Business Storytelling for Cracking Job Interviews

This is not a fad. Neither is this title a red herring to grab your attention.

Job interviews are make or break situations. Hence, the common advice all of us have received is ‘Hey, do not try anything new. Do not experiment. Just stick to the tried and tested. And do not make up stories!’

The only merit in that advice is in that last phrase ’ not make up stories!’

We must not make up stories. Instead, we must scale up on thinking, identifying and practicing the stories that will turn a job interview conversation in your favour.

Most interviewers are very distracted to begin with. Some are just impolite. They pose a question and check their social media updates on the phone as you answer. Research points out that over 90% of interviewers just read content on the top 1/3rd page on your resume.

Connection is lost right at the beginning. And that’s why a compelling story you narrate by seizing an early moment in the interview shifts focus dramatically.

Stories are facts wrapped in context and delivered with emotion and at various points in the interview conversation, you can use them to inspire, influence and engage your interview panel. There are many discussions we have on Mentza on this topic. I have compiled Three Stories that you Must Tell in a Job Interview

The Connection Story

Imagine you are sitting in front of the interview panel. They are wondering – ‘Is this person credible? Will they fit the role?’. Almost all interviews begin with ‘Tell me something about yourself’ or some version of the same question. It is a moment to seize and share a real-life experience that demonstrates you care and give insight into your character.

That is a Connection Story.

The Influence Story

When you made your initial connection and built rapport, it is time to influence and show why you are the best potential hire. Influence or Strategy stories are those specific experiences that demonstrate your purpose, qualities and competence. The panel will ask you a question regarding a specific project or role you handled and the difference you made.

Influence story begins with a one-line summary of the key takeaway, a brief situational context, the inflexion point, specific actions you took and what is in store for future.

The Success Story

This is simply the story that demonstrates a specific moment of success or learning from a tough phase in your career or life. Success stories are like the hooks you are leaving for the panel to remember you. Imagine these as your silent assets that work for you in your absence and helps the interviewer to justify your case to anyone

Needless to say, each of these have to be identified, prepared and practiced well in advance. Relevance and brevity are of vital importance. Remember, when they ask ‘tell me something more about yourself’ – that’s when you launch!

In the upcoming blogs we will explore deeper on building each of these business story patterns and make them work in a job conversation. And here is a tip that we will leave you with – the base work will need to begin with the all important resume!

Uday Kiran
Uday Kiran

Partner with Mentza, Sales & Marketing Leader, Business Storyteller, Leadership Trainer helping Organisations, Brands, Leaders to Scale, Secure a Dominant position and become their best version in the marketplace.

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