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Today I’m going to show you exactly how to use the Star Method for Selection Criteria.

In this comprehensive guide I’ll cover:

  • General Star Method advice
  • Star Method for Addressing Selection Criteria
  • How to write a Star Method response
  • Details of the courses available to you to learn everything you need to know to write your own selection criteria responses

For comprehensive support in using the STAR process and all the most common selection requirements for government and public sector roles, check out my short online course ‘How To Write Selection Criteria’.

If you want qualified information on the Star Method for selection Criteria, you’ll love this guide. Let’s get started.

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If you’ve been poking around the internet long enough researching writing a Selection Criteria response examples using the STAR method , you’ve probably seen a few, dozens, scores or even hundreds of articles on how to write a response to a selection criteria using STAR.

Every government job site where you find their position descriptions probably as advice on how to do it too.

There could be literally thousands or tens of thousands of articles on how to write a STAR model selection criteria response.

For all that information, why is it still hard?


Most Other STAR Selection Criteria Method Advice is General Only

Here’s a thing. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result; a statement usually credited to Albert Einstein.

How is you reading another article on the STAR method going to make a difference when the first ten didn’t?

Articles on key selection criteria response using STAR method are general advice only. Much like financial planning, you can’t write a detailed financial plan or strategy and implement it based on an article you read on a website.

In much the same way you can’t learn how to insert a subcutaneous butterfly from a book either. 

One way road sign

Learning Styles

Do you know there are different learning styles, and, for many people reading isn’t a great way to learn? These are:

  • Visual,
  • Auditory,
  • Reading/Writing, and,
  • Kinesthetic (doing)

We all have preference(s) for how we learn best. Some people enjoy just listening to a lecturer talk and seem to take things in with no effort or need to write; others prefer being hands on and giving things a go themselves. Do you know your own learning preference?  Have a think about how you have learned things the best in the past, that may give you some clues.

Training versus Advice When It Comes To STAR

To learn that skill or any skill, it is a matter of training, not just reading. They’re different things! If people developing skills was as easy as just reading, why would we need teachers, trainers, schools and colleges?  All we would need is books.

We have teachers, trainers, schools, and colleges because “just reading” isn’t a way that most of us to learn what we need to know. That’s part of the reason why all the articles you may have read about the STAR method for addressing key selection criteria haven’t made any difference.


Learn How To Apply STAR Selection Criteria

According to Dummies.Com training is “… about change. It is about transformation. It is all about learning. Training is a process designed to assist an individual to learn new skills, knowledge, or attitudes. As a result, individuals make a change or transformation that improves or enhances their performance. These improvements ensure that people and organizations are able to do things better, faster, easier, and with higher quality”.

In order to learn to insert a butterfly, you might read about the technique first. After you have, someone who can already do it would:

  • Show you
  • Watch you do it
  • Correct your technique
  • Use a dummy not a live person (hopefully)
  • Get you to repeat it until they’re confident you can do it, and then,
  • Try on a real person!

What I’m saying is that to learn a new skill, such as using the STAR method to address key selection criteria, involves a lot more than just reading about it!


Criterial is Job Application Training

Criterial was born out of my own frustration that I couldn’t shortlist probably good applicants. I reason I couldn’t shortlist them? They couldn’t format their application with STAR requirement, or, communicate all the facts needed.

There was no training available in how to, so I created it.

Meeting room with people sitting on chairs and papers on table learning how to respond to STAR selection criteria


Criterial Online Training

Criterial’s online training courses  are designed to break the selection criteria response task down into discrete steps and give you the skills you need to do it.

A standard explanation of the STAR method for responding to a key selection criteria, is about 600-1000 words. About the length of this blog. Criterial’s online courses should take between one and two hours to complete. That’s a LOT more content.

The courses have structure. They begin with learning outcomes, that identify and explain to you what you’re going to learn. Those things are linked to what you need to learn to write a response. Each lesson steps out individual, 3-4 minute audio and video lessons teaching specific skills.

Each section has a review of what you should have learned, so you know how you’re going in developing the skills. There are also practical examples of job applications – good and not so good – so you can see how yours should and shouldn’t look.

Criterial Training Goals

The training provides specific detailed strategies, like paraphrasing the criterion in your first sentence so you know you answer will be on track. Doing that also tells the reader you are addressing exactly the thing they asked.  Those two things:

  • Make it easy for you to write an answer, and,
  • Make it easy for the reader to assess you and read your application.

They are both very positive things.

You’ll also learn is how much of a response you should devote to within the STAR model. The bulk, at least 60%, should be on the Action section. That is where you explain to the reader about your example – the skills you used, why, what you did, how, what obstacles you overcame. It is a case study on how you work. Remember, the reader probably doesn’t know you and this is your way of showing how you achieve things.

Have any of the articles you’ve read on the STAR method gone into that level of specific detail, and learning structure?


The Takeaways

Criterial is designed as training to give you new skills. It is not:

  • Selection criteria example you try to copy paste in a paint by number fashion covered in this blog, nor,
  • Another article you read and hope you pick up the skills this time.

It is training. One off. To develop the skills so you can use and refine them as you apply for more jobs. 

Need more help…?

If you’re new to the process of applying for roles in the public sector or you’re regularly applying with no success, we share the best tips and tricks for what and how to write selection criteria responses, from the perspective of a public sector recruiter in our online training courses.


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