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How to Come Up with Interview Stories via the Stories-within-Stories Method

by THEA kelley | December 2, 2021

We all know storytelling is crucial in job interviews, but it’s easier said than done. Are you wondering how to come up with interview stories?

One place to find new stories is within the stories you already have.

(If you’re a beginner at interview storytelling and haven’t yet prepared any stories, read my post, Beyond STAR: How to Prepare More Interview Stories.)

Think about one of your more complex stories. Maybe it’s about a lengthy project you were involved in. Now, what was the hardest thing about getting started and the early phases of this project? Was it difficult to enlist people, gather resources? Was it challenging to plan the steps to be taken? Any challenge you overcame can be a story unto itself. It may seem short and simple, but what’s wrong with that? Not all of your stories need to be complex.

What happened around the middle of the project? How did you handle that? And as you were approaching the finish line, did any last-minute issues arise that almost made you miss the deadline? What did you do about that?

How many stories can you pull out of one project?

Make a list of your interview stories. Ultimately you want to have at least 15 stories ready, and it will be too hard to keep them all “in your head.” There’s no need to write out the stories word-for-word, but do give each one a title that helps you remember it, and  jot down some notes about the key points involved.

Now that you know how to come up with interview stories, get ready to practice.

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