Want Job–Tell A Story

job interview

job interview

Liz Ryan writes a column in the Daily Camera, my local newspaper, about keeping your career on track. On August 24, 2009 it was all about the power of story, especially in a job interview.

She writes:

A story answer to an interview question has three benefits over a stock “Yes, I’ve done {x} in spades” answer:

job interview

job interview

1. It’s more memorable to the interviewer.

2. It brings out more of you–not just your skills. It shows the interviewer how you think or how you handle situations.

3. It puts a picture in the interviewers mind . . .

Her example is someone who learned Adobe Illustrator over the weekend using “Illustrator for Dummies” in order to meet an unexpected set of circumstances. That person could have said, “Yes, I know Illustrator” and missed the opportunity to fill-in how she learned it on the fly, solved a crisis, etc

Ryan tells her readers that stories are the essential edge to getting the job.

job interview

job interview

We need a story about a time when we surmounted an obstacle, and a story about a time when we had to change our plans on a dime. We need a difficult-customer or difficult-coworker story and another story about learning from a mistake. I teach people to tell these stories on interviews, and even (in a very condensed) fashion in resumes and cover letters.



Filed under Personal Narrative, Sales Stories, Story Quote, Uncategorized, Why Stories?

3 responses to “Want Job–Tell A Story

  1. What a good reminder about how to make ourselves more memorable in an interview, more interesting to the ultimate reader, listener, or viewer–or to someone seeking just the right person for a job. If, at the same time, it can forge a connection with that person, it’s even more powerful.

  2. Wow! That should have been in my summary line.

  3. I’m all about the stories! I love it. Basically you’re saying, be yourself in the interview. Let the person into your life, into your mind, and show them how you think and who you are. It’s often perfectly “good enough”!

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