of which will have hard deadlines to ensure we meet customer and client requirements. 

Task – Show an understanding of the role/programme you have applied for and what the tasks you think you might be asked to complete:

  • As I have applied to Equity Research graduate, I anticipate that I may be required to complete some company analysis, alongside supporting my team to complete some modelling and competitor analysis and attending internal and external client meetings in order to take minutes/notes. There may also be projects I am working on in addition to the day-to-day stuff. 

Action – how would you manage your varied workload? 

  • At the beginning, I would ask my manager and mentor for advice and structure to help me understand what is most important and to prioritise my work. I would make strong use of a calendar to plan ahead and manage my diary, or use to do lists, which helped me when I revised for my exams. I know that I will need to be adaptable and reprioritise from day to day. I should also constantly communicate with my team so they are aware of what is on my plate, and any areas where I might need support or where I am concerned that I may struggle to meet a deadline. 

Result – What do you think the result will be? 

  • By proactively managing my workload and planning ahead, I will ensure that I can support my team properly, flag issues before they become a problem, meet deadlines for our clients and ensure that I am providing strong customer service to clients and collaboration to my colleagues 

Reflection – Where have you done this in the past, what did you learn, and what? 

  • Whilst I attended university, I have worked in retail to earn extra money. To make this a success, I had to be very organised both in my work and personal life. Personally, I had to be very organised to ensure that I was aware of all assignment deadlines, work on them in advance to ensure that I was prioritising my studies and that my work didn’t have a negative impact. If I had an issue, I could proactively reach out to lecturers and assessors for support where necessary. 

  • In my retail role, I need to be adaptable and aware of my surroundings – I had to make sure that I was keeping the place tidy, stocking the shelf with product, but also being responsive to customer requirements. I had to be organised to make sure I covered all of this effectively. 

Once you have identified your strengths, come up with some examples of how you have identified them - at work, in your personal life, at school, or at university. Use the STARR technique to write out these examples and practice speaking them aloud. You can also see if the employer has published a success profile, like the key strengths in our article here, and think about some examples you can speak to there as well! 

We hope this article has been helpful; we look forward to receiving an application from you! Fidelity has apprenticeship, internship, and graduate roles across our entire business, from Operations to Client Services to General Counsel to Sustainable Investing and Equity Research.  


If you want to learn more about Fidelity, check out their profile.