How many stories do you need for a job interview? Enough. You need work-related stories for these questions:
When You Solved a Problem
Everyone calls themselves a “problem-solver”, but if you want to stand out among all the rest, you need an example. Did you ever resolve a problem between two team members? Solve a technical issue? Find a conference speaker when the original backed out? Cover a shift last minute?
Dig back and find an example that shows how you thought out of the box and came up with a resourceful and creative solution. Not a personal problem, but one related to the position. Were you able to make the office more efficient?
For instance, if you created a new handbook and onboarding system for new hires, first explain why the company needed one, what the problem with the old system was, how you created one, and how several years later there is less employee turnover and the employees are more efficient.
When You Made a Mistake – and Bounced Back
This is definitely a story you better plan ahead of time. You need to choose a story where you made a mistake that you’ve since learned from. Talk about a mistake you made early in your career, where a knowledge gap that you’ve since addressed has already been closed. Nothing major or likely to have ended the company, but something just enough to make it worthwhile.
When You Worked as a Leader
Don’t just list off the titles you’ve had in leadership positions – the hiring manager already has your resume. Instead, give an example of when you were able to make a difference by your impact. How did you change people around you for the better? And, if possible, did they change you? This story needs to demonstrate proactivity, when you took control of a situation – not when it was thrust upon you and there was no choice. You need to show that you’re capable when a leader is needed, but not anointed.
When You Worked on a Team
Unless you’re working by yourself in the middle of nowhere, you’re going to have to get along with your coworkers. You need to be able to interact and succeed in your group’s aim. This one is more open since you can choose any time you worked with colleagues, clients, or even volunteer work, as long as it was positive. Avoid any story with conflicts.
“Tell Me About Yourself”
Instead of reciting your resume to the hiring manager, try a short story of why you’re in this industry. Keep it short and professional! Check out our template here: How to Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question
Above all else, whatever stories you tell, be sure to keep them honest, short, and professional.
Or follow our template for how to tell the story itself: How to Frame a Story For Your Interview
Check out our other templates: