Trupti Srikanth, Storyteller, Trainer, Story Coach for Educators at Storywallahs

Trupti is an Engineer by education and a storyteller by passion. She believes that stories have the power to entertain, educate, heal and influence change. Driven by this belief, she not only tells stories but also works with organizations and helps them discover and use the power of stories in their personal and professional lives. Skilled in Interactive Storytelling, Finding-Crafting-Telling stories from life and coaching, she tells stories, trains and coaches educators in leveraging the power of stories in the classroom, and curates and crafts biographical stories from life. An advocate of the need to create awareness on Mental Health, she often uses stories to initiate conversations around the same.

It’s “that time of the year” again.

Ripped jeans make way for crisp white shirts, pantsuits, and sarees.

Talks of aptitude tests, group discussions, and interviews fill the hallways and corridors.

There is a sense of eager anticipation mildly infused with nervous excitement in the air.

Industry experts from organizations across different geographies and sectors land on your campus with fetching job offers.

It’s “that time of the year” again.

You, on your part, aced the aptitude test and the technical test; you even came out of the group discussion with flying colors. The only thing that now stands between you and the job that you have your heart set on, is the final interview with the representatives of the organization.

The interview is a crucial checkpoint on your path to a job that you desire.

How can you transform this checkpoint from a hurdle to an opportunity?

How can you use the opportunity to convince your interviewer about your abilities?

How can you make the facts stated on your resume interesting enough for your interviewer to choose you?

“Facts don’t persuade; Stories do!”

As humans, we are hardwired for stories. Hence, when we communicate information through stories, we stand a better chance at being understood and appreciated. This holds good for our responses during job interviews too.

Here are suggestions on stories that one can be prepared within the face of a job interview.

  1. The Origin Story

A friend once told me that during her growing up years, her family moved around a lot, thanks to the nature of her father’s job which involved frequent transfers. And that she attributed her ability to easily adapt to changes, to those frequent moves. The same friend also told me that her sense of discipline and respect for rules stemmed from the disciplined upbringing she received from her father who was a stickler for rules.

  • Where did you grow up and what is the gift that you received from the place(s) that you grew up in?
  • Who did you grow up amongst and what is the gift that you received from the people that you grew up with?

The place(s) we grow up in and the people we grow up with play a vital role in shaping not only our outlook towards life but also our values, beliefs, and thought processes, which are critical for the culture of any organization. By letting your interviewers in on this aspect of your life, you are offering them a peek into who you are as a person, something your resume won’t.

  1. The Turning Point Story

Many years back, when my children were four, we had to move to another country on work. Our kids neither spoke nor understood English, which was going to be the only language of communication at their soon-to-be school. My husband and I panicked.

In my effort to help them learn the language, I began reading stories aloud to my children every night at bedtime in English, stopping to translate difficult parts of the stories into the language they understood. This developed into a routine that we immensely enjoyed. While I began to discover and embrace the storyteller in me, my children eagerly lapped up all that was coming their way. Gradually the need for translations waned and in three months from the time I had first started reading to them, my children could understand and speak English.

This was a major turning point in my life. The entire exercise helped me realize how much I enjoyed telling stories and understand how powerful stories were in learning. It also built in me a sense of curiosity that led me deep down the path of stories and storytelling.

What event(s) led you to pick a particular career path? What is the story behind you choosing a particular area of specialization? In other words, why did you choose to do whatever it is that you do?

Our lives are filled with multiple turning points that steer us towards goals, realizations, epiphanies, callings. These experiences validate our choices and decisions. They tell the story of why we do what we do. And in doing that, they demonstrate purpose and our commitment towards it. So, this is a story your interviewer definitely needs to hear from you.

  1. The Achievement/Failure Story

Remember that one time when you led your college team to a win in the inter-college singing contest? How about the time you topped the mock aptitude test that the college conducted? And the time when as an 8-year-old you won your first ever trophy?

Do you also remember that time in your first year of college when you failed your physics paper? And the time when you went on stage to deliver a speech and failed miserably at it?

If we were to transpose our lives onto the screen of a heart rate monitor, with the peaks representing our achievements and the troughs representing our failures, the result would hardly be a straight line. It would be a series of peaks and troughs. These are stories waiting to be told. While the achievement stories showcase your strengths and capabilities, the failure stories bring to fore your ability to handle defeat and learn from it. So why not share them with your interviewer and help them get an insight into your abilities?

So, this year, as you prepare for “that time of the year”, jog your memories, find stories, craft them well. And when the opportunity presents, tell with an air of confidence and preparedness, and walk away with that envelope that reads “Offer Letter” and has your name on it.

 

 

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