Make a little library of personal stories BEFORE your job interview

May 24, 2022

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.


Spend any amount of time looking for job interview tips, and you’ll see the very first thing an interview will say is “Tell me about yourself.” It’s true now while you’re interviewing for a summer internship, and it’s true later when you’re pitching investors about your business idea.

Don’t wait til you’re an adult to practice personal storytelling! Start while you’re still in school, and it’ll become second nature before you know it. We’re going to be posting a series of tips to help you work on some responses to “tell me about yourself.” 

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Tuesday Tip: Do your [storytelling] homework.

Don’t leave interviews to chance. Do some homework as a way to prepare, and when the opportunity comes to tell others about yourself, it’ll feel like amazing luck.

Write out a few stories about an experience or something you’ve learned for the most common applications over the next few years. Some stories will get used all the time and others will sit on a shelf. The point is to get them out of your mind in a format that’s ready to share.

Obviously, your spikeview portfolio is the perfect place to track these. Here are three likely times you’ll find yourself using those stories:

[1] Interview for job or internship. 

Let’s start with the obvious one. After glossing over most resumes, employers will select a handful of candidates to bring in for a conversation about the role. The purpose is for them to see if you’re a good fit. Recruiting is time consuming and expensive, so they want to make careful decisions about new hires. 

Feeling stuck? Read some good advice about personal storytelling in an interview here and here.

[2] Essays in college application. 

A personal essay may be the single most powerful way to demonstrate who you are as a person. Remember, every single person submits transcripts and standard forms. But you’re the only person who can share your lived experiences! Juniors, the summer is a great time to work on your stories.

Check out some examples here and here.

[3] Casual conversation with coworkers. 

Restaurants, clothing stores, engineering firms – casual conversation is the lifeblood of any company culture. This is even true for hybrid or remote jobs. The pressure is off, because you’re already hired. This is about relationship building. 

What are some personal story examples that fit these 3 applications? Share this post on social media and add one of your own examples.