When you are on the hunt for a new job, your primary goal is to convince a prospective employer that you are the best person for the role. Typically, this means that you need to be highly persuasive, so you can shape the hiring manager’s perception of you as a candidate.
There are people out there who seem to be naturally persuasive individuals, often having a relatively easy time getting other people to see things from their perspective. But that isn’t the case for everyone.
Luckily, for the rest of use, persuasion is a skill that can be improved, especially when you know the trick that can make you more persuasive. And what is that trick? It’s being a skilled storyteller.
So, if you want to score a winning job offer, here’s what you need to know about persuasion and storytelling.
Why Being a Great Storyteller Helps
If your goal is to be persuasive, you need to be able to get others (in this case, hiring managers) to see a scenario from your perspective, and storytelling can help you do that. By telling a story, you engage the interviewer on a deeper level and make it easier for them to connect with what you’re sharing. It makes hard data, like quantifiable information about your accomplishments, more relatable while simultaneously providing valuable context and adding an inherent sense of emotion.
Now, during an interview, your stories still need to rely heavily on facts. But, by changing how you share the information, you can craft more interesting and memorable responses, allowing you to stand out from the sea of other applicants with greater ease.
How to Tell Stories When You Interview
In the vast majority of cases, hiring managers rely on open-ended questions as they allow them to learn more about what a candidate has to offer and assist them in gauging your personality. Luckily, these prompts are ideal for storytelling, as they give you some space regarding how you shape your response. But, to be the most effective, you’ll often need to craft these answers in advance, which isn’t as hard as it may sound on the surface.
First, review common interview questions (you can usually find a wealth of them online) and practicing responding with stories. All this entails is remembering a specific example from your previous experiences and creating a response that speaks about that situation while ensuring it relates to the question.
Then, you need to work on keeping your answers concise, as a rambling or overly lengthy response isn’t going to be as persuasive, but make sure that you provide enough context so that you can take the hiring manager on a journey as you reply. Sprinkle in quantifiable details whenever possible, and chose your words carefully so that you can convince the hiring manager to see you from your desired perspective.
With practice, being a persuasive storyteller does become easier and more natural, and can often be applied to other areas of your life. But, by focusing on interview questions initially, you can more easily accomplish your goal of winning that coveted job offer.