Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.
– Robert McAfee Brown
Do not think storytelling is of no use to a job seeker. In fact, it can be your hero during a job interview because:
- It is an excellent way of impressing the employer.
- It shows your strong communication skills.
- It is compelling than a mere recitation of facts.
- It will help the employer remember you long after the interview.
Storytelling is ideal for behavioral interview questions. Such questions usually begin with “What would you do if…” or “Tell me about the time when…” They are a part of every interview. The questions allow the employer to evaluate your past behavior in relation to your skills and qualifications.
So, before you step into the interview room, you should prepare your stories for the following most common type of behavioral interview questions:
- “What happened when you took the lead on a difficult project?”
- “Describe a time when you had to be a part of a team.”
- “What would you do if you had to handle conflict in work place?”
- “Do you work well under pressure? Give me an example.”
- “Tell me about a time when you failed.”
- “Discuss a story about your biggest professional success.”
How to create Effective Stories for the Interview?
An employer can ask several behavioral interview questions. But, that does not mean you have to slog for endless hours and prepare stories for all the possible questions. Following tips will help you ace the interview:
- Prepare stories for the most common type of behavioral interview questions.
- Find out the specific qualities that the employer is looking for and then prepare stories that highlight the same qualities.
When the employer asks you to describe an event or wants to tell you a story that highlights your qualities and skills, you should be able to tell an effective and enticing story that captures his/her mind share. Use the S.T.A.R. method to organize your answers.
S – Situation
It is ideal to start your answer by providing a concise and specific description of the situation. It should provide adequate background to the rest of your story.
T – Task
Describe the task in detail and mention the challenges that you had to face to complete the task. Do not fail to provide clear understanding of what was required of you.
A – Action
Once you have explained the task at hand, it is time to explain the action that you took for completing the task. Remember to highlight qualities and skills that will make you desirable.
R – Results
End your answer with result of your action. Provide clear description of your accomplishment and the reaction of your past employer. It is ideal to quantify your accomplishment – e.g. “reduced cost by 20%…”
Remember that if you want to ace the interview, you need to impress the employer by effective storytelling. Do not forget to use the S.T.A.R. method to create logical and meaningful stories.
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