By Joni Lindquist

I read a great article by Liz Ryan in Forbes regarding the importance of telling stories during a job interview.

Telling stories makes you a more memorable.  Leadership literature also tells us that using stories is a more powerful form of communication.  When I work with those who are searing for a job, I help them develop “CAR” stories, which Ryan refers to as “Dragon Slaying Format.”  CAR stands for Challenge, Action, and Result.  Job seekers should identify their key accomplishments in this form.  I encourage clients to write their CAR stories, and then practice using them out loud to prepare for an interview.  Describe as a story the challenge you faced, the action(s) you took, and finally explain the outcome or result. These vivid stories will likely make you more memorable to hiring managers who are flooded with candidates.

In the Forbe’s post, Ryan also identifies 10 story categories.  These make sense and hit many of the attributes often sought by hiring managers; teamwork, initiative, innovation, dealing with others, resiliency, and self-awareness.  If you are interviewing for executive-level positions, you should also tell stories about leadership.  These could be what you did in a crisis.  Did you take over and change an underperforming unit?  Perhaps you created a new department for a new initiative, or led a significant change.

Finally, document your stories, practice them aloud and make yourself stand out during your interview.  For help with interview prep, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Joni Lindquist –, or call (913) 345-1881.

Photo credit: thetaxhaven / / CC BY