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Thanks to https://www.allbusiness.com/how-to-tell-story-in-interview

By Karen Eber

Job interviews tend to be high stake situations. In the span of 30 to 45 minutes, you are trying to build rapport with your interviewer, share past job experiences, and describe why you are right for the role. Storytelling can help make each of those tasks easier.

Stories aren’t just entertaining; they are the most impactful way to engage the brain, form trust, and influence decision-making. By telling stories, a candidate can lighten the cognitive lift for the interviewer, building a dynamic understanding of the candidate’s experience in the interviewer’s mind. A great story can be a differentiator for an interviewer to feel a connection to one candidate over another.

Benefits of storytelling at a job interview

Candidates can establish trust through storytelling. Research by Dr. Paul Zak, the director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University, has shown that as someone tells a story, the listener gains empathy and trust toward the storyteller. This creates the release of oxytocin, the feel-good chemical sometimes referred to as “the trust hormone.” Oxytocin signals to our brain whom we want to be around or avoid.

Through a story, you create an in-group feeling when the hiring manager views you as “just like them” from the similar experiences, preferences, or aspirations described. This feeling of familiarity reinforces you are a good fit. Your stories can also create an out-group feeling as you highlight the different knowledge and experience you bring. These help the hiring manager see where your diverse thinking and approaches would complement the team.

When you hear a candidate is “not a good culture fit,” it’s because the manager views them as a member of an out-group. The candidate failed to connect the dots for the manager to understand how their experience would complement and not compete with the team. Telling stories that intentionally create the experience of in and out-groups helps influence the understanding of how you would contribute to the role, team, and culture.

How to prepare a story

Follow these three steps to preparing a story for a job interview. Your goal is for your message to resonate with the hiring manager.

1. Consider what you know about the people you are interviewing with

  • What do you know about the interviewer and company?
  • What do you want the interviewer to know about you?
  • What assumptions might the interviewer have about you?
  • What do you uniquely bring to this role or organization (out-group)?
  • Why are you the right one for the role (in-group)?

2. Define three words or phrases that describe what you want the interviewer to remember about you

Identify specific words or phrases that describe you best; avoid common terms like “conscientious.” For example, saying you are an “agitator of change who asks questions to get people outside of their comfort zone and elevate thinking” describes what you would contribute. That specificity is memorable and would resonate with companies seeking those skills.

Once you have come up with your words or phrases, work them into your stories and follow-up messages.

3. Build a tool kit of possible stories to share

Stories you come up with should answer “Tell me about a time…” behavioral questions. Identify different examples that are relevant to the role you seek. Here are a few examples of common behavioral interview questions:

  • Tell me about a time you faced conflict with a coworker or team.
  • Describe a time you made a mistake.
  • Give an example of a time you demonstrated leadership skills.
  • What is an example of when you had to reset expectations with a client?
  • When did you have to think on your feet?
  • Share a problem you have solved.

For each question, plan how you will incorporate the three words or phrases that describe you best. Think of examples that will create an in-group feeling through your related knowledge, skills, and values. Also, determine where to include out-group feelings through complementary knowledge, skills, and experiences you would bring to the role. Finally, identify stories that will illustrate both in and out-group examples for the interview.

Key elements to include in a story

Outline each of your stories and include a sentence or two covering the following:

  • Challenge or conflict—What was the problem or conflict you are addressing? What was at stake? Why was this messy or hard? What would happen if nothing was done?
  • Action—What action did you take?
  • Result—What was the result of your actions?
  • Learning—What did you learn?

Your goal is to tell a story that engages the interviewer’s brain, and not just list roles and responsibilities. Describing the conflict and what was at stake, what you set out to solve, and what would have happened if you didn’t take action gives a story tension. Sharing actions and results reinforces relevant in or out-group experiences. Telling what you learned helps finish the thought for the interviewer, giving them the takeaway for the story.

At the job interview—telling your story

It may be tempting to tell your interviewer a detailed story. However, what is interesting to you may not be to them. Provide enough information so they can understand your experience and the takeaway. Keep your stories under a minute and let the interviewer ask follow-up questions.

Think of your interview like a book. Chapter one is about your brand; each subsequent chapter includes stories about specific roles, projects, or experiences. Don’t give away the entire book in each response. Include metaphors and examples that can anchor what is familiar to the interviewer; avoid using acronyms.

Send a follow-up message after the interview, sharing what stood out to you about the role or the company. Reinforce why you are right for the role by connecting your three words or phrases to the opportunity.

Through storytelling, you will become a more memorable candidate

Try telling stories in your next job interview. It will help you to be more memorable to the interviewer, and help build an understanding of why you are the right person for the job.

Job interview FAQs

Below we have summarized important questions and answers on the dos and don’ts of job interviews:

How do I sell myself during an interview? 

Figure out whom you are interviewing with and what assumptions they may have about you. Define three words or phrases that describe what you want the interviewer to remember about you and work them into your responses. Prepare stories about your experience that demonstrate your similarities and complementary experience.

What is one thing you should not do in an interview?

Don’t assume the interviewer understands your experience from your resume. Tell stories to help your interviewer recognize your complementary skills and experience.

What questions should I ask at the end of an interview?

Ask questions about specific moments to understand the true company culture. Ask questions like: “Tell me about someone you are proud of” or “Tell me about a time you helped someone learn from a mistake.”

About the Author

Post by: Karen Eber

Karen Eber is the CEO and chief storyteller at Eber Leadership Group, a leadership development advisory company. She is also an international consultant, keynote, and TED speaker. Karen is publishing The Perfect Story: How to Tell Stories That Inform, Influence and Inspire with HarperCollins in 2023.

