Prospective employers love to ask you behavioral interview questions (also called situational interview questions). These kinds of questions dig a little deeper into what makes you tick. The answers to behavioral interview questions reveal how you have handled real-world situations in the past, which predict how you will probably behave in similar situations in the future. More importantly, they show an employer how you approach and solve problems—which is a valuable thing to know about a potential employee.
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The difference between most areas in life and the job search process is that, in most areas in life, you know who your competition is. You can analyze the competition's strengths, capitalize on their weaknesses, and prepare accordingly to you give yourself the best chance to win.
The job search process is different: you don't know who you are competing against.
Dozens, sometimes hundreds of applicants are competing for a single role within a company. And you never quite know how you stack up against them. So, how do give yourself the best chance to win?
I’ve given a lot of bad presentations in the past, but there was one that was particularly painful. I was in college and I had to share a presentation on an assignment we had. I hated presentations. But there I stood, in front of a packed class of students, ready to speak. I was nervous. In fact, I had to set down my notes because I was shaking so badly. I didn’t want to sound stupid. Out of desperation, I started reading off my slides. The same slides everyone else was reading. They weren’t that impressive. Just a few points and some data to back up my findings. Nothing crazy. I glanced across the room at the rest of the students. Some were on their phones. Some were looking off into space. Others were doodling in their notebooks. But no one was listening to what I had to say. No one cared. So, what did I do wrong? I didn’t create an emotional connection with my audience. There are so many presentations out there that just focus on the data. While data is important, it doesn’t necessarily make an emotional connection with an audience. But what does? Storytelling. “Human beings are hardwired to love stories,” said Robin Amos Kahn, a presentation coach at Own The Room, a communication skills training company. “. . . We need stories. We need to share our stories. Stories move us.” Telling powerful stories is an artform. It allows you to connect with your audience emotionally and draw them into what you’re saying. But when was the last time you started a presentation with a story? The next time you give a presentation, start with a compelling story that relates to your topic and moves your audience. Want to increase your communication skills? Check out our course “How To Improve Your Communication Skills At Work” to become a better communicator and learn how to work with others more effectively.