Team Kraftshala in Interview preparation |   July 19, 2022 . 5 min read

Personal Storytelling to Crack Interviews

The importance of storytelling

While preparing for interviews, it is challenging for candidates to stand out amongst the rest. It is equally challenging for the interviewers to interview a large pool of candidates to find suitable candidates.
In this video, Indranil Chakraborty, Founder, Storyworks, teaches you how to master the art of Storytelling while engaging in any conversation and how it should be used in interviews to exhibit your qualities.
We have summed up the important points discussed by Idranil in this video here.

Differentiate through storytelling

Many students and professionals are unaware that there is a simple trick that can increase your chances of success in the job interview, and that is the ability to tell stories. In the end, it will not only help you to do a better interview but also ensure that the interviewer remembers you and your story when the interview is over.
So let us start our journey of the art of storytelling with the most simple yet golden question: Tell me about yourself.
Do you answer this question using the conventional way of laying out the chronological sequence of events? While there is nothing wrong with this approach, ask yourself, is it really making a mark? After hearing from 30 other candidates, will the interviewer still remember you?
Is there a winning formula that increases the chances of conversion?
The answer is straightforward and an age-old principle in Marketing - Differentiation. So, what is unique about you? It is your experiences - your stories! So differentiate yourself through storytelling in order to crack interviews.

Which stories to tell in an interview?

What works is a compelling story woven in the correct fashion to create the necessary connection with the interviewers.

But what kind of stories should you tell?

This is an often asked question when it comes to personal storytelling to crack interviews. When you prepare to answer common interview questions, think of stories that will help you present your competence to the interviewer in real life and bring it to life for him. Remember that it is essential to keep these stories concise and relevant to the question, rather than unwinding them just for their own sake. This storytelling approach in interviews lays the groundwork for applying portions of your best stories to traditional interview questions.
  • Start with yourself: You need to first figure out your relevant strengths that would make a difference to the individual or the company. The stories you tell, whether they are told by yourself or through experience, the stories you tell strengthen your brand and establish yourself as a three-dimensional representation of the person you are beyond your CV. You record facts and create connections that link your work history, education, behavior, and personality to convince the interviewer of the unique value that you bring to the job.
  • Find out what the company is looking for: Identify the fundamental values, beliefs, and skills they are looking for. Then, think of the scenarios where you would have displayed those abilities you would like to highlight.
  • As quoted by Indranil Chrakarborty in the video:
    “If the company is looking for someone with an entrepreneurial mindset, whereas you are someone who has worked in one of the most risk-averse companies, you do not want to come across as someone who likes to work in structured environments.”
    In this case, the interviewer might think that he's got all the support for the work he does. So will he be able to do things of his own will? Does he have entrepreneurial skills?
    You need to prove to him that without using that word. You go back through your life and run the timeline to see the instances where you have demonstrated that. It lends credibility to the answer.”

    How to tell powerful stories in the interview?

    The last important part is - How exactly do you tell powerful stories in an interview?

    How to tell stories?

    Given that someone else will open the conversation in an interview situation, except if you are giving a presentation, you should look for an opening as early as possible.
    Find places where you can use a story
    what the interviewer wants to know. You want to see your interview response as an arc of action that triggers an incident, overcomes obstacles, reaches a climax, and brings about a solution. It may not feel demanding, but remember that the goal is to have a good story for the interview.
    Add a time marker and location marker
    The best way to start is to add a time marker and a location marker, making the story come alive. Here's a quick way to determine whether you're telling a story: if what you're saying starts with a time marker like "In 2003..." or "Three months ago...", you're probably telling one. If you narrate a succession of events following that time marker, each one related to the next, you are telling a story
    Add a sequence of events
    Remember to add a sequence of events to make the story coherent and have a clear trail of cause and effect. The more your story is connected and coherent, the more attention your interviewer will give to you. Make sure that all the sequence of events are interlinked and forms a beautifully captured story.
    Add characters and surprise
    The next important thing that a story will have is characters. It is because people can identify with the characters, and it makes the story. Be creative, innovative and bring out an element of surprise in your storytelling because that is what grabs the attention of most interviewers. Artistic storytelling is key and it brings out a unique element in your interviews.
    Keep it 30 seconds
    Notice the 30-sec ads of some of the excellent television and internet ads. They seize and manage to grab your emotions in 30 seconds or less. That’s the ballpark figure for a great story, and you should work to hold the interviewer’s attention within that 30 sec.

    Engage in meaningful conversations & storytelling

    Storytelling in interviews is a masterful way to stand out and be remembered. You can use it to bring relevant experiences to life, share what you have learned from them, and convey what you are doing and what you wish the interviewer to appreciate and remember.
    Remember that interviews are conversations between two people. The whole idea is to crack the interview by engaging in the conversation in a better way than you might think - and that is by telling and discussing a compelling story.
    Interested in deep diving even more and exploring more? If so, check out our Professional Brand Management Course if you are interested to learn more about strategies across categories to become a stellar marketer.
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