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Landing A New Job Through Effective Storytelling!

Job Interview Tips Helping You  Land a New Job-Get your Ducks in a Row!

landing a new job get your ducks in a rowWhat is the best way to captivate a group? Tell them a great story. If it has a point to make so much the better, but it can be funny, perhaps sad but do it right and you can instantly connect with almost anyone.

Now what does storytelling, you ask, have to do in landing a new job? Job hunting is tough enough but with these job interview tips you'll clearly demonstrate you are the numbe one candidate for the job.


Land a New Job Through Effective Interviewing

Well first it’s the best single way to show the prospective employer how you can solve their problems.

The interviewer has reviewed your skills required to do the job but will need to be convinced that you have the abilities to apply those skills to resolve the challenges associated with the job.

The dilemma is how do you establish these abilities in an interview? The answer is to tell a compelling story closely matching the employer’s need for specific job related results. Not every interview question can be answered in this fashion but through the telling of success stories related to the job you can explain how you overcame noteworthy job related tests.

Rambling on for five minutes about how you improved, for example, safety awareness is definitely not the way to go.

Three Steps to Tell an Effective Story to Land a New Job

Here is a simple straight forward method in three steps that you can use to tell stories of your accomplishments. 

  1. Define the problem or tell the interviewer about the challenges you faced. Be specific, put the project in context. A sales increase in one context of 5% when every other group was down 15% is significant. While in another context being up only 5% when everyone else was up 15% is not a positive achievement.

This is how you set up the outline of the story. Keep it simple but focused. Also, it’s important to relate if the job was assigned or you initiated the action.

  1. Here is where you tell the interviewer what you did. How did you define the problem? What resources did you have at your disposal? Use of other staff and team mates? What did you plan to do? What obstacles did you overcome? How did you get past the roadblocks?

       Tell the interviewer how you worked your plan, adjusted as         necessary and why. Remember you are selling you abilities    to resolve challenges, build that into your story.

3. Now you tell the last chapter of the story-your positive results achieved. Results are everything; quantify what you achieved. Specific results are what the interviewer is looking for and will vault you ahead of other competitors.

Putting the New Interview Strategies to Work

Let’s walk through what we just learned with an example. You are asked, “Tell me about a time you were under pressure to compete a project in a very short time frame?”

I proposed consolidating three operations in three states into one production facility. I made a presentation to the board and was assigned team lead in the project. It had to be completed in less than 90 days as some of the products were seasonal, production would be reduced during the consolidation and less inventory was planned as moving a lower amount would reduce the overall costs.”

Now you’ve set out the premise and you’ll now move to what actions you took and obstacles overcome.

My team consisted of 8 people; a HR manager, 2 production engineers, a marketing manager, 2 production managers, an accountant and the purchasing manager. I started with a meeting outlining the overall goals of the project. We defined possible bottlenecks and I assigned two or three members of the team to resolve each identified problem.

Each group was given two days to develop a plan to handle their assigned challenge. We had another meeting where we resolved any overlap of responsibilities and reworked the overall plan to assure everything stayed on track. I briefed the executive committee and factored their input into the consolidation plan.”

Now we go for the close and tell the interviewer the results.

The consolidation was competed one week over our time budget due to a late engineering change made to some new equipment. I decided it was either make the change when the equipment was being built or later and shut down the production cycle. Overall we terminated two union contracts, brought our dealerships into the process, bought out two leases, and rebuilt over 85,000 square feet of production space. There were some real challenges along the way like finding a transportation company on the weekend when equipment broke and it would take up to a week for our regular contractor to repair. We came in under our financial budget and within one month production was 105% of plan.

I had planned a $700,000 annual improvement as a result of the consolidation and after one year, it came in at just short of one million dollars.”

Wow-More on How to Improve Your Job Interview Storytelling

The story has everything, initiative, analytical skills, leadership abilities, presentation skills, team building, problem solving and positive results.

To assist you write out your stories. Keep them focused and fewer than two minutes. Tell them to friends and members of your network. If your keep hearing the same questions; factor your answers into the overall story.

Now when you have a job interview, review the qualifications and put together a story that showcases you skills in each area. Your story will go a long way in strongly demonstrating you overall abilities and firmly establish you would be an excellent fit in the job.

For stories of others after age 50 that planned a successful career change and planned their job search and found new jobs and careers go to career planning after 50.


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