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Boring Interview? Tell a Good Story!

Everyone loves a good story… even the employers that interview you! According to a Harvard Study, most hiring managers make their selection decision within the first three minutes of the interview, so making an impression matters! Think of each interview question as a storytelling opportunity. Simply put, if you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it!

Telling your career story in a compelling and engaging way…

  • gets the interviewer’s attention
  • provides an emotional impact that makes your interview memorable
  • gives you more confidence
  • persuades them to act in your favor
  • Behavioral Questions are Story Opportunities!

    Many interviewers are using a technique called Behavioral Interviewing. The premise behind this method is that past performance is the best indicator of future performance. Typically, employers will identify the characteristcs, skills, and experience they think will make a candidate successful in the job, and then ask questions geared to finding out if you have those skills. Questions such as “tell me about a time you had a difficult customer and how your handled it” give you the opportunity to answer with a story of how you responded to a real-life work situation emphasizing the positive results.

    Job interviews are not about answering questions; your resume does most of the answering of the basic questions about your skill sets and abilities. Interviews are about telling stories and communicating desired messages to a hiring committee. When interviewing, you should strive to communicate how you would be a great fit for the organization and the position. This requires the ability to tell a story.

    Kevin Monahan is the Associate Director of the Notre Dame Career Center.

    How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

    Before the Interview

  • Identify examples of situations from your experiences where you have demonstrated the behaviors a given company seeks
  • Prepare and Practice: write your answers out, practice in front of mirror or with a friend, edit, and repeat. Repeat until you own your stories
  • During a behavioral interview

  • Always listen carefully to the question
  • Ask for clarification if necessary
  • Answer the question completely
  • Be specific and detailed
  • Use the S.T.A.R. method to answer behavioral questions:
  • S.T.A.R. Method of Telling a Good Interview Story

    Situation: give an example of a situation you were involved in that resulted in a positive outcome

    Task: describe the tasks involved in that situation

    Action: what actions did you take to resolve or complete the task?

    Results: what were the results of your actions?

    Want to learn more? Join us on Thursday, September 26, from 11am-1pm in the Business and Job Center!


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