April 24, 2020

As a supply chain headhunter, I frequently meet job seekers that struggle when answering behavioural interview questions.  There are two big reasons for this: lack of preparation, and failing to keep your answers structured.

Prepare examples ahead of time using this as a guide:  https://sclsearch.com/preparing-examples/    What structure should your answers follow? It’s what we call the STAR structure, and it’s what hiring managers and recruiters look for.

Many of our clients specifically ask us to help our candidates prepare for behavioural interviews with the STAR structure.  By following this structure, you will give enough detail to answer the interviewer’s questions appropriately, without giving too much information. This will greatly improve your chances of landing your dream job in logistics and supply chain.

STAR is an acronym, it stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Here is a brief explanation of what STAR means, as well as how much time you should spend on each point when giving an example or telling a story. Your entire story should take about 1-3 minutes.


Outline when the story took place, where you were, and who was involved. Eg. “Two months ago, at XYZ company, my client …” The Situation should only take about 10 seconds to explain.


Explain briefly what the challenge or problem was that you were facing. Eg. “… my client called me, upset that the product she ordered had not arrived.” Make sure the challenge you’ve outlined matches the question your interviewer has asked. The Task should take another 10-15 seconds to explain, but not much more than that.


Action is the most important part of your story. This is where you explain how you approached the challenge and came up with a solution. Eg. “… So, I assured my client that I would get to the bottom of this and I … step 1 details … step 2 details …” Explaining the Action steps you took will probably take a minute or two, depending on the complexity of the question.


Explaining the outcome of your actions is the best way to conclude your story. Eg. “… so I found the missing product, put it in my car and delivered it myself.” The Result should only take another 10-15 seconds.  Not every story needs to result in saving the company thousands of dollars, because the Result is not the most important part of the story.

Bonus Tips:

Three more quick tips related to storytelling and providing examples in an interview:

1. Keep your stories relevant. Please don’t go off on a tangent that has little to do with the question that was asked. Listen carefully to the questions being asked and stay on topic!  Following the STAR structure will help.

2. Keep your stories real. Use real life examples, please don’t make things up. If you don’t have any relevant examples simply admit it and move on.

3. Just one example. Once you’ve finished telling your story, stop and wait for the next question. Don’t give another example, or worse yet, switch to a different story partway through the first one.

Looking for more interview tips? Check SCLSearch.com for more ideas, or take a look at our jobs page to see what opportunities we have available. Connect with us on LinkedIn. And let’s see if we can help you find that perfect opportunity in supply chain and logistics.

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