Tell a Story Interviewers Can’t Forget

Fill your resume, interviews and meetings with memorable details about you and the problems you have solved.

During a job search, several tools and strategies can be used to weave together a compelling story of your value to an employer. Resumes, interviews and networking meetings should be rich with memorable information about you and the problems you have solved for organizations. Your story should be so good that the interviewer can’t wait to repeat it to the next person in the hiring chain. Here are some tips for making that happen.

  1. Create an exciting resume that the reader just can’t put down. Don’t just write about job tasks, and don’t just list statistics. Build a story around your accomplishments that succinctly communicates the impact you had on an initiative or an organization as a whole.
  2. Tell your story with pictures. Try adding some charts or graphs to your resume to create a visual representation of your impact. For example, if you increased sales 500 percent over a 5-year period, create a bar graph to show the year-over-year growth.
  3. Showcase samples of your work. Bring examples of the types of reports, business communications, or design work you do to the interview. Consider including links to Web sites, photographs, videos, or project prototypes to your portfolio when appropriate.
  4. Answer interview questions using the Challenge-Action-Result story format. Employers are interested in learning about your past successes because they feel that past successes are a good indicator of future success. By describing the challenges you faced, the actions you took to address those challenges and the corresponding results for the organization, you are more likely to create interest and excitement about your candidacy.
  5. Ask questions that invite the interviewer to tell her story. In order to build a strong rapport with the hiring authority, you need to share information. Asking the interviewer also to share information helps deepen this relationship. Ask what issues the department is struggling with and what types of strategies it has tried in the past to address these issues. Asking questions shows your interest and concern for the company’s problems and also positions you as the right person to address them.