What are your stories and how can they help you through the process of getting the job you want? Stories are the vehicle that we use to assure hiring managers that we are the right person for the job. They answer questions that start with “Tell me about a time when you had to meet a short deadline. What were the steps you took to accomplish the task, and what were the result?” These are known as behavioral questions. Some hiring managers love these types of questions, so you should be prepared. Also, being prepared for these questions will equip you to use examples in a variety of ways. So, whether you are asked a “Tell me about a time question” or not, you have the ability to give examples of why you are the right person for the job.
Your stories are easily accessible if you have included accomplishments in your resume or outlined your strengths and achievements. These are your stories! Understanding how you format these stories is important. The format should include your accomplishments or achievements, what problem you were addressing, what were steps you took to reach a successful resolution and the strengths it took to be successful. Stories that address issues like meeting deadlines, resolving conflict, using teamwork, and showcasing multiple skills are always good.
Does this sound like a lot of work? It’s not. Review the things you have done on projects alone and in groups. Look at the things you are most proud of on the job and in school. Need more ideas on how to build your stories. Check out our free Tip Sheet: You’re Qualified: Translating Academics into Employment Assets. It is a great resource!