Keep it Fresh – Great Interview Stories: A Recruiter’s Perspective

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I heard a great expression this week: “We change our teams every three months to keep things from getting calcified.”

Calcified.

What a great description. When things are in this state, they are steady and stable but only creative or dynamic if you are willing to wait for a couple hundred years.

This is not an ideal way to describe what you do or why you are so good at it. I am not saying that you need to treat an interview like a stand up comedy performance, but you do need to make sure that your examples sound fresh and interesting.

The best way to do this is to practice. Pick five or six situations that really show your mettle. Think about how to set the stage, describe the players, the problem or situation and the resolution. Once you have those details laid out, grab a friend and practice telling the story.

Have them make notes on your delivery, the brightness of your eyes, how often you smiled and most importantly, how long it took.

Despite my uncle who can always “make a long story short”, examples need to be crisp, clear and told in 2-3 minutes. If they take longer, you run the risk of forgetting the question and that is embarrassing.

This is like preparing to give a toast at a wedding or doing a presentation at work. You have a couple of lines that are proven winners to warm up the audience, and then you get to the real stuff. By then, people are hanging on to hear what you have to say.

Final tip: if you can’t find a friend willing to listen to your practice, then take the hint and sign up for Toastmasters. They have two locations in Oakville.

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