A Success Story takes a work achievement and transforms it into a short, structured “explanation” that is easy to understand.
A success story (see samples here) is a powerful tool to help you in interviews because it organizes your thoughts and responses into a few sentences, creating a “story” of the correct length; keeping you on topic. By practicing a success story, out loud, you will gain confidence. When you have a success story prepared, the key achievements of your career will be showcased with less effort and worry.
Create a Success Story:
STEP ONE: describe… What was the problem you encountered? and… What were the risks or costs of doing nothing? ONE or TWO sentences.
STEP TWO: describe… What you did in ONE sentence.
STEP THREE: describe…The results and the proof that what you did was a success. ONE or TWO sentences.
STEP FOUR: be prepared with:
- an explanation in greater detail about STEP ONE
- more details for what you did in STEP TWO
- further explanations related to STEP THREE
more on stories & why they are so important
some narrative theorists that there is a universal story structure. These scholars claim every engaging story has this structure, called the dramatic arc. It starts with something new and surprising, and increases tension with difficulties that the characters must overcome, often because of some failure or crisis in their past, and then leads to a climax where the characters must look deep inside themselves to overcome the looming crisis, and once this transformation occurs, the story resolves itself.