Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lost art of good story telling [Phone Interview Series]

Tell a good story.

I'm not talking about the fairy tales you read to small children at bedtime. I'm not talking about the novels that become blockbuster movies. I'm talking about the stories we tell each other everyday. Stories are humanity's most impactful form of communication. Stories are remembered.

You need to be remembered in a positive way during a phone interview. Stories are the best tool I know to be remembered. Good story telling is the difference between the interviewer saying 'I like this guy' and him saying 'I need this guy on my team'.

Stories are the answers.

Most interview questions are answered with a story. Tell me about a time you used critical thinking to solve a problem. Tell me about a time you were assigned a task that was difficult for you. What did you do? Have you every disagreed with your manager? How did you handle it? These interview questions are answered with a story. Most of the time during an interview I'm either small talking about cars or telling my story.

Learn the art of story telling.

Learning the art of story telling has been difficult because I needed to discover my own stories and then bravely tell them to someone else. Discovering my stories requires me to confront my embarrassing moments and admit that I haven't always been right in my actions. Discovering my stories requires me to accept the truth about myself. Only when I begin to see myself the way I truly am can I discover my story.

Once I know my true story then I can change it. Months of preparation are required for a great interview. This is not because it takes months to write great answers to interview questions, but because it takes months to create great habits that become the great answers. The stories I tell during an interview are true. I have spent months creating the habits that guide my actions during tough situations. The way I handled the tough situations become my stories.

Great story telling is great living.

Stories are humanity's oldest form of communication. We know when a story is fake, embellished or otherwise not entirely true. A great interview can only happen if you can truthfully tell your story. That means you need to be living your good story and improving yourself everyday. Create the habits today that will lead you to your new job next year.