Few things in life are more harrowing than a job interview: your career and financial well-being are at stake, and people are literally judging every word you say. In this post we’ll focus on one of the most underrated—but increasingly necessary—strategies for demonstrating your talents in a way hiring managers will appreciate: crafting a personal narrative.
Pick up where your resume leaves off
Instead of ticking through everything you’ve already listed on your resume, think of how you can tell a story about yourself, why you’re interested in this field of work, and how you’ve prepared yourself to excel doing this specific job at this particular company. This not only helps you highlight relevant experiences you bring to the table, but also showcases skills that don’t always show up on a college transcript. Which brings us to our next tip:
Highlight skills employers are desperately seeking
Several recent surveys tell us that employers today place a premium on critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. Talk about how you’ve encountered challenges in the past, and the process you went through to figure out a solution. If your interviewer asks about your ability to be a part of a team, don’t simply tell them that you played lacrosse in high school; tell them a story, especially one that involves working with people of different ages, backgrounds, and experience levels to accomplish a common goal.
Show what you’ve learned (and how)
Work in the 21st century increasingly relies on creativity and learning new skills at a moment’s notice. Come into your interview prepared with a story about how you identified a gap in your own knowledge, and the steps you took to acquire a new skill. Self-motivation and eagerness to learn are two of the most appealing qualities a hiring manager hopes to find in a prospective candidate.
For more tips on how to excel in the modern workforce, read about the 6 Real-time Learning Habits Essential for Today’s Workforce.