How to Use Interview Stories to Land Job Offers
Today I am going to share an extract on interview stories from the Success Interview Workbook that I created to help you prep for your job interview. This workbook covers proven techniques, interview tips, tools, and worksheet exercises on how to answer competency (behavioural) questions.
You can use storytelling to connect with the interview panel. Your personal stories are a powerful tool to sell your achievements to the interview panel. Stories are memorable and people engage with stories. For centuries, stories have played an important role in sharing information and developing connections between people. Building a connection and building trust with people are key elements of selling.
Put the Employer’s Needs at the Centre of Your Story
A story is defined as a description of connected series of events. A story consists of characters, the setting, a plot, some tension, and a solution/outcome. When you are answering an interview question, use the story as the framework for your answer. Your story should be about a work-related event that you were involved in. This event should showcase your skills and achievements. Your interview story should stress the level of difficulty of the situation you had to deal with: describe the context, the action, and the results of your action. Your stories will demonstrate to the hiring manager that you can provide exceptional customer service or meet tight deadlines. The level of tension and difficulty of the story is important to the hiring manager.
Prepare your stories from your work experiences that showcase your skills. For example, you may have developed a solution to a problem, or you went beyond the call of duty to complete a project. It is important to highlight the degree of difficulty when describing challenging situations. Your interview story should highlight specific skills and experience that match requirements of the job vacancy. Keep the organisation’s needs and your relevant skills at the centre of your story. What is important to this organisation? What are worries and concerns for this organisation? When your story is focused on the organisation needs, you will grab the attention of the hiring manager.
How to Document Your Achievement Stories
It would be a useful practice to document of all your achievements: record your achievements in a word document or notebook you go along. Your stories should highlight the value that you bring to an organisation. Use the STAR format to frame your interview stories. If you are not familiar with this technique, check out my blog post: How to Answer Competency-Based (Behavioural) Interview Questions – 1st March 2022.
I keep my achievement stories in a folder and divide them into separate categories: communication, team player, dealing with conflict, solving problems. Your collection of interview stories will serve as a crucial resource for your interview preparation. This practice will save your time and stress during your interview prep. I hope you will find some gems in this post to help on your job interview journey. Keep moving forward and good luck in your next interview.
Quote of the Week
"We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There is not a strong connection between people than story telling" - Jimmy Neil Smith
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