Storytelling is an extremely powerful job interview tool. It makes you memorable to the interviewer. In this video, you will learn common interview questions, how to prepare answers in advance, and how to turn any job interview question into a chance to tell a story with the SAR storytelling method.
- Which of these job interview answers are you more likely to remember? "I manage a team of 11 writers who cover topics "about job searching, flexible work "and career development." Or, "I'm fortunate to work with 11 talented writers. "We all share the belief that we're helping job seekers "by writing about job searching and career development. "We've heard from job seekers who tell us "that what we write helped them land a better job, "which helps them support their families "and give back to their communities. "That's why I love what I do, "and it's the approach I'd bring with me "if I were offered the chance to work for your company." Both answers convey the same nuts and bolts information: that I manage 11 writers and that we write about job search and career advice.
But which one resonates more with you? Which one paints a picture that sticks with you? Clearly, it's the second statement, because it told a story. Storytelling is an extremely powerful interview tool and that's what we're going to focus on in this video. In a job interview, instead of giving standard answers, try as much as possible to turn your answers into stories. The easiest way to do this is with the SAR Method: Situation, Action, Result, S-A-R.
By framing your answers in terms of a situation you were in, the action you took, and the result you got, you'll give employers a deeper understanding about what you actually do when you're working. The key to using the SAR Method is to prepare some of your stories ahead of time. Make a list of common interview questions or topics and then try to think of a story or two for each of them. For example, what is your biggest strength or weakness? Where do you see yourself in five years? How would your current boss or coworkers describe you? What makes you stand out from other candidates? Why do you want to work here? And of course, the most obvious, any question that starts with "Tell me about a time when..." The first questions I mentioned are not typically ones where you'd answer with a story, but doing so can help employers better remember your answers.
Here's how to approach any interview question as a chance to tell a story. First, write down your generic answer to the most common interview questions. For example, if you were to answer the question, "What is your biggest strength?", you might say something like, "I'm an extremely organized person, "which allows me to be a really effective project manager." Then, you'll want to expand on that generic answer to make it more story-like. Do you have an example of when your outstanding organizational skills saved the day during a project? Tell that story briefly by describing the situation, action, and result: SAR.
So, your generic answer to the question, "What is your biggest strength?", turns into something like this. "I'm an extremely organized person, "which has come in handy during the projects I've managed. "For example, two months ago, a colleague of mine "made an honest mistake and accidentally deleted "a really important spreadsheet "that was a key component of our work. "But because I create backup copies at the end of each day, "we were able to restore the information quickly "and get back on track." The situation, your action, and the result are all very clear, and now the employer is picturing you using your skills.
With the SAR Method, you're essentially turning every interview question you're asked into a "Tell me about a time when..." kind of question. You're giving the employer extra details and visuals that they'd otherwise miss if you gave a standard answer. And those details will definitely make you stand out from other candidates, and put you in the best position to land the job.
- Dealing with job loss
- Taking classes and building skills
- Volunteering to fill resume gaps
- Searching and applying for jobs
- Writing a better resume and cover letter
- Interviewing for your first job after a layoff