STORYTELLING: Telling A Professional Story Interviewers Want to Listen To

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen.” – J.K. Rowling

It’s an exciting moment when the phone finally rings or that e-mail finally arrives. Your heart skips a beat and you hold your breath when you realize who is reaching out. You feel a mixture of emotions – there’s excitement, relief, pride and maybe some disbelief. And then when you’ve finally wrapped your head around it, you know it’s going to happen. Anxiety is added to the mixture. What the hell am I going to say??

This is the story of those that have found CLARITY (Module 1) regarding where they want to go professionally, come up with a STRATEGY (Module 2) to get them there and created stellar APPLICATION DOCUMENTS (Module 3). They are interested in speaking to you about a role you applied for.

Module 4: STORYTELLING is about coming up with a captivating (s)hero story that recounts relevant aspects of your professional, academic and personal journey. It is the chance to connect with the future employer and fill in the gaps that could not be filled by reading through your APPLICATION DOCUMENTS.

The question is often formulated as “Please walk me through your resume.” or the infamous “Tell me about yourself”.

Ask yourself: “What do they need to know about me before I leave this discussion?”

Here’s the structure for the response:

Introduce yourself. Let your audience know who you are, your name, years of experience and areas of focus throughout your professional career thus far. You may want to mention your current role.

Mention highlights/accomplishments. Share how you got into this line of work and provide details about each relevant career phase. Relevant in this case are roles that show you are competent in the technical aspects of the role but also that you have the soft skills and mindset that make you a good personal fit. If you have a long career, summarise by combining similar, consecutive roles.

Talk about learnings, challenges, and how you overcame them. There is no (s)hero without adversity, challenges or even failure. Use examples and language that the audience can relate to. Talk about the motivation and decision/thought processes between the stations in your journey.

Communicate your goal/intention. Close with why you are here now – the goal and your expectations. Let the audience know what your intended next steps are and why. Your story is their story. Share why and how you believe they fit into that vision.

Here’s your STORYTELLING Checklist:


  • Share about your unique professional, academic and personal journey. Include challenges and accomplishments


  • Anticipate and address the questions your audience has about your professional academic and personal journey – share the why behind your career moves


  • Wait for cues from your audience – check if they are following, looking confused, distracted or have something to say. Allow for questions and comments

This Job Search Path is a proven system that has helped my clients navigate into their dream roles. I would like to help you identify the key areas holding you back from making that career change. Connect with me and follow me for more regular insights on how to plan your next career move:

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