Imagine you're a web designer — the best of the best — and someone on your team created the most hideous icons you've ever seen in your life.

Instead of trashing the icons and calling them ugly, you provide the person on your team with feedback that helps them turn their icons into masterpieces.

A woman saying,

During an interview, if someone asks, "Are you comfortable providing negative feedback?" you can respond with your approach that turned negative feedback into something constructive.

How to lay out your answer

Using the STAR method during an interview can help you create a clear structured story with a clear conflict and resolution.

Tina from Bob's Burgers as a star.

STAR stands for:

  • Situation

  • Task

  • Action

  • Result


Think of a time when you had to provide negative feedback.


When I worked at Acme Inc., the company was doing a brand refresh and they wanted to launch an updated website.

An interior design website loaded on a laptop. Photo by Le Buzz Studio on Unsplash


Now provide more details about your role in the situation and why this task was challenging.


I was the design lead for the website and we hired a contractor to create icons for the pages, but the icons didn't meet our brand standards.

A screen showing a database of icons for a website design project. Photo by Harpal Singh on Unsplash


Now describe what you had to do in the situation. Be specific and explain what you did when providing the feedback.


I set up a 1:1 meeting with the contractor to go over our brand guidelines. I went over the need-to-know info and provided additional resources. I let the contractor know that I'd be happy to answer future questions.

Two web designers discussing their work beside each other on their laptops. Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash


What's the best example to describe your actions when providing constructive feedback?


Lastly, go over the result that came from your feedback. Again, be specific and include tangible metrics or outcomes.


In the end, the contractor appreciated the extra guidance and referenced the brand standards to update the icons. The website turned out great and we got stellar reviews from 50 visitors during the first two weeks after launching.

Photo by Patti Black on Unsplash

Take Action

A career councillor asks,

Now think of a STAR example that you could share during an interview:


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