Wish upon an interview S-T-A-R, Carl.


Today we’re meeting two interview techniques common in SAP, ERP and professional services:

  • STAR – Situation, Tasks, Action & Results
  • CARL – Context, Actions, Results, Learnings

Employers need to compare candidates fairly by assessing how each candidate performs in the same situation, but:

Short of luring everyone into a room in some sort of awkward group date arrangement, we have: The Interview.

To keep interviews fair and on track without them skipping off down random tangents, we have set, structured, standardised techniques, designed to give each candidate this same opportunity to shine. For the interviewer, this means conducting each interview in the same manner, same questions, same flow, save themes, over and over…making it all the important to get it right.



STAR – Situation, Tasks, Action & Results

Common behavioural interview technique, aimed at assessing how you’ll perform in future, based on how you performed in the past. These questions will be along the lines of:


(Situation)     Tell me about a time on an SAP project,

(Tasks)             what was the scope you had to achieve,

(Action)           what steps did you take to do this,

(Results)           and what happened in the end?”

It will generally be mixed up by adding things like ‘challenging’ project, ‘difficult stakeholder’, ‘deal with sudden scope change’, ‘what went wrong’, ‘how did you fix it’.  It is infinitely useful to have a few examples of those in mind that you can refer to.

You can jump onto YouTube video with “Star interview technique” and check out some of the materials here to see it in action.

STAR is useful for learning about what you have DONE, but actually doesn’t leave much scope to explore the potential of what you can DO.


So next, meet,

CARL – Context, Actions, Results, Learnings

Carl gives more scope to bring your past experiences into future application. More forward thinking, than simply past reporting. 

These questions will be along the lines of:

(Context)          Tell me about your role within a broader project,

(Actions)             what you did, how you did it

(Results)            the outcome of your work

(Learning)           and what you took away to do the same/different in future?”

This structure gives you more opportunity to show what value you bring in future, rather than just a history of what you did in the past.

YouTube also has some videos on Carl you can watch to understand the difference in technique.

Now, the tricky part is that an interviewer is not going to say which technique they are going with (if any!).

The important thing is to have some examples of your work in mind, but in a way that you can explain both past experience and future value. 





<access the bank of practice SAP interview questions through your profile…>

Insights from this article:

  • Employers aim to assess candidates fairly by providing each the same environment
  • Two common methods of interviewing are Star and Carl
  • STAR – Situation, Tasks, Action & Results : what you did in the past
  • CARL – Context, Actions, Results, Learnings : what you would do in future
  • Have examples of work that show both past experience and future value



No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.