The Role of Story-Telling in Your Interview

 I subscribe to a good many newsletters and blogs. Some are from colleagues, such as The Headhunter - always sage advice, and others are completely unrelated to careers. They may be on pshychology, writing webcopy, grammar, or the study of happiness or shame, but so often they give me an idea for my own blog.

Such is the origin of today's blog. It came from an article for lawyers, on how telling a story, rather than just presenting facts, has a greater ability to influence a jury. If you're curious, I've provided a link to the article at the end of this blog.

I won't go into why stories are compelling, but suffice it to say that human beings are hard-wired to listen to stories, and to absorb or react to the message.

Here are a few tips on how to use this knowledge to beef up your interview skills:

1. Immersion Imagery. People listen better if they can see themselves in the scene. Given that you are speaking to people in a workplace likely similar to your own, make sure you provide some details that are familiar. Help them picture the characters, scene, or events that you are describing.

2. Realism. Make sure that you incorporate terminology and jargon appropriate to the role to which you are applying.

3. Structure. Give some thought to beginning, middle and end. This is easily done - set the scene with the situation, build your skills with the "how" of your work, and wrap it up with what you accomplilshed.

4. Context. This is critical. If you were under tight timelines, if the project was critical because you had a new major competitor, if you were thrown into a project because someone quit - share it! Context is often left out and yet it demonstrates, in a most persuasive manner, the value of your work.

If you've had a few interviews but haven't yet scored an offer, I recommend my interview strategy coaching, which includes storytelling techniques.

The link for those who are curious: 

http://www.thejuryexpert.com/wp-content/uploads/MazzoccoGreenTJEMay2011.pdf 

- On a mission to save recruiters from boring interviews, Stephanie