What is the best way to ensure that YOU stand out from amongst the competition during the interview process? Storytelling!
Think about the last time you attended a speech. What was it that you most remembered from that 15 or 20-minute presentation? Was it the facts, or the statistics, or was it when the speaker began weaving a personal story or testimonial that caught your interest, wheeled you in, and then ended with impact?
The same technique is extremely effective during an interview. Will the interviewer remember you from amongst the other 10 people he interviewed because you told him you increased profitability, or streamlined processes, or reduced costs – just like the other nine he interviewed? Yawn. Will he remember you, though, if you articulate clear and compelling examples of how you did it was necessary? More likely, you will stand out from the crowd!
Try framing your answers in CAR + SI format (challenge, action, result + strategic importance). Why was the action necessary; What specific action did you take; What was the end, measurable result; And how did it strategically impact the organization?
This exercise helps get at the heart of the value you offer a prospective employer and moves you away from the responsibilities you held and the daily functions you performed. Remember, it's not the what – it's the why and how the – that creates value.
If you have effectively engaged the interviewer in dialogue early in the interview process and listened carefully to the company's needs, your stories can be even more effective. You can leverage the "aha" factor – that moment when the listener connects your past accomplishments with his company's current needs because you told him a "story" he not only listened to, but heard and understood!