Friday, March 1, 2013

Job Seekers: What’s your STORY? – Part II

 by Mary Salvino, Career Coach

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.
~ Rudyard Kipling 

People, including hiring managers, have a seemingly insatiable need to be entertained.  When job seekers arm and use that vital piece of information during the interview process, the stories they tell and the experiences they share morph into memorable illustrations that create stronger emotions between themselves and the interviewer than the next candidate.    

As some point during the interview process, the hiring manager will ask the job seeker to tell them a story, i.e. “Tell me about….  These words are the job candidate’s cue to take the hiring manager on a ride that will stimulate their senses.   When the story is delivered effectively, the hiring manager will be able to virtually feel, smell, touch and see the experience through the voice of the storyteller.

The elements of the story are straightforward:
  • Be earnest in the delivery – Sincerity and whole-heartedness are keys
  • Be enthusiastic – Use a proper tone of voice to emphasize important facts and pause for dramatic effects
  • Be animated – Use gestures and facial expressions to ‘sell’ the experience
When it comes to the interview process, job seekers should know that there are 7 elements to a compelling story.  These elements include the following:
·         Job relevance – How does your (the job seeker’s) direct experience relate to the position?
·         Communications skills – How have you, the job seeker, demonstrated your ability to communicate effectively? 
·         Leadership skills – Have you, the job seeker, ever been in a position of authority?
·         Problem-solving skills – Can you give an example of your problem-solving ability?
·         Expertise – Can you, the job seeker, demonstrate/illustrate your skills, knowledge and/or proficiencies in any particular area?
·         Pedigree – Do you have any credentials that can support your claims?
·         Impact – Can you, the job seeker, articulate the, ‘Who, What, Where, When, Why and How’  X was affected in a positive manner?

The bullets listed above are guidelines intended to help the job seeker build their story.  It should be noted that compelling stories can be extracted from your educational, professional or personal life.  If you happen to be a job seeker who may not have as much work experience as your competition, it may be necessary for you to lean more upon your personal and educational experiences. 

Be amusing: never tell unkind stories; above all, never tell long ones.
~ Benjamin Disraeli 

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