How to Tell Your Story in an Interview

One of the best ways to stand out on an interview is to prove that you’re capable of doing the job using specific examples and metrics from your career.

At CareerKeeper, we call these stories of your accomplishments, learnings, professional development and beyond, your “Work Wins.”

Telling work win stories take some practice to perfect. To make sure you’re always telling a full story, remember to use “Challenge, Action, Results." First, let’s break it down…

Challenge: Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. Give enough detail for the interviewer to understand the situation. This example can be from a previous job, college project, volunteer activity or any relevant event. Try to think about the goal were you working towards.

Action: Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail and keep the focus on you. What specific steps did you take? What was your contribution? Refer to only what you did and not the group. Use words like “I” instead of “we” in this part.

Result: Describe the outcome of your actions and don’t be shy about taking credit. What happened? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? Provide examples using metrics when possible.

Let’s pull it all together. Here’s an example for a marketing manager that explains she or he has experience in launching an email program…

Challenge: I started in a new role where we did not have a formal email marketing program and calendar setup. One-off email engagement was low and the team was struggling to find a clear consistent way to communicate key messages to our end-users.

Action: I began interviewing agencies to find out if the team should outsource email or keep it in-house. Ultimately, I identified it was more beneficial to the company to grow email in-house and started designing the program with the design and copywriting teams.

Results: I launched the email program within the same fiscal quarter as starting in the role. Immediately, end-user engagement grew with open rates averaging 75%.

Now it’s your turn.

Try to think about something you’ve accomplished recently and challenge yourself to create your very first work win. One day soon, you can be telling this story to an interviewer. Why not record the details while they are fresh and make yourself interview-ready?