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Storytelling in Your Job Interview

While some parts of an interview can be answered simply with one or a few words, more often than not, a successful interview will feel more like a conversation or, even more importantly, where you are sharing your information as an engaging story.
Written by
Alan Writer
Guest Post
Published on
June 9, 2023

While some parts of an interview can be answered simply with one or a few words, more often than not, a successful interview will feel more like a conversation or, even more importantly, where you are sharing your information as an engaging story. It doesn't matter if the interview is a technical interview where you need to show your code or even a financial one, where they may question you on which ratio to use or which formula applies. Storytelling in an interview is key.

It's all about engagement

Interviews start to blend into one clump for those hiring, whether it's the human resources team or the hiring manager themselves. They may try to switch up the questions or ask one of those thought-provoking ones with multiple answers to see how a prospective candidate would reply. 

If you're aiming to get ahead of the pack, then jump into those questions with more than just enthusiasm. Paint them a picture, and have them feel as if they are there when you explain it or provide your answer. You want to showcase yourself as someone who can engage even a stranger, such as the interviewer themselves.

What it also helps do, besides making the interview process just a bit more bearable, is calm you down when you're presenting your response. It helps make everything feel more natural, and instead of the interviewer asking you a question for a job position, it can feel as if someone randomly just asked you a question. It also helps those interviewing you show them how you collect your thoughts together and are able to present them, which is a necessary skill set needed for nearly every single job out there. 

You will often feel that the interviewer will also start to engage in storytelling which can help provide insight into the company you're applying for and help with future questions that may be asked. Additionally, it can open up the floor for you to add to the questions you were going to ask at the end of the interview. 

Be mindful

You want to make sure, during the interview, to have the right back and forth with your interviewer and don't have storytelling turn into ranting or rambling. Know when the question is answered and when you're simply speaking because it feels natural. Fight that impulse and ensure that you still display the discipline required in an interview. 

Another note to make is that not every response needs to be a response and should be reserved to only be used a couple of times during the interview, depending on the length of the interview itself. 

Otherwise, it will appear as if you're all over the place, which would be the exact opposite of what you're trying to achieve with the storytelling. So, in the end, it is a powerful tool amongst other tactics to use during your interview to make yourself stand out and leave a positive experience on the interviewer themselves.  

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