Three stories you must prepare before the job interview
In any job interview, you will have to answer behavioural questions.
What are behavioural questions? They’re questions that ask you to describe what you have done – your behaviour – in a variety of situations. These help employers to determine not only whether you will be capable of doing the job but what sort of person you are, whether they will enjoy working with you, and how well you will work with the rest of their team.
There are dozens of examples of behavioural questions. I’ve listed some below and you can see more here. You can’t prepare answers for all of them. But if you prepare just three stories to take with you to any interview, you can cover a lot of ground. It’s imperative that you this, because these questions will be asked.
Here are the three stories you should prepare and some samples of the questions to which you might use them as answers:
A time when you solved a problem: Think of a time when you had to demonstrate your problem-solving skills by getting creative, or using logic. Maybe you persevered, solved a mystery, and/or completed a project without the proper resources. Find a story that illustrates your drive, initiative, creativity, motivation, and, of course, problem solving skills.
“Describe a situation in which you had to get creative to solve a problem.”
“Tell me about a time when you were able persuade someone to change their mind.”
“Describe a time when you overcame a large obstacle to complete a project.”
A time when you had to deal with conflict: Think of an instance when a customer or prospect was belligerent or extremely difficult or when you had to deal with warring factions among team members. Describe how you resolved the problem and came out smelling like roses. Be sure not to put down or insult anyone else in the telling. It’s better to say a client “was having a difficult time” than “was being a total butthead.”
“Tell me about a time when you were able to diffuse a situation.”
“Describe a time when you worked closely with someone who had very different ideas from you.”
“Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation."
A time when you totally knocked that ball out of the park: What are your biggest career accomplishments? Of what are you most proud? Talk about a time when you did a super amazing job. Describe how you went above and beyond to do it, or how the success came naturally. You can also talk about the challenges you faced or the curveballs that were thrown your way. Find the story that really illustrates how awesome you are.
“Tell me about a time you set a goal and either met or exceeded that goal.”
“Describe a project you created and saw through to fruition.”
“Tell me about your greatest accomplishment.”
Craft your stories, memorize them, and structure them like real stories – with a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Don’t take too long to tell them and don’t be too perfunctory.
These three well-crafted stories will put you one big step closer to getting hired for the job you want.
See also: How to tell a story