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A good candidate is prepared for anything

➔ There is an old saying – which some claim has its origins in sales, but can be applied just as easily to job seeking, especially the job interview. The saying goes: “Facts tell. Stories sell.”

The implication here is that while your resume contains all the pertinent facts regarding your background (former jobs, dates; education; etc.), as important as that is, it’s the stories you weave that explain and enhance your experiences that will ultimately win the job for you.

Everyone likes a good story

There is another saying relevant to story telling that the job seeker should keep in mind. As the story goes, when a student inquired as to how long the assigned term paper should be, the instructor responded, “It should be like a woman’s dress – long enough to cover all the important parts and short enough to keep it interesting.”

The same could be said for the stories you prepare for your job interviews. The problem arises when the circumstances surrounding a job interview dictate how much time you have to tell that story.

That’s why you would be well served to prepare and rehearse two versions of each story – the long version and the short version. Obviously, if you have the time, tell the long version. On the other hand, if you’re pressed, you may have to resort to using the short. If it’s a good story well told – and you opt for the short version, your interviewer may ask for more detail, more information. It’s at that point that you know you have something.

Long version or short, every story should have a definitive beginning, middle and end. But as each interview is different, a well-prepared candidate has both at the ready.


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