your career stories
When going for an interview, your best bet is to have a few stories up your sleeves as an effective strategy for making your case clear and impactful. Below are 7 big stories to include in your arsenal. These stories cover a wide range and can answer a variety of questions. However, they are specific and will give the interviewer a good impression about your response.
1. When you solved a problem
The term being a "problem solver" is a common skill listed in most job descriptions you may have come across, and anyone can use this phrase in their resume. Describing an event that portrays this skill can serve as proof of your problem solving skills. Was there a time you settled a conflict between two employees you worked closely with? Was there a time you found a person to replace an original speaker in a conference when he or she backed out in the eleventh hour.
Reflect on your history and find examples that describe you as a self-motivated, creative and resourceful individual who is always available to resolve issues. Your interviewers may likely not see moving closer to the office, so you could sleep later as an impressive response to solving a problem. You will be better off keeping such information to yourself
.2. When you overcame a challenge
The workplace can be full of obstacles. In scenarios where you need to maintain a tricky relationship with your supervisor or get stuck with an overwhelmingly difficult project, it's essential you show that you don’t give up easily from a challenge. Lots of inspiring stories are out there, and you may be tempted to emulate one as an example of how you overcame a problem. Interviewers are not interested in a movie plot, thus, you don’t need to lie about how you climbed the tallest mountain or how you pulled yourself out of homelessness.
Rather, describe some real-life scenarios of when something stood in your way and how you did everything possible to control the situation. Scenes like when you worked two different jobs to pay for your college tuition or when you completed a huge work project on an impossibly tight deadline are examples of good stories to share. Such stories show how you took the initiative to climb over roadblocks.
3. When you made a mistake
No one is perfect. Everyone is bound to make mistakes, and interviewers are aware that you are no exception. However, the interviewers are concerned about how you react when you make a mistake. Do you address them head on or hide them under the rug? Mistakes are common, so choosing from a wide array of blunders may not be a problem. But, you have to be selective on the mistake you decide to share during an interview. You do not want to tell the interviewer about a time you mistakenly leaked private information to the public or sent a scathing mail about your manager to the whole company. Instead, mention a minor mistake. Briefly describe the situation and explain how you controlled the issue at hand. Always ensure your reasons for telling this story does not emphasize the mistake you made. Instead, focus on the steps you took to address the issue, and the lessons learned.
4. When you worked as a leader
Another example of job interview catchwords is “Leadership.” Having solid examples to confirm your leadership skills is crucial, especially when you are applying for a management position. You can share stories like when you coordinated a widely successful company event or lead your team to achieve the highest sales ever recorded, or probably when you chaperoned and directed your niece’s girl scout troop on a camping trip. You can impress your interviewers with your leadership skills using real-life scenarios where you took charge, managed a situation successfully and obtained positive results.
5. When you worked with a team
AS the saying goes, “teamwork makes the dream work.” Collaborating with other employees at work is inevitable. Therefore, you have to demonstrate your skills as an effective team player. So, what kind of example can you use in describing when you worked with a team? You can describe situations where you teamed up with people to achieve positive results such as a huge project you were a part of or when you volunteered as a board member of a local non-profit. You have nothing to worry about as long as your answers show that you understand the need to join forces with people and how valuable teamwork is.
6. Tell employer what you are passionate about
Being passionate about work is an important trait hiring managers seek in individuals. Some jobs are very stressful and time demanding. It is very important to know you are there for your passion of the craft. When the going gets tough or the tough get doing, being passionate keeps you self-motivated and giving your best regardless.
7. Tell employer about what you do for fun outside of work
You can use this opportunity to tell the recruiters of who you are outside the work environment. Don’t fall victim trying to convince the interviewer that your passion outside your career makes you a suitable candidate for the job. Instead, give an honest response. Tell them about the things you love doing. For instance, if you are an athlete (runner), you can inform the interviewers what attracted you to the sport, the benefits, why you love running, and if any, tell them about an upcoming running competition and your plans towards it. The reasons questions like this are asked in interviews is to show you on a more personal leverl. Feel free when you answer, however, ensure your response is brief, exciting and compelling.