Telling stories

Storytelling is such a fundamental way that people communicate with each other, and, when done well, it can do wonders. But it’s not something you always want to use in an interview, to the exclusion of all else.  

For example, telling a story too early in the interview may cross the line into boasting. But, later on in the interview if you tell a story, enough trust and rapport have probably built up for them to accept the fact that you were the hero of a situation.

A story should follow the framework of the hero’s journey– a problem that exists, our hero arriving to save the day, and that everyone lived happily ever after.

You are the hero of the story. You are the one who rides in on the white horse to rescue the villagers from the evil cowboys who are there to pillage and loot and destroy.

There are several frameworks to stories. The most well-known one is STAR– Situation or Task, Action, Result. I tend to think of that as being effective at the staff level. For people at a manager level and above, use SOAR– Situation, Objective, Action, Result.

Results should always include numerical value. Money saved. Money earned. Percentage improvement over the previous baseline.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2008, 2011, 2020

 

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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