Advice from a recruiter: How to wow your interviewer with storytelling
January 16, 2020
Accenture Talent Acquisition Specialist, Nivi, is always confused why so many jobseekers revert to ‘corporate speak’ in interviews. As humans, stories are how we have communicated historically. Bringing colour and emotion into the conversation helps you stand out. These are her tips for how to ace your next interview.
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"We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories." - Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
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Everyone loves a good story – and interviewers are no exception. For job seekers, storytelling is a powerful tool to get your message across in a way that resonates with the interviewer and makes them remember you.
What to tell stories about
Your interviewer wants to know three things:
Look for relevant personal stories that allow you to answer these questions and tie into the job description.
Looking for our next awesome candidates with the Accenture Talent Acquisition Team
Where to include stories in your interview
In almost every interview, there’ll be a moment near the beginning where your interviewer will say: “Tell me something about yourself.” At that point, most people talk about their resume. The problem is that your interviewer already knows what’s in your resume – it’s sitting there in front of them!
Instead, use a story to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Think about yourself outside of work – what motivates you and made you the person you are today? Here are some formats to consider:
With my two daughters
Near the end of your interview, you’ll likely be asked about your strengths and weaknesses. This question lends itself to be answered with a story. Rather than listing your strengths or weaknesses (telling), share a story that illustrates them (showing). Use a clear structure: situation, problem, solution, results.
Volunteering at North Head Wildlife Sanctuary
How to prepare
As humans we are natural story tellers. Before we had writing, stories were the only way to transfer information. In our modern world, you can still use their power to answer interview questions in a compelling and memorable way.
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