Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Save Your Stories

One of the best ways that I've seen for acing an interview is to have stories to tell about experiences. When someone asks me questions about challenges, about projects, about successes or failures, I tell stories about my career.

That's something you should be able to do. While you might have specific questions in your field (which tasks lest me direct ETL rows based on some value in SSIS), I find that many questions are more open ended. Even somewhat technical questions can be answered with a few notes about the way you've handled a technical implementation in the past.

However you need these stories to be on the tip of your tongue. Whether you're putting them on your blog, or you're keeping track of them in Word (or Evernote, or some other service), make sure you keep track. You won't remember some of these stories when you need to prepare for an interview, so make sure they're stored when they happen.

When something interesting happens, good or bad, make some notes. Use this to relive your accomplishment, or unload your disappointment. It's cathartic to revisit bad experiences and evaluate them again. It's exciting to go over good ones.

Just keep track of them.

1 comment:

  1. This is good advice, Steve. I hadn't thought of actually writing down 'stories', although there's one story in particular that I've used in interviews many times (because it shows how I deal with difficult people and how I can be flexible). But there are probably other stories about how I've managed a difficult process or interaction that would be useful to be able to share. Having these stored so that I could look at them before an interview would mean that they're in my mind, just when I needed them. BTW, I'm NOT looking for a job at the moment but who knows what the future holds...