Interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking, but remember that interviewers are not just looking for skills and experience; they want to find candidates with logical and strategic thinking abilities who will fit well into their organization. To showcase your abilities effectively, consider using the 7 key principles of a “story” during your interview.
Story is a mechanism that follows well-established narrative arcs (the Hero’s Journey) in literature and movies. Story is a sense-making mechanism. If you explain your career choices / education / employment history using principles of story, then it will make logical sense to the interviewer and resonate with them.
Depending on the questions asked, you may only need to explain one or two of these story principles, but having them prepared in your mind, will give you foundational content you need to ace the interview.
1. Craft Your Hero's Journey:
You are the hero in your story. Begin by explaining your career choices, education, and employment history in a narrative arc. Share the challenges you faced, the decisions you made, and the opportunities you seized. This approach will help interviewers see the logical progression of your career and understand your thought process.
2. Identify and Overcome Challenges:
Every hero encounters obstacles. Describe the problems or challenges you encountered during your professional journey. Emphasize how you tackled them with your strategic thinking and analytical skills. Highlight your ability to come up with innovative solutions and adapt to changing circumstances.
3. The Guide Role:
Introduce key figures who have guided and mentored you along the way. These mentors could be former bosses, colleagues, or even personal mentors. Explain how their guidance helped shape your thinking and approach to problem-solving. It shows your openness to learning from others and being a team player.
4. Present Your Plan of Action:
Demonstrate your ability to create and execute a plan. Showcase specific instances where you took the lead in projects or initiatives, and the strategies you employed to achieve success. This will give interviewers insights into your strategic thinking and ability to follow through.
5. Answering the Call to Action:
Discuss situations where you took the initiative to step up and take on additional responsibilities or challenges. Show how you actively sought out opportunities to contribute and make a difference within your previous roles. This demonstrates your proactiveness and willingness to go the extra mile.
6. Avoiding Failure and Learning from Mistakes:
Acknowledge that setbacks can happen but emphasize your resilience and ability to learn from failures. Share examples of times when you encountered difficulties, how you managed to overcome them, and the lessons you gained from those experiences.
7. Ending in Success:
Conclude your story by highlighting the positive outcomes of your efforts despite challenges. Use quantifiable achievements to demonstrate your impact in previous roles. Whether it's exceeding targets, process improvements, or successful projects, showcasing tangible successes reinforces your value as a candidate.
Remember that you may not use all of the above principles in the interview, but having them ready will give you a powerful set of ideas to draw from. Be sure to adapt your story to fit the job you're interviewing for. Tailor your examples and explain experiences, which align with the skills and qualities the company is seeking.
In summary, storytelling can be a powerful tool in job interviews to showcase your logical and strategic thinking. By crafting your hero's journey and incorporating the seven principles of a compelling story, you can effectively communicate why your career choices make sense and how your abilities align with the organization's needs. So, prepare your story, practice delivering it with confidence, and let your strategic thinking shine through!
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