Company: Eber Leadership Group
Website: www.kareneber.com
Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

posts about working from home are why I like social media

Thanks to https://www.personalbrandingblog.com/personal-branding-tips-for-executives-in-boring-industries/

Building a personal brand is all about capturing attention. If you work in a “boring” industry, it can be tough to communicate the key benefits that differentiate you from competitors. Especially when you work in an industry that’s not usually the topic of conversation or trending on social media.

Take the VoIP industry, a very boring industry. It’s hard to make VOIP stand out or make it “sexy”. People don’t usually turn to VoIP companies for engaging content, actionable educational or entertainment. But with the right attitude and the ability to produce quality content, leaders even in the boring Cloud VoIP industry can gain recognition and build an audience. (I’ll show you a real life example in bullet #1 below).

In this article I’ll show you real examples of how to capture your target market’s attention, convert them into stark raving fans, and build your personal brand even when you’re in a boring industry.

Ready? Let’s roll!

1. Be Bold. Be Authentic. 

Wallflowers and shrinking violets don’t build brands. People who are bold and enthusiastic do. For executives looking to make their mark and build a brand, being a hands-on, in the trenches type of person translates into authentic experience.

You don’t want to be the kind of exec that takes all the credit and not know how anything works. If your team does the heavy lifting while you get the kudos but you can’t explain how your widget works, then people are not going to respect your opinion.

Someone who shows they know what they are doing and can express their “Why” is going to be more authentic.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion and share it, even if it happens to touch on the politics of the day. If it is earnest, authentic and well-thought-out—not some emotionally charged overreaction—then boldly proclaim it and let the discourse begin. That is what builds engagement, followers, and brands. 

Those who take a position and confidently support their way of thinking are more likely to stand out 

People value leaders who are confident and don’t flip-flop on their beliefs just to appease the masses. Sure, some feathers may get ruffled, but how many low-key, wishy-washy executives can you name? Exactly. You can’t name many because they don’t stand out and nobody knows who they are.

2. Share Actionable Expertise

Just because your industry isn’t interesting doesn’t mean no one is interested. You can still share your knowledge and expertise to build your brand. Take Ryan Stewman, the sales and marketing expert who runs a sales training called The Hardcore Closer.

Ryan gained a loyal following talking about lead generation. He has built a multi-million dollar business by taking what has worked for him, sharing it, and monetizing it.

Ryan was on the cutting edge of using social media and videos to promote himself and connect with people when he started in sales. Because of his success, he started to teach other salespeople how to use social media to connect with people and use tools for lead generation. 

He built a lead generation software company called Phonesites that helps salespeople create their own sales funnels. He offered free training on Facebook live and produced free content in the form of articles and training videos.

Sharing his expertise helped grow his personal brand which has allowed him to scale into other successful business ventures. He’s doing it right.

Chris the founder of SalesMessage is another great example. He has been using SMS texting to communicate with anyone who contacts their business or even subscribes to their webinars, events, or blog. 

He shares actionable tips, tricks and information while trying to covert some of the leads who contact him and gets a whopping 70% response rate on SMS texts. He recently shared the complete set of sample text messages to send to customers on his blog. He engages his potential customers and build his following.

But, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in personal branding is to be and act like someone you are not. You will eventually be outed, caught, or exposed. 

When building a personal brand, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not or have expertise when you don’t.

Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the once highly-touted blood-testing startup Theranos, was once the darling of Silicon Valley. She was seen as an influencer and visionary in the same vein as Steve Jobs.

Theranos WAS Elizabeth Holmes and her personal brand of being a healthcare wunderkind carried the firm. Unfortunately for many people, the whole company and the whole story was a massive fraud. She faked her expertise and knowledge, the company was exposed and now it is no more.

A personal brand built on lies and half-truths will come back to bite you.

3. Be the MVP of Value

If you want to really stand out, you must be useful and add maximum value at all times. Do this by offering free info, training, and content about your industry and share that info while speaking at events and on podcasts.

We’re talking about sharing real expertise, not just thoughts or opinions, but practical knowledge that comes from actually having done the work.

Jack Kosakowski kills it here. Jack has been providing actionable social selling advice and content for over 5 years. With his SkillsLab social selling site, he has been helping salespeople to increase their presence through social media and how to correctly connect with—and sell to—their target clients. 

Value comes from experience. Jack has churned out content on social media, his blog, publications like The Harvard Business Review, and on podcasts—continually sharing what has worked for him, and how it took him from a newbie salesperson to the CEO of the US division of a Global Digital Agency.

4. Stop Selling and Build Trust Instead

Look, you don’t need to be Billy Mays or the ShamWow guy, pitching and promoting all day while operators are standing by. Constantly pushing product is exhausting. But talking and engaging with people in your own voice—your true self—and showing them how to succeed with examples and actionable ideas will build trust.

When you let people see the real you, trust is built and your brand strengthens and attracts new prospects.

Trust isn’t built by speaking AT people. It’s built by engaging and speaking WITH with your audience.

People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. And that’s usually not the guy with the bullhorn shouting “Look at me! Look at me!” Differentiate yourself by sharing knowledge from real-world experience in an authentic, engaging way that creates value and trustworthiness. This will build your personal brand.

When someone needs to seek out info in your industry, you will be top-of-mind because you will be the rockstar of your “boring” industry. They will come to you for the value you provide because you’ve built trust due to engagement, value, and expertise. 


The post Personal Branding Tips For Executives In “Boring” Industries appeared first on Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career.

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