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Interview Advice: Telling an Effective Story

Delivering information in the form of a narrative increases your ability to communicate. A commonly quoted statistic shows that a listener is 22 times more likely to remember something when it’s presented as a story. Keep this in mind for your next job interview. Framing your interview answers in the form of stories can improve your chances of landing a position.  

When you go in for a job interview, the experience can be excruciatingly stressful. Your mind races and every one of your nerves tingle as you try to sell your abilities to your potential new employer.  

The experience has a different feel on the other side of the conversation. For the interviewers, these meetings can be achingly dull. They are hearing similar answers to the same questions, often for hours on end. The result: you tend to blend into the crowd. 

A good story can help you break out of this trap. By framing your answers as narratives, you provide something a little more exciting and entertaining than a typical, dry interview answer. This way, you increase your opportunity to get noticed. You also improve your chances of making a connection and getting remembered after the interview ends. 

But how do you achieve this goal? How do you make sure that your stories are an effective tool for getting hired? Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

Have Your Stories Ready

Don’t try to improve your way to a new position. Instead, plan. Before the meeting, decide which stories present your skills and background in the best light. Consider how you want to introduce yourself and choose the stories that best underline those attributes.  

Practice Ahead of Time

Think of the interview as a performance. You wouldn’t appear in a play without rehearsing your lines. Treat a meeting with a potential employer in the same way. Once you choose the stories, you most want to tell, practice saying them out loud. This way you’ll be less likely to forget details for flub your delivery at the interview when your nerves will likely be frayed. 

Read Your Audience

Once you’re in the interview room, actively engage your audience, so you will know how best to reach them. The more targeted your presentation, the more likely it will be that you can engage them on a deeper level. Get a feel for what tone your audience will likely respond to, and what attributes they most want you to stress. 

Provide Context and Get Specific

The keys to any good story: atmosphere and details. Make sure you create a lively narrative. Give specific information and provide enough background information that your listeners will understand the full consequences of what you are saying.  

Don’t Sprawl

While you want to provide the necessary details and context to tell a good story, you don’t want the narrative to get out of hand. In other words, don’t let yourself ramble. Keep your presentation tight and to the point. You only have a limited amount of time in the interview room, and you don’t want to waste it on a single epic tale. 

Tie Things Together

At the end of every fairytale, there’s always the “this is what we learned” moment. Have a similar conclusion for your interview story. As you finish your narrative, tie things back to the original question and look for ways to push the conversation further. 

Employers are looking for team members who exhibit strong communication skills. By framing your answers in the form of stories, you show that you can deliver information interestingly and memorable way. Of course, it helps when you know you are perfect for the job at hand. By partnering with a strong recruiter, like Recruiting In Motion, you make sure you find the ideal placements for your skills and background. 

Contact Recruiting In Motion today to learn more. 

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