Successful Selections STAR Based Interviewing

Successful Selections – Competency-Based Interviewing – Getting Started

What is Competency-Based Interviewing?

Competency-based interviews (also called structured interviews) are interviews where the questions are designed to test one or more specific skills (competencies).

Candidates are asked questions relating to their behavior and experience in specific circumstances, which they then need to support with concrete examples. The interviewers will then dig further into the examples by asking for specific explanations about the candidate's behavior, experience or skills. This is called the “STAR” approach.

  • S/T – Situation/Task
    • Specific situation that the candidate has been confronted with in previous work experience
  • A – Action
    • What the candidate did in the situation and how they did it
  • R – Result
    • What the end result of the situation was – how it all worked out

What are the benefits of Competency-Based Interviewing?

  • Thoroughness and equality in evaluating candidates
  • Clear decision points
  • Cost effectiveness – decrease in turnover
  • Legally defensible criteria in regards to justification and final candidate selection
  • Professional, structured interview process
  • Competent, successful candidates

GETTING STARTED – Creating the Interview Guide with your Employment/Staffing Partner

  • Step 1 – Evaluate and screen all applicants on criteria from the advertisement.
  • Step 2 – Determine who you would like to interview and work with your Employment/Staffing Partner for approval of justifications prior to scheduling interviews.
  • Step 3 – Visit the Classification/Compensation website to determine which competencies are assigned to your position here:
    • Find the appropriate Job Title and click to open the document. You will see the competencies listed here.
    • The list of competencies for your position are also listed in your job advertisement.
  • Step 4 – View the Competency Dictionary for definitions and additional competencies here:
  • Step 5 – Work with your Employment/Staffing Partner to learn the basics of competency-based interviewing and create the interview guide. A sample interview guide can be viewed here: Sample Interview Guide. *Please Note: Your Staffing/Employment Partner will work with you closely regarding the interviewing process. Typically, they will sit in on the interviews with you and your committee to guide you through this new process.
  • Step 6 – Begin Scheduling and conducting your interviews!

For additional information regarding the Competency-Based Interviewing process, please visit

Contact Us

Human Resources

Office Hours: Monday - Friday

Regular: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Summer: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Campus: Hill Hall, 3rd Floor

Mail: 1000 E University Ave Dept 3422

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-2377

Fax: 307-766-5607