Sharing Key Experiences Will Make The Difference
Aloof as they may seem, employers are actually begging you to get them excited. Show that you can make or save them money, solve their operational problems, or ease their workloads, and they’ll be thrilled to hire you. Merely saying you can increase productivity or get staff members to work as a team isn’t enough. You must support your claims with vivid examples. People are visual, paint them a complete picture.
Employers Will Remember You For Weeks; Stories have Impact
Using anecdotes to describe job skills is a highly effective interview technique. In less than three minutes, you can tell a powerful story that will make interviewers remember you favorably for days, weeks, or even months after the interview. Since employers know that the best predictor of future success is past success, tell stories which vividly describe your successes as well as your character.
A candidate once described a time when he had his appendix removed on a Thursday and was back in the office on Monday…. to the dismay of everyone. His explanation was that work was piling up and he might as well do everything he could, even though he was unable to work a full day for the first week. The story provided strong evidence that he was a driven, hard-working person. The memory he created was that he was “the appendix guy.”
Show How You Overcame the Problem
When telling stories that demonstrate how you’ve solved a problem or overcome an obstacle, create before and after pictures that highlight your impact on the situation. Paint the before picture as bleak as you can. Make the employer feel how bad the situation was. If you were dealing with a quality control problem, you might describe how angry your customers were and describe how some threatened to stop buying from your company or how some actually did. Don’t exaggerate, but give the employer the full sense of the problem. As you complete your story, describe how smooth or effective things became. Create the strongest contrast possible without exaggerating.
How To Tell A Story
Begin by describing the situation as you entered it. If the situation was something that existed before you became involved, describe all of the negatives. If you are describing a project that you oversaw, describe the problems or challenges in the most graphic terms possible. Describe your analysis of the situation and whatever research you applied to it. Then describe your recommendations or the conclusions you came to. Next, explain what you implemented and developed, and paint a picture of what things were like after they improved. If it was a project, concentrate on describing those parts of the project which met or exceeded objectives.
Complete the story by describing how your work benefited the company
As you end the story, remind the interviewer what skill or strength the story demonstrates, and you might add another two or three skills as well. This could be done by stating: “So I really do believe that experience demonstrates my ability to manage projects effectively (the originally stated strength), as well as motivate employees and find solutions to really difficult problems. “The interviewer will readily agree that motivating employees was fully demonstrated. Through one story you can often sell half a dozen skills.
Key Points For Telling Stories
Most people speak in generalities when asked about their strengths. Five minutes later, the interviewer will not even remember what was said. When you take advantage of the opportunity to tell a story, you will create impact and cause the interviewer to know a great deal about you. Your challenge is to share stories whenever they are appropriate.
Any time a question is asked about a strength or asset, back up what you say with an example. If you’ve never done exactly what they are asking for, you might start with “That’s not too different from what I did at…”
To Tell Effective Stories:
- Provide all of the key information.
- Describe the situation as you came into it, problems and challenges included.
- Describe your analysis and recommendations.
- Describe what you implemented and the results you obtained.
- Create vivid images.
- Provide interesting details, but keep the story concise.
- Make the story interesting.