Storytelling for Job Interviews
Do you go for lots of interviews but fail to get the job? Ever been told you don't have the -right fit' for the organisation? Maybe you're new to the workforce, or returning after an extended break and struggling to make an impression? When interviewing for a job, you've likely got an hour or less to make a good impression. Some people make the mistake of reading out their employment history, rather than engaging the interviewer by telling relevant stories that demonstrate your strengths.
In the new book, Storytelling for Job Interviews, best-selling author and business storytelling specialist Gabrielle Dolan provides a unique workbook on how to use stories to build trust and credibility with your future employer – fast. Gabrielle shows how telling stories about your personal and professional life helps demonstrate your capabilities and values, why you're a valuable asset to any team or organisation, and how you differentiate from other candidates. With exercises and step-by-step instructions, readers will learn how to:
unleash the power of stories – the number one skill in business today
distinguish yourself from the rest of the interview pack
land a job in three interviews or less (not more than 50)
define, find, match, construct and prepare your own stories
take on tricky questions like: -What's your biggest weakness?'
use your stories in the first 90 days of your new role and beyond.
No matter what stage your career is at, Storytelling for Job Interviews provides you with the storytelling skills to help fast track your career.
Gabrielle Dolan is an expert in communication and a global thought leader in business storytelling, as well as a highly sought-after keynote speaker and mentor. Gabrielle is also the best-selling author of Ignite: Real Leadership, Real Talk, Real Results and Hooked: How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling. Visit www.gabrielledolan.com for more information.
Storytelling for Job Interviews
Author: Gabrielle Dolan
Interview with Gabrielle Dolan
Question: Why did you decide to write Storytelling for Job Interviews?
Gabrielle Dolan: I could sense there was a need for this book when I noticed that several of my senior executive clients were asking for advice on how to prepare for an upcoming interview. I also realised that if highly successful and confident people were struggling with interviews, it must be even more challenging for those who felt less confident, perhaps because they are just starting out in the workforce or maybe returning after an extended break. One of the biggest mistakes people make in a job interview is simply regurgitating their resume to their potential employer because they don't know any other way. My aim for this book is to show them how using stories will be more engaging and will also increase their chances of success.
Question: What types of 'stories' do we need to tell to demonstrate our strengths?
Gabrielle Dolan: In the book I outline four types of stories you should use in a job interview to demonstrate your capabilities and values. These are literal, like, learn and lateral stories. Sharing literal and like stories in a job interview will demonstrate your strengths and capabilities. A literal story shares an experience in a similar job and similar industry. Whereas a like story reveals a skill, such as project management that you could have gained from anywhere, such as managing your child's football team.
Question: Can your provide your top three tips for the first five minutes, of a job interview?
Gabrielle Dolan: 1. My first tip is to always look confident even if you are extremely nervous. Confidence will trump competence every time.
2. Secondly, try to find something in common with your interviewer as soon as you can such as kids, travel or sport. Be on the lookout for these cues by what the interviewer says.
3. My final tip is to always be yourself. If you are not going to fit into the company, it's best to find out in the interview not 3 months into the job.
Question: How can we distinguish ourselves from the rest of the candidates?
Gabrielle Dolan: To distinguish ourselves we need to build a connection with the interview panel and this is where the other two stories, lateral and learn, come into play. Lateral stories demonstrate a value you have from sharing a personal experience. Learn stories are about a time that you have learnt something from an experience either at work or in your personal life. It is important that you show an appropriate amount of vulnerability when sharing these stories. The right amount of vulnerability can be very powerful in building a connection and distinguishing yourself from the rest of the pack.
Question: How can we answer the dreaded 'What's your biggest weakness' question?
Gabrielle Dolan: This question needs to be answered honestly but strategically. Could your weakness be seen as a strength in this role? For example, consider how you could turn being risk-adverse into being courageous. It is also important to avoid answering this question with something trivial such as chocolates or alcohol and never answer this question with -I don't have any weaknesses'. This answer simply demonstrates that you lack self-awareness, which is perhaps one of the biggest weaknesses you can have. So the key to answering this dreaded question is to transform your weakness into an advantage.
Interview by Brooke Hunter