Interviewing is no walk in the park. It can be one big ball of emotional stress. Often times candidates are stressed and nervous because they don’t know what they’ll be asked. As a recruiter for many years I can shed some light on the key to a successful interview.
The key to a successful interview is being able to tell a story in each answer you give. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself “how will that help me land a new opportunity?” The answer is it would help you a great deal.
When I say tell a story I don’t mean telling fiction, you story has to be factual and based on events that have happened. You want each answer to the question asked to be a conversation, where you are taking it back to situation that you faced. Most questions start with “tell me about a time” or “give me an example of”. You want to be able to tell a story and draw emotions out of the interviewer. Have them feeling curious and wondering what happens next. This helps keep the conversation interesting and shows excellent communication skills.
Additionally, when responding to the questions you want to ensure you are formatting your answer like an essay. You have your introduction, then your body (which is the situation, action and result) and then your conclusion to sum it all up. Your story should sound something like this:
Interviewer: “Tell me about a time you had a difficult interaction with a coworker.”
At my previous role I was working alongside another sales professional. Everyone is not always punctual and not always as motivated. We worked as a team and had quotas to meet at the end of each day. I found myself doing more of the work than my colleague. Before I took this to a manager I decided to find out what was going on myself. He could be having some trouble at home, or struggling at work. I wanted to come to him first before anything else. Once I chatted with him, he opened up…. At the end we were able to resolve our difficulties, and above all else I was able to do it without the help of a manager. We may be employees but we’re people too and at the end of the day sometimes all it takes is a conversation.”
You won’t be a story teller overnight, and practice makes perfect. Take the time to really hone these skills, as the key to a successful interview is story telling.