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The STAR Method

By Victor Paquet (Mergersight Operations) and Carlo Leopardi & Tommaso Arona (Boston University partners)



This is the most efficient way to answer any of your typical behavioural and personality questions. Whether you need to talk about a time you failed, or outline an event where you showed leadership, the STAR method is the way to go.

STAR: Situation - Task - Action - Result


Set the scene. Paint a clear picture of your example. Be precise and do not get lost in unnecessary details. For instance, the interviewer asks you about a time you showed leadership: “during my time as president of … society etc”


After you precisely outlined the situation, you have to explain to the interviewer where you actually fit in. Do not confuse this with the next step on the Action. The task is specific to your level of responsibility in the scenario and the standards/objectives that were set for you.


Now, it is time to explain what you actually did. Go through each step you took part in to achieve the final goal. This is a perfect opportunity to showcase qualities you have either learned or honed which directly relate to Investment Banking: numerical/analytical, leadership, communication, attention to detail … i.e: “I started going through a list of investors, sorting them by …, which gave an immediate boost to the whole process” and so on.


The final part is about the results of your action and how you made a difference. This is the most important part of the question so emphasise on quantifying your answer with any metrics that boost the credibility of your actions.

I.e: “through my actions I was able to increase our follower base from 5000 to 7000, exceeding our original goal by 30%...”


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