Personal brands are built through the stories you tell about yourself and the experiences you've had. If you're looking to improve your storytelling in job interviews, here's what you need to know.
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Have you ever left a job interview with the impression that you had no chance of getting the job? As you leave the interview room or close your laptop from the online interview, you can't help but contemplate a few thoughts.
“Was it something I said? “Or maybe it was something I didn't say.” “Were my words elusive?” “Did I really answer the questions correctly?” “Where might I have gone wrong?”
Well, the first mistake you might have made was approaching the job interview from your standpoint and not considering what’s in it for the prospective employer.
What am I trying to say here?
See, in today's interview process, companies are increasingly asking behavioral questions to help them make recruiting decisions. During the interview, you were probably stating facts about your employment background, education, and personality. It’s what most job candidates do. This is ok, but it’s not the best approach.
So, what is the best approach?
Storytelling. It's a little-known fact that people process information much better when presented as narratives rather than in terms of facts, figures, or arithmetic.
Read on to learn why you need to be a good storyteller and how to improve your storytelling skills to ace your job interviews.
In a job interview, a good story can make all the difference
Before we get into the heart of the post, there is one thing you need to know. All of us have a natural ability to tell stories. Yes. Each time your best friend asks you how you are and you respond honestly, you are telling a story. There is no escaping the fact that you tell a story every time you check in with your colleagues—whether it is about how your weekend went down or about your overall well-being. Therefore, you can't possibly deny that you are a storyteller.
Personal brands are built through stories you tell about yourself and the experiences you've had. These stories become a visual representation of who you are on paper (your CV or resume). During an interview, you want the prospective employer to have a positive impression of you. Using the right story can persuade the interviewer of the unique value you can provide to the position you are interviewing for. Not only should it tell the employer that you are the proper fit for the position, but you’re the only one.
How to get better at storytelling
It's critical to develop the right skills and apply them so that you can effectively communicate with others' emotions through storytelling. A compelling story must incorporate elements of persuasion, influence, and facts.
And you know what, Fuzu has your back. If you're looking to improve your storytelling at job interviews, here's what you need to know.
1. Prepare and know your story
It’s a no-brainer. Before you walk into the interview, you have to prepare and know your story. Prepare your CV, research the organization you're interviewing with, and tie your experience to the position you're applying for. In any good story, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. The story you tell should demonstrate how far you’ve come; your growth and development.
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2. Know your audience
To ensure that you're responding to the right question, pay attention to what the interviewer is saying. Stay open-minded. Employers often ask various questions that range in complexity. However, by staying open-minded, you'll be able to present your answers in a way that piques the interest of your audience.
3. Be relevant
By proving that you can tailor your abilities and experience to the company's requirements, you establish your relevance. Your prior research should answer how your skills will help the company in light of its existing problems. A candidate who can prove that their expertise is applicable will keep the employers nodding their heads in agreement. Your answers should have the same level of conciseness and impact. Keep them concise and to the point.
Furthermore, it shows them that you are familiar with their industry and its challenges and that you are able to leverage your expertise to address those issues. Isn’t that what every company is looking for?
4. Don’t lose them by wandering
You’ve got the employer as attentive as a heron. Now, what next? Don’t lose them! Some, if not all, interviewees before you have undoubtedly mumbled and uh-hawed their way through the interview process. Research has it that 39% of the candidates get rejected due to overall confidence level and voice quality.
It’s important that you present your cohesive narrative with conviction. You can do this by rehearsing your story until you find a rhythmic voice and tempo that works for you. You'll appear even more impressive and competent than your resume suggests.
5. If you know, you know
You may be wondering, "How can I tell if my story has resonated with my audience?" Easy-peasy. By now you already have an intuitive sense of whether or not you're able to hold someone’s attention.
If you are still unclear, here’s how:
They either maintain eye contact or glance away
They either slouch or wiggle their way throughout the interview
Whether you talked about the next steps or not
Whether the interview ended on time or prematurely
They ask multiple questions or shift the conversation
When it comes to job interviews, your communication skills are put under the microscope. You need a plan to appear more believable, honest, and resonant if you want to be acknowledged. Developing your storytelling skills will help you achieve this goal. With adequate preparation and practice, you can become a good storyteller during your next interview. Remember to always prepare ahead of time, create your story, pare it down, and then practice it until it becomes second nature.
Here at Fuzu, we are excited to demonstrate what it entails to work with you. We'll help you find a job that fits your description if you tell us about yourself. Sign up today.