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How to Answer Any Job Interview Question

Alex Kinsman ’21, our Employer Relations Career Intern, shares his key takeaways on “Story Circles” episode of The Femails podcast.

This was an episode of The Femails, a podcast that, “Dives into the world of women, work and what it takes to build a successful and fulfilling career on your terms.” This episode focused specifically on a technique called Story Circles to help you answer any behavioral interview question. There might be interviews where you get blindsided by a question even after you have thoroughly prepared. Additionally, you could be asked similar questions and you might feel as if the interviewer is not learning any new information about you. Or you get one of the dreaded behavioral interview questions that begins with, “Tell me about a time when…” These are all situations that can be combated by creating Story Circles and practicing each story before the interview. Below are steps to follow to make your own Story Circles and help you crush those behavioral interviews!

Steps for Story Circles

  1. Begin with Practice Questions
  • You could just google interview questions or use interview questions that are more relevant in your field
  • Read through job description multiple times to look for questions that could be asked based on the skills the job description requires
  1. Be a STAR 
  • Use the STAR method to develop your story
  • STAR stands for: situation, task, action, result
  • Most important piece of advice is to remember the result
  • The STAR method is a good format to use for your bullet points on your resume 
  1. Create your Story Circle 
  • Come up with a name for your story that will jog your memory and put this name in a circle
  • Put lines around your story and think about all the different types of behavior based questions that this one story can answer
  • If the story cannot answer at least 4 behavior based questions then get rid of it or rework it
  • Think about how to emphasize different types of the story depending on the question, can use flashcards to practice answering different questions
  • Start with pen and paper, you need creativity to go back later and avoid the distractions 
  1. Write more stories 
  • The more stories you have the better but not so many that you cannot remember all of your stories

General Advice for Story Circles 

  • Do not memorize the story circle 
  • Should get familiar with the story and practice it but if it is memorized then it is not flexible and the Story Circle losses its purpose
  • Come up with 10 stories that are dynamic enough that you can answer multiple questions with them 
  • Biggest mistake is not having a result to your story 
  • Rambling can be a mistake that people make when answering questions

Check out the podcast here:

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