June 28, 2022

Tighter stories – better job interviews

No matter how quickly communications change one thing remains constant – the power of the story. Great communication is built on great stories. So is getting a new comms job.

Using tighter stories
Having been a candidate (successful and unsuccessful), a hiring manager, and now a communications recruiter, I’ve seen that the job interviews that go well feature plenty of tight, focused stories.

A panel interview is an opportunity to tell your story, to add another chapter to the overarching narrative, the point of which is: “I’m right for the role”. Panel interviews are usually structured around open-ended questions – “Tell me about a time when….”. The best preparation for these types of interviews, and to showcase your abilities, is to develop stories that are tight, interesting and informative.

A lot of elements go into successful storytelling but strip it right back. Effective stories are built around three elements: what needs to be achieved; the obstacles to achieving the goal; and what you do to overcome the obstacles.

The STAR technique
In an interview setting, this structure translates into what is often called the STAR technique. STAR is an acronym for:

  • Situation: the context that leads to the challenge or opportunity
  • Task: the required response to achieve the goal
  • Action: what you did
  • Result: what happened.
  • STAR is not a magic formula. But it provides an adaptable structure to distil your extensive experience into easily understood nuggets. By making it easy for interview panels to understand what you offer you will be well on the way to getting that job you want.

    #getthatjob #tellyourstory #betterinterviews

    Interested in more communications advice? See our article on crisis communications or call John King.

    Written by John King

    John specialises in leading assignments for the recruitment of communications professionals at all levels for the private, not-for-profit and public sectors.

    Prior to joining JacksonStone & Partners, John worked for 20 years providing strategic and communications counsel to a range of public and private sector clients, including board chairs, chief executives and senior management – often during times of crisis or change.

    John’s media and communications experience, and his experience as a hiring manager, means he has built up deep understanding of the types of people clients are looking for and what it takes to recruit high-quality communications professionals.

    John works closely with clients to understand their specific needs, and to build trust and an enduring relationship. His engaging approach puts people at ease and encourages open and honest conversations with candidates.

    His experience provides insights that will help you find and appoint high-calibre candidates that meet your needs.

    Areas of specialisation: Communications professionals
    Years in the industry: 3

    P: +64 4 550 8037

    M: +64 27 610 8896

    E: john.king@jacksonstone.co.nz