Job hunting can be a very difficult time for candidates. Looking the the right job, dealing with recruiters, getting the interview, and finaly receiving a suitable offer.

Most jobs end up having only a few candidates make the shortlist for the interview stage. For a candidate getting to the interview stage means they are one or two steps away from a potential offer, they just need to pass the interview and not crash and burn.

The best way to get through the interview is knowing what sort of questions will be asked and then practice. Interviewers like to ask behavioural based questions, such as “Tell me about a time when you resolved conflict within your team?”. The best way to handle them is to follow the STAR method:

Situation: give an example of a situation you were involved in that resulted in a positive outcome
Task: describe the tasks involved in that situation
Action: talk about the various actions involved in the situation’s task
Results: what results directly followed because of your actions

While many questions are fairly standard you always get unique ones, and they tend to be the important ones. Coming up with a good reply to meet the STAR method can be tough.

This is where the art of story telling comes in.

Shawn Callahan from Anedote posted a really good introduction to how to tell stories during a job interview.

Job interviewers these days know the importance of stories. They know that stories give a good insight into your capabilities and experience. They call it behavioural interview technique, which is just a fancy title for collecting stories from you. So you’d better have some stories to tell that reveal your character, skills and attitude to life.

Every story we tell gives people an insight into who we are. They are quite revealing. So before you tell them to an interviewer it’s a good idea to tell your stories to a friend and ask them about the qualities they inferred about you based on the story. Is it resilience, courage, persistence, creativity etc.? You will surprised to find that a story which you thought, for example, was about persistence, comes across to the listener as arrogance. You will want to avoid those ones.

Shawn goes on the give a great step by step approach to developing your own stories. If you are in the process of trying to find a job this is a must read blog post.

Originally posted on the 2Vouch Blog.

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