Summer is notorious for blockbuster movies and lackluster for those looking for a job as most employers scale back recruiting in the summer. Thankfully, hiring activity begins to pick up after Labor Day as people are back in the office and everyone settles into a typical work routine.
Before you dust off your resume and begin the process of scouring Linkedin, job boards, corporate websites and tapping your network, take a moment to pause and formulate your job story.
The success of a movie is hinged on a great movie trailer. Likewise a promising interview is reliant on a well-crafted career story. An interview can spiral out of control with this first question; “tell me a little bit about yourself”. The reply to this innocuous warm-up question will either captivate the interviewer or put them to sleep. A well told career story conveys just enough to intrigue the interviewer to want to hear more.
Similar to a great movie trailer, a well told job story has five core elements.
- Establishes your credentials and what you have to offer. It should provide the essence of who you are and not chronicle your job history. Leave that to your resume.
- Focuses on two or three key strengths or successes that are relevant to the job you are interviewing for.
- It should be humble and confident without bragging about how great you are.
- It should convey passion and enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter if you’re introverted or extroverted if you like what you do and what you can offer a company it should be present and contagious.
- It should be told in less than three minutes. If it goes on too long, they will lose interest and their mind will begin to wander. Remember you have up to an hour to tell you entire story.
At its best, an interview is a dialogue that allows your story to unfold in an easy effortless way. Your goal is to start the interview with a simple, engaging and focused career story that entices them for more. Happy job hunting.
Peter, I think this is terrific advice. I’ve interviewed a lot of candidates over the past year and it is a rare individual who does this well. Thanks!