- Technical/Professional Proficiency
- Time management/ability to perform under deadline pressure
- Willingness to learn/ability to learn quickly
- Willingness to travel, relocate
- Work ethic/professionalism
- Work Standards
In this preliminary stage, you are developing stories/examples of skills and behaviors relevant to the types of position you seek. In subsequent chapters, you’ll see how to structure these stories for specific behavioral-interview questions.
The integration of stories with employment interviewing has been a well-known and highly touted technique for some time. Career author Frank Traditi, who titles his article on the subject, Using Career Success Stories in Interviews and Networking, recommends success stories about overcoming significant challenges.
In focus-group research that I conducted for my PhD dissertation, participants were asked to evaluate a set of story-based interview responses compared with responses that did not contain stories. Of participants preferring the storied responses, comments included:
- The story responses presented more information.
- The story responses incorporated the job-seeker’s personal style into handling business.
- The job-seeker who gave the story responses communicated/sold herself in a very positive light.
- The storytelling respondent was the more memorable candidate since “I would have had more time to get to know her through her answers and the time I spent with her.”
- The story responses were quite the opposite of those without stories in that the storytelling job-seeker expressed herself in a “colorful” manner. She incorporated into her stories terms that employers like to hear during an interview “ reliable, trustworthy, loyal, team player, creative.
- The storytelling responses allowed the interviewer to see how the job-seeker took on a task and handled it.
- The non-story responses, although concise, did not impress upon the interviewer how the job-seeker could benefit the organization, nor did they provide a sense of his personal style and ways of handling the day-to-day situations that may arise.