Stories for a Job Interview

I think you need at least three stories walking in.

“I think you need at least three stories walking in to an interview.”

Whether it is a formal performance review or a potential employer evaluating us in casual conversation we are constantly being interviewed.  I will be posting a series of thought starters that walk you through finding and telling great stories that might wow an interviewer, get a promotion, or at least set the scene for your next performance review.

I think you need at least three stories walking in to an interview.  First you need a “who I am” story that says a lot about who you are and who you are not.

You also want to have ready answers to the predictable versions of “Biggest Strength and Biggest Weakness” request.  Use Value-in-Action stories.  You can describe your strength/best quality by telling a story about a time you shined.

Your story about a weakness can be an “I Blew It” that shows how this quality got you into trouble one time. This kind of story simultaneously showcases your commitment to your strength as well as demonstrates you already know how this quality can be a weakness in certain situations.

How do you come up with a story like that?

You start by asking yourself: What qualities do I bring above and beyond my resume? Two years from now what words would they use to describe why they are glad they hired me?  Discern these best core qualities and then look for a story that showcases those qualities.

When were you really tested?  Think of an event where it would have been easier even cheaper to do something else, but you held firm. For the “I Blew it” story, find an event that nags at you still – a time you recall with thoughts of “shoulda/woulda/coulda” and you will find a story.


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