You remember Scheherazade, right? The legendary storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights? Go read Wikipedia.
Anyway, if you haven’t had an interview in the last decade or so, you may find that the process has changed some. Most interviewers use some form of 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. Include all the color and excitement (but still stay succinct). Practice saying the answers out loud so you feel comfortable telling the story. 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 prepared to respond to an interviewer who says “Tell me about a time …” by becoming Scheherazade and tell a story that people will remember. If you’re struggling with your job search, this may help – https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/.