Tips to Create a Compelling Story to Illustrate Your Value to Hiring Managers:
In a job interview, you are primarily selling yourself. The company has a position that needs to be filled and, as a result, is a potential buyer. Therefore, you—your skills, experience, and expertise—are the product.
The interview is the opportunity for the interviewer to get a sense of who you are beyond your resume and cover letter. The purpose of the interview is for hiring managers to gain insight into your character and alignment with the company’s culture. They have the task of determining if you are someone they can trust to professionally and competently fulfill the position while being a great fit for their organization.
At the executive level, it is likely that all the candidates have a resume full of impressive achievements. Therefore, in your interview, you need to sell yourself. You need a story that illustrates your value.
Tip #1: Consider the Standard Interview Questions
When you are asked the question, “Tell me about yourself,” in an interview, it is tempting to give a one sentence response that sums up where you have been and how you got to this point. Think about the difference it would make if you could create a narrative around your career marking essential points along the way that eventually led you to the moment you are sitting in the interview chair.
Consider the standard interview questions, including behavioural questions, and create short, descriptive narratives around them that draw from your experiences, accomplishments, and viewpoints.
Tip #2: Make a List of Your Career Achievements
Think about those STAR stories you included on your resume. Prepare stories around them that illustrate how they came about, the impact they had, and what you learned from them. The effect is significant when you can communicate the long-term value those achievements had not only on the company you were working for at the time but also on the progression of your own career. Therefore, it is a bonus to exemplify how your achievements have influenced your current career trajectory and goals.
Tip #3: Turn Negatives into Positives
Conversely, you can put a positive spin on situations that did not go as planned by creating a narrative around it. Often, hiring managers want to know how you handle adversity. Think about something career-related that you have had to overcome. Maybe a product that did not turn out as planned or a strategy that did not work. Create a story around that negative experience that communicates your realization of why it failed, what you learned from it, and how you continue to use that knowledge today to inform your decisions and practices.
In a nutshell, your story is so much more compelling than merely stating your experience, achievements, and goals. Stories elicit emotions, create connections, and make you so much more memorable. Your story demonstrates your character and your value. Thus, hiring managers will recognize you as an asset they cannot afford to pass up.