6 stories to nail your next interview

As our students get ready to start the Fall semester, here is some advice on how to perfect the interview.

It can be scary entering the office of an interviewer, not knowing their questions or their perception of you.  But here are some tips that should make it easier manage yourself and show that you are the right person for the job.

Have a story.

In most interviews with inexperienced individuals (students fall into this category), you will be asked several questions that pertain to how you would deal with a certain situation.  Your answer should not only affirm your abilities, but also demonstrate how you have proven that you can handle the situation.

For example, think of the conversation:

Interviewer:  “What is one asset that you think you would bring to our company?”

Interviewee: “I am problem solver.”

By stating that you are problem solver, do you think you have convinced the interviewer of your abilities?  Of course you are a problem solver, who would say otherwise?

A more likely question during an interview:

Interviewer:  “Describe a time that you were involved in a group and there was conflict.  What was your role and how did you handle this?”

By having a story ready to go, you should easily be able to answer this question and several more.

So, here are the 6 stories needed prior to an interview.

Describe a time where you:

  1. showed leadership in a group environment
  2. showed a high level of problem solving skills
  3. learned on your own
  4. dealt with conflict and defused the situation
  5. showed a true passion for technology or how you show passion in your everyday life(or anything else that would relate to the job interview)
  6. failed and what you did after that to recover

By having a story for each of these situations or questions, you can be sure that interviewer will be impressed by your composure, your thoughtfulness and hopefully your answers.

A final thought:  make sure to do your homework and have at least two good questions for the interviewer.  Try to ask questions that pertain to corporate culture, the ability to learn more and advance, not just (if at all) about compensation and benefits.

So, polish off that resume, get that interview and then come up with and practice your stories so that you can nail that next interview.