Job Search Strategies – Polishing Your Success Stories For the Job Interview

Your most powerful contributions to a job interview are your success stories. Most people are not organized about what they have done right in their careers and, let’s face it, if you’ve been working more than a few years, you’ve probably forgotten some pretty impressive accomplishments. This is especially true if your mother did an especially good job of teaching you to be a modest little girl or boy.

Where do you find these success stories? Your success stories are the things you are proud of that you have done throughout your career. The easiest way to access this information is to give your brain a roadmap about where to find the information. They may be the things mentioned in your annual or semi-annual progress reports (even though you hated them then, they’re valuable now) or the things you bored your dinner companions with while they were happening. Those folks are a great resource for identifying accomplishments you may have forgotten.

So what information are you looking for? It breaks down into the Situation you were faced with, the Actions you took, and the Results.

The Situation. What was the situation you found yourself in, the project you were asked to handle, the problem that landed in your lap? What was the goal you needed to reach, the venture you needed to get started? The more details you recall, the easier it will be for you to remember the actions and outcome in this situation.

The Actions. What were the actions you took to resolve the situation, complete the project successfully, solve the problem? If the action was taken by a group, did you lead the group? Did you participate on the project team? If you did either, it is an appropriate story for you to tell. The Outcome. Make the outcome measurable. How much money did you save? How much additional income did you bring in? How much were you over goal? How much under budget? How far ahead of deadline? How much time did you save? Any statement, when quantified, becomes stronger and more believable. If you can’t make the outcome measurable, make it memorable. Connect what you or your team did with something the listener can relate to.