For your next job interview, don’t prepare to give answers about your skills and experience. Instead, prepare to tell your career stories.
Well-crafted career stories can be a powerful tool to show a prospective employer what kind of worker you are. And, when you craft your stories ahead of time, you’re less likely to stray off topic, talk too much or give information that you’d rather not.
General guidelines for career stories:
- Be sure they are true
- Make them succinct
- Show professional growth
1. The Mistake/FailureThis is your chance to show that you recognize your own fallibility; that you can take responsibility and be accountable; and that you can fix your errors and learn from them. When telling your story, don’t come off as sheepish or overly embarrassed – everyone makes mistakes, it’s how we handle them that matters.
2. The Difficult SituationYour difficult situation story should illustrate how you faced a challenge, prevailed and became a better employee for it. Note: You might want to come up with a few stories in this vein dealing with different situations, such as meeting a challenging goal, dealing with a difficult coworker, dealing with a difficult client and so on.
Also, while a mistake or failure can certainly lead to a difficult situation, with this story we’re looking for a challenge presented to you, rather than one you created for yourself.
3. The Disagreement with Your BossThis story should show that you are assertive and stand up for what you think is right. If you were able to sway your boss to your point of view, all the better. If not, though, the story should demonstrate that know when to set aside your idea and get with the program (unless, of course, it’s an issue of ethics). It may also be handy to have a story about disagreeing with a colleague or client ready to go.
Stories 4,5, and the complete article