As far as it concerns interviews, telling stories could be your secret weapon. That’s because storytelling is an excellent way to impress employers in two ways. First, it shows employers that you have the skills to write on your resume and that you can prove it and secondly, it shows them that you have strong communication skills.
Above all, storytelling helps employers remember you in the long run. So after they are done interviewing the last candidate, your stories will remind them that you are worth a shot and as such decide they want to see you again. But that depends on how good they are...
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Stories come in handy when employers start asking those behavioural interview questions every jobseeker fears. This technique is used to assess your past behaviour in search of skills that you possess. Interviewers love these questions as they can give them a great deal of information about you. Considering that your past behaviour is a great predictor of your future behaviour, and they want to find out how you are likely to act in certain situations.
These questions usually start with “Describe a situation when” or hypothetical questions such as “What would you do if?” and require that you have a few examples ready prior to the interview so that you don’t get off guard.
To help you out, here are the types of stories you need to use as a response to these interview questions:
#1 A Story When You Made a Mistake
You are likely to be asked how you handled a mistake, so this could be your opportunity to show how you exceeded expectations in your previous job. This is going to show employers how you work and if you are likely to take responsibility of things that could go wrong. Also, it shows how easily you can accept criticism and feedback from your boss or co-workers.
#2 A Story When You Had to Handle Conflict
Employers are huge fans of stories, especially those that describe situations of conflict. This makes sense considering that these situations are the trickiest. So, if you ever had to deal with a difficult client or got into a huge fight while in your previous job, let them know how you handled the situation and kept things friendly for both parties.
#3 A Story When You Had to Work in a Team
Teamwork is an important skill in any job, and it would be a big help if you could think of a story to tell during each interview. If they ask you to describe a situation where you used teamwork, describe how you worked as part of a team and the results. Don’t be afraid to refer to the challenges you faced as a group because that’s also part of what makes team-activities difficult.
#4 A Story When You Had to Take Initiative
Have you ever volunteered for something? Were you ever in charge of a project? Did you take the initiative to arrange a night out with your colleagues? Think about a real-life example where you had to be the one to take the shots or were required to determine the best course of action. This should help them assess your management and delegating skills.
#5 A Story on Your Biggest Failure/Success
A story about your biggest failure will help employers tell how self-aware you are. Knowing what brought you to your breaking point will show just as strong and determined you are. They also get to test how you respond to success, how grateful you are about completing your goals, and who else you have to thank for that.
#6 A Story When You Had to Make a Change
Showing how easily you can make a change shows just how flexible you are in your job and career. This is a crucial skill considering that employers want to hire people who are willing to adapt easily in changing work environments and are able to think on their feet when they have to face a problem.
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Since you know what kind of skills employers are looking for in candidates, it is easy to come up with a few examples that tell them what they want to hear. The trickiest part is putting them in the right context and making them as interesting and memorable as possible.
Do you have any stories to share? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below…