Becoming Scheherazade…

You remember Scheherazade, right? The legendary storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights?  Go read Wikipedia.

Anyway, if you haven’t had an interview lately, you may find that the process has changed some.  Good interviewers use Behavioral Interviewing and while no longer revolutionary, it’s still state-of-the-art.

The theory is that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance.  If you ask a candidate how they would handle a certain situation (for example – talking with an angry customer) they’ll tell you what they think you want to hear.  But, if you ask them to tell you a story about the last time they handled an angry customer, they are more likely to reveal their true stripes.

As the applicant, you need to be ready to tell the story.  Search the web for interview questions then think about them and write out your answer.  Practice them until you can tell a story. Include all the color and excitement.   Rehearse them out loud so you feel comfortable with the answer.  You may not be asked that specific question, but having a back pocket full of stories will build your self-confidence and you’ll be surprised how you can weave one story into many different questions.

Here are some of my favorite questions just to get you started and Google can find you thousands more.

  • Tell me about a time when you were a member of a team that had a difficult goal to achieve.  What was your role on the team and how did you help influence the success of the group?
  • Tell me about a time you had an employee who was not being successful.  How did you manage that process and either help the employee become successful or transition out of the organization?
  • Tell me about a time when you were in a fast-paced environment and you had multiple and possibly conflicting priorities.  How did you prioritize your work?  What techniques did you use to keep yourself organized and avoid missing deadlines?

So, be ready when a recruiter says “Tell me about a time when … “ and become Scheherazade.


One Comment on “Becoming Scheherazade…”

  1. […] the right of this post, you’ll find seven previous posts on interviewing. One of my favorites is Becoming Scheherazade… from just over a year ago. Each of the posts provides some insight in how to make your interviews […]


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