Sum up Your Career with a Good Story

Susan Hall
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Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions of 2011

Telling a story can be a good way to address that interview question “So tell me a little bit about yourself,” according to a FINS post.

As I’ve written before, the story should be short and to the point — and not make you out to be some kind of superhero. It should sum up your career in a positive way that addresses obstacles you’ve faced and how you’ve overcome them — basically a version of the SAR — situation, action, result — method, writes author Geoffrey James.

He warns against merely reciting facts on your resume — education, job history and current situation. He writes:

The interviewer wants to "feel comfortable" with the idea of hiring you, and that is an emotion rather than a logical conclusion. Once the interviewer wants you emotionally, your resume can help provide the logic.

A positive story can create that same positive emotion in the interviewer, he says, and will stick in his or her mind longer than the facts on your resume.

He goes into some good, specific advice for selecting the right story and delivering it in a powerful way.

A post at ere.net, meanwhile, urges employers to not to dismiss candidates too quickly because they don’t have the exact experience the company’s looking for. Several staffing firms have told me lately that the hiring process is taking longer these days because hiring managers believe more, better candidates are out there.


Author Jim Roddy urges hiring managers to look closely at candidates’ character and decision-making skills that would make them a good fit for positions they could grow into. His company, he says, has adopted questions such as these to do so:

  • Give me an example of a time when you had to do the hard thing or have a difficult conversation.
  • Not everyone immediately agrees with our decisions. Tell me about a decision you made and how you gained acceptance from others.
  • Give an example of something you accomplished that others around you said couldn’t be done and how you got it done.


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