Career Advice, Interviews

How To Tell The ‘Story of You’ In A Job Interview: Part 2 – Plots

Last week I wrote about the importance of being able to tell a good story about yourself in an interview. Before we even get into the structure of the story creation, “the story of you” should be made up of at least six mini-plots that you need to know about yourself.  Storytelling expert, Andy Goodman, talks to non-profit organizations about the stories that they need to be able to tell in order to catalyze patrons to give.  Those stories or plots, with a little modification, hold up for the stories we need to be ready to tell about ourselves in an interview.  Before we put any of this into the classic structure of narrative, start now with knowing these things about yourself:

  • The “nature of your challenge” story – Can you articulate what the challenge is that you are trying to overcome?  People want to help each other, but they can’t and won’t unless they can identify with the challenge of others.
  • The “where you started” story – Are you comfortable talking about the core of who you are and where you started as it relates to what makes you up today?
  • The “emblematic success” story  – Do you have the two to three successes cataloged that emphasize and bring out what makes you uniquely successful?
  • The “your performance” story –  Can you point to and talk about your performance in an objective way that expresses clearly your values and principles for not only what you can do, but how you do it?
  • The “striving to learn and improve” story – Can you express how you learn from your mistakes and successes and what you are doing to continuously improve?
  • The “where you are going” story – Can you describe what you want to do, where you want to be in the future, and when you want to get there?  Everyone has a dream, but I am always so surprised with how few people can describe and tell the story of their dreams.

Within the next week, take the mini-stories/plots for you and see if you can write them down as if you were telling them to me or someone else. Don’t worry about how long they are right now, just get them down on a piece of paper.  Next week, we will start to work with the structure of the three acts of a story and begin scripting your own story to tell.