How to Tell Your Story

communication interviewing Sep 04, 2023

What’s Your Story? 

You must be able to communicate who you are to an employer. The only way to get this right is to prepare and practice. Remember that when you land the interview, it is showtime.  Be good to yourself. Don’t wing it. You have one shot. A redo is rare.

Employers are getting better at interviewing. A bad hire costs too much.  The hiring process is a ‘get to know you’. The employer needs to know three things:

  1. Can this person do the job?
  2. Will this person fit into our culture?
  3. Is this person verifiable?

 Preparing for the Interview Questions

 Situational & Behavioral

 Situational questions are what most interviewees are prepared to answer. The questions are expected.  Situational questions are about your technical ability, your experience doing the job. The ability to explain exactly what you do and how you do it is not as easy as it sounds.

You must be clear, concise, and confident with your explanations.

Prepare for your interview by listing the questions an employer is likely to ask.  Situational questions begin with phrases like: Do you know how? Have you ever done this? Have you ever done that?

List all the questions that the employer might ask you. Stretch yourself. Even if the question seems obvious, write it down.

Next, answer the questions. Write down your answers. Your answer should be in the form of a short story.

Can you tell the story? Do you know where to start? Do not be surprised if this is harder than you thought it would be.

Behavioral Questions are harder and often unexpected. How you answer these questions will give an employer insight into the depth of your knowledge, your personality, and your culture fit.

Tell us about a time when … you failed.

Tell us about a time when … you solved a problem, created a solution, increased business, developed employees.

Tell us about a time when … you had to win over your client, boss, team, etc.

Tell us about a time when … you resolved conflict.

Tell us about a time when …….

 Three critical stories to practice

  1. Career Story
  2. Crisis Story
  3. Obstacles Story

 Career Story   

 Where did you start? Who gave you a break? What made you enter this field?

 Your story should take you to the job you are interviewing for. Write your story. Practice telling it. You are unique and have unique talents to bring to the table.

 Crisis Story

 This is the ‘hero’ story. What was the crisis? How did you handle it? What was your thinking? Who else was involved?

 Obstacles Story

 This is the story that should focus on an obstacle that you overcame. What was the obstacle? How did you eliminate it? What was your thinking? Who was involved?

Know your stories. Practice your stories.


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