Everyone Loves a Good Story
➔ If everyone loves a good story, why would a hiring manager be any different? And what better place to tell a good story than in a job interview where that story (or stories) can help you land that job?
We talk a lot about interview preparation so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that preparing and polishing your stories for job interviews should be a top priority. And this would hold true as well whether or not it’s an informational interview or an interview where an actual job hangs in the balance.
Non-fiction only, please
So, what are your good stories? Virtually all stories have three elementary components. But in a job interview, a good story should have a fourth component. Let’s review.
Not surprisingly, the first part of the story is a strong beginning or introduction to intrigue the listener. A good beginning should show them that your story is relevant to your discussion and make them want to hear more.
Once you have their attention, you can get into part two which is the actual guts of the story. The meat and potatoes. This is what happened and how you played a role in whatever transpired.
At this point, you should be able to guess the third component: the end. This is where you wrap things up. Tie together all the loose ends. Do the summary. This is how your story helped your former employer whether it was saving time, saving money, enhancing the bottom line — whatever.
Just when you thought that the end of the story is the end, you’re not quite right. Remember, we said that there were four parts to a good job interview story.
In some respects the fourth component may be the most important. After your strong beginning, intriguing middle, and satisfying end, the fourth part is what you learned from your experience. How did this experience make you a better employee? Were you able to implement what you learned on other occasions? Were you able to apply what you learned to other situations? And, how will you apply what you learned to this new opportunity?
By adding this fourth component, you show progression, improvement and application. You’ve just demonstrated that you can grow and learn. And that just might be enough to separate you from the other applicants and land you the job.