Boosting Your Interview IQ
I think we can agree that there are a ridiculous number of interviewing books on the market today. Frankly, I have read many of these over the years, but my all-time favorite happens to be “How to Boost Your Interview IQ” by Carole