Graduate Blog / Graduate Life

Why is “story-telling” so important after all?

“Tell me a story”, my now 19-yr old would ask when I put him to bed as a young child. Oftentimes, it was late in the day and so my “imagination” reservoir was pretty dried up but I did my best to think of something fun and creative to capture his attention.

Good Story-telling (& subsequently “story-selling” as I like to call it) is both a critical life and job-hunting skill that if done correctly should not only capture the attention of your audience but also make you “memorable”.

So why ths Story-telling so important and relevant after all?

First, it helps the Interviewer to better understand how you arrived at this point in your life- it lets you “connect the dots” and explain any potential ‘gaps’ in your resume that may be tougher to explain on paper

Second, it lends credibility to what your saying because it allows you to inject ‘examples’- a.k.a “stories” into your responses. For example, you might make a statement like “1 of my strengths is my financial management skills”. By itself, this could be viewed simply as a “claim”, however, it becomes much more convincing when you actually support it with evidence, such as:
“I learned the fundamentals of financial analysis and modeling as an investment banker and honed those skills over the next decade as an investment analyst primarily focused on industries that touch the consumer – retail, CPG, restaurants, health clubs, theatres, etc.

Lastly, it lets you showcase your Communications Skills- both verbal and written- and allows you to articulate what your PVP (Personal Value Proposition) might be and the key ways you might add value to an organization. Simply put, “stories” serve as examples that we weave in and out of our conversations with others. You might remember “PARS” (Problem-Action-Resolution) & “STARS” (Situation-Task-Action-Result) – these are 2 acronyms that we teach all incoming students which provide you with a framework to help organize your thoughts when answering any given question. This framework is the scaffolding for our stories that we use during interviews to help make ourselves ‘memorable’.

Build up a great reservoir of ‘stories’ and you will have all the “ammunition” you will ever need for any given interview! Good luck!!