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  • Rahul Guha

5 Points to Craft Your Compelling Story to bowl over the Interviewer



Does your resume tell your story? Interviewers are mostly intrigued to know about you. The interview would have been half over if your resume could draw your image precisely. I picked up this topic to write after a good thought to answer the most befitting question of this time. You get the chance to create your first impression once, the well-narrated story makes all the difference.

All of us have a story to narrate. If you delve into your past, traverse back to your age of adolescence, and look forward, you will discover incidents that earned you a lesson. Hurting lessons always imprints a lasting impact. We mostly decide to evade those situations in your life. Such learnings are transformational, leaves an enduring impression in our minds.

Positive experiences anyway motivate you and inspire you to echo.

The mind needs to walk through all these memories and put those relevant into a frame. Every story you narrate is a value snippet, this impacts the perception of others about you. An interviewer is no different. A well-narrated story depicts an impressive image of you. Much sharper & creative than what your resume speaks.

We generally overlook the importance of twining sequences of various stages of our lives. Illustrate our real character, values & reflect upon the kind of employee we would make.

To share a compelling narrative about a highly relatable character with whom anyone can identify. You need to prepare for the same.

Being prompted to narrate your story is enough to trigger a jam if you are not prepared.



Stories bring out your behavioral traits. You need to unravel those positive elements of your character without diving into a long-winding array of explanations that may not interest the Interviewer.

Remember to allure attention and not distract the interviewer by weaving tension & suspense like a theatre script.

Have a backup of a few sets of stories in your back pocket.

You need to pick one best suited for the time once you face the interview. The deciding factors may be the importance of the role, a span of control, the background of the company you are anchoring for the job. These elements can be plucked from the job description & notes you could collate during your research.

The art of selecting the right story is what you need to learn from the sheer presence of mind and regular practice.

Hope, till here, I could emphasize enough how critical is your story as a tool to impress upon the Interviewer.

In my professional experience over two decades, I have interviewed many who could leave a positive impression in my mind with their compelling stories. It does work while making a hiring decision.

Let us explore the five tips on how to construct your narrative to form an exciting story,



1. Set the backdrop.

Your first three sentences should be enough to give the backdrop of the story. Why this story is relevant, it came at what stage of your life, the place and time of the incident will comprise the backdrop. You can measure the time to narrate the backdrop if you need to complete the whole story ideally in two minutes or less.

That’s an ideal attention span for one to absorb the narrative completely. Be crisp and to the point as much as possible.

Okay, let me share a hint, people usually like casualties.

Explore your memory to discover the overarching themes of your life. Those must be captivating incidents that shaped you for today. Maybe it made you super conscious about the importance of family, the value of perseverance, maximum utilization of time, etc.

Every life will have different themes one needs to discover theirs.



2. You need to portray yourself as the Protagonist, the hero, the pivotal character.

Be true to your story. Many people failed with the borrowed narration as they could not stitch it together. Once you set the context, unfold the story the events that led you to that conflict. One should never reflect a self-image of the feeble, defenseless character. Even in crisis, you stood steel with a straight spine to face your nemesis, any adversary.

Professional experiences make an intriguing story that may help the assessor map your personality traits better.

3. The story that hoovers around the profession makes maximum impact.

For example, you are evaluated against a vacancy in sales, where you need to deliver independently. In one of your early assignments, you lagged in your target big-time consecutively for two quarters, even your boss raised his hand that saving your job post next review will be arduous if you do not get some sales immediately.

You are at fix and perplexed. You had sleepless nights. You realized that something drastic should happen that may change your track.

Over lunch, your conversation with IT Head has transformed your thoughts. His simple techniques of adopting technology to improve your sales funnel through automated e-mail helped you flourish your customer base.

Adopting technology tools as a new practice, Openness to ideas, and action taker attitude that you reflect here. Think, you may find several examples in your life like the one I have mentioned.

4. The breakthrough moment after the climax is very critical in your story.

The Interviewer will be keener to hear how you conquered the battle.

The despair and fear should trigger the twist, add spice into the tale. You reached the climax when all possibilities turn shallow and darkness flutter over the prospect, suddenly you find the answer. Breakthrough leads to relief, the ray of hope that may turn the situation around.

Strive to present yourself as a winner, a hero, who withstand the negativity, stood up, acted on learnings decisively & finally succeed.

Remember, no one takes an interest in a hero who succumbs. An image at the beginning of your story of a poor soul, who lost his job in the pandemic, became a victim of a cost-cutting measure, will certainly play a spoiled sport.

You intend to inspire confidence, not kindle sympathy.

5. Your story should end with a moral.

How did your thoughts got transpired with this experience?

Speak about the values you possess without making it sound like bragging.

Facing an interview implies that you are actively looking for a job change. The reasons for seeking an alternative are critical. Longing just for a higher salary as you did not earn increment for some time will put your present employer in low light. Most of the time such perspectives are not taken in the right spirit.

You have curved out your image of a hero in your story, with your beliefs, convictions, and ethics. Draw an inference from those, the idea of growth, aspiration, finding newer challenges, learning, may form a better answer for switching a job.

To establish control on your narrative takes time and requires rigorous practice.

One should do enough rehearsal and curate multiple plots if you want people to identify and engage with you meaningfully.

One should be conscious of limitations of time, interest span of the listener and relevance of a particular story to enhance the influence and engagement.

Storytelling is an art, a subject by itself. A proficient storyteller always gets the edge over others in any opportunity of interactions.

If you find this content interesting, do add comments. That will encourage me to bring out more such articles that help one achieve Winning Career goals.

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