One Way to Level Up Your Job Interview Stories

by | Last updated Sep 1, 2022 | how to answer interview questions, Interview and Job Search Skills, Interview Skills

Sharing stories, anecdotes, and examples in your job interview will definitely give you the edge. But there is one more thing you can do to make your story even more powerful in your interviews. 

This technique can help you level up your storytelling so that you can be memorable and more likely to get a job offer. 


Beyond SOAR

To stay on track, using a framework like SOAR, (Situation, Opportunity or Obstacle, Action, and Result), will help you tell stories in a way that is organized and effective, so you don’t leave anything out. 

But there is one more thing you can say at the end of your interview stories to be even more effective:

Add a detail about what it (your achievement and experience) means for the company.

This way, you are reinforcing the relevance of the example that you’re sharing to the job at hand. 

Start With Your Story

Take this example of an operations manager interviewing for a similar role at a retail organization. There is an issue with their customer service:

Situation (S): “We were having an issue with declining customer service. There was heavy turnover with our employees, and we were losing business because we didn’t retain the same service levels.

Opportunity / Obstacle (O): “If we stayed on this trajectory, we were going to have to start laying people off.”

Action: “So I partnered with our learning and development team to come up with a rigorous and quick training program so that we could reinforce all of our best practices and processes and get everyone back on track.

Result: “Within a month and a half, we were back to our original good service levels and we regained our same level of business that we were generating before.

This all sounds strong, right? You’ve painted a vivid picture of what happened, and wrapped up on a positive note.

Then Add That Special Touch

Now here’s how to introduce and use the add-on to your interview stories that show you’re paying attention, that you’re a problem solver, and that you’re the prescription to their pain points.

Once you’ve gone through the four parts of your story, reiterate something you’ve derived from the job description, the recruiter, or the person you’re having a conversation with.

Start off with something like:

You mentioned earlier that you’re having similar issues in your company...”

I noticed in the job description that you want to elevate customer service levels...”

In my initial interview with Marcus, he mentioned that there is a focus on customer service...”

And then add the phrase:

“So what this means for you is, because I’ve been through this before and developed an effective solution, I can bring that here. I can quickly help you adapt something similar so that we can fix this issue and move forward.”

BEFORE You Try This

Use this technique when it’s clear that you can make an statement like this. Second, use this strategy occasionally and only when it makes sense–NOT for every single question. Keep your statement brief and strong.

With this small tweak, saying, “What this means for you,” reinforces the relevancy of your expertise, and it can help you make a more powerful presentation in your interview


dalena bradley job interview coach career coach I’m Dalena Bradley, job interview and career marketing coach dedicated to helping you communicate your value, stand out from the competition, and win the job! Contact me to discuss how we can collaborate.  
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