Star document

Completing an HMCTS application form

The STAR Method

When we look through applications, we’re looking for real-life examples that show us you’ve got the behaviours required for the role.

By using the STAR method and structure, you’ll be able to show us clearly and easily how you responded to a real situation, what skills you demonstrated, what you achieved and why you’re suitable for the role.

What is the STAR Method?

The STAR acronym stands for:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action
  • Result


State what the situation is. Make sure to describe a specific event or situation, not a general description of what you’ve done in the past. You should also make sure to provide enough detail, but no more than one or two sentences.

Example: When I started my role as manager of the recruitment team, I immediately noticed that my team were not making the best use of the system we had in place to enable a quick turnaround of recruitment campaigns.


Briefly describe what you were tasked with, including your key responsibilities and assignments for the situation.

Example: I needed to identify why the team was not using the current system correctly and then plan how it could be used effectively in future.


Outline what you did to complete the task. Be clear, provide enough detail and describe exactly what you did rather than the general achievements of the team.

Example: I arranged a meeting with my team to talk through how they currently work and to gain an understanding of why the system wasn’t used to its fullest. After meeting with the team, I found that no one knew how to use the system properly and so they didn’t use it at all.

I decided to sit with the IT Team to pull together a training programme for my team and recruiting managers, so that we could immediately resolve the issue. I lead on the creation of a ‘how to’ guide, which now sits on the intranet page so that new joiners are able to access the guide at their own pace and maximise their use of the system.


Tell us what results your actions led to. Make sure they’re relevant to the situation you described at the start.

Example: This programme is now embedded in the organisation and is making a big difference in overall performance and in the way we manage the recruitment of talented people for the organisation.

Following the STAR method and structure when completing your application helps you put forward the best impression of yourself and gives you the best possible chance to be successful.

Statement of Suitability

In your Statement of Suitability, you should provide clear evidence of how you meet the requirements of the role as outlined in the job description.

We recommend you review and understand the key requirements of the role and use strong examples to show how you meet the requirements.

Success Profiles

Before completing your application and attending your interview, take time to learn about our Success Profiles and Behaviours, which is the framework that the Civil Service uses to assess candidates.

You can view our Success Profiles and Behaviours by clicking here.