We all love a good story. When something funny happens to someone else we can laugh and be glad it wasn’t us. That’s fine around a table or campfire — but not in a job interview.
Too often the finalist candidates a client wants us to interview tries tom impress us with a story about what they know about a topic or a success not their own. It’s as if they believe by associating themselves with someone else’s success, we will give them credit. It doesn’t work that way.
As an interviewer, if I didn’t have positive criteria for each question to compare with each response, I could be persuaded to believe this person was part of the story. Sometimes candidates quote research or statistics to impress me with their knowledge.
But my criteria helps me look for thinking AND action — how are they thinking about the situation, and what did they DO? We want to hear verbs connected directly to this person’s actions in the story.
What evidence do I hear that THIS candidate followed through with productive action, beyond listening, being available, reflecting, or helping someone feel valued? People don’t feel valued if your listening doesn’t result in some positive benefit. This is also true in sales or customer service.
Life is a team sport. How do your stories make it clear you’re actually in the game?