Everyone has a story. Only a few can narrate them.

Preparing generic answers for an interview can be one of the biggest barriers to crack your dream company.  Every candidate is different as an individual and has a different story. It should be harnessed to provide an edge over other candidates by providing supporting anecdotes in an effective manner that highlights the candidate’s ability and authenticates it at the same time.
 
How did Covid-19 impact your career? If you have been rehearsing answers to generic interview questions and practicing ‘textbook’ replies, it is highly probable that interviewers during the course of the interview will soon lose interest in your candidature. It is pertinent to keep the interview interesting at all times as you are presenting your worth as a candidate, and it becomes much more authentic if it is buttressed by your personal experiences. Storytelling is a real art and one worth developing.
There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” - J.K. Rowling


Some of the key aspects crucial for successful storytelling are:-

a. Understand your audience

The effectiveness of a story is highly dependent for whom they are tailored for. The major takeaways of your story do not have to change, but the additional details and the transmission methodology has to be modified. A thorough research about the company and if possible the interviewer enables you to modify the storytelling accordingly. This will also help to weave those key points throughout the interview process.


b. Prepare instances before your interview

The concept of Planned Spontaneity must be used as much as possible. For instance, if you are asked whether you consider yourself to be a quick learner, you can cite a time-period where you not learned fast but also utilized the learning to deliver value. One of the approaches is to understand the pre-requisites of the job profile and try to generate anecdotes to highlight those key skills/ability to gain a more competitive advantage. If the job profile needs client interaction, think about professional situations which showcase your relationship building skills.

c. Tell stories at every opportunity

The interviewer never asks you to tell a tale, we have to recognize the opportunity and then incorporate the story in a subtle manner that is both precise and accurate. It’s crucial to being familiar with your stories so that it can boost your confidence in interviews and leverage them to show that your skills address the job profiles key points.
 

d. Be ready to adapt the story

The audience plays a role in every story, as it is an interaction between the listener and the teller. Observe, listen, understand the interviewer by any means possible even before and during the course of the interview and be ready to adapt to your story accordingly and make it more interesting to his ears. One of the ways this can be done is when they talk about the company’s growth, culture, future before the interview process.


e. Be Authentic


Storytelling should be authentic so that it helps to reveal your true personality. Do not copy someone else’s pattern/style or try to be a comedian. If you are naturally extrovert, this will anyway come across in the way you express yourself. It is vital that you are matched with a job that will genuinely suit you. Your true self would also provide the basis for your cultural fit in the organisation.


Sometimes reality can be too complex and Stories give it form. Not just for interviews, storytelling can be used in all walks of business - whether pitching for a department budget increase or looking to win a new customer. Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it and must be harnessed for effective communication. So, What's your story?
Posted in : Career Strategy 
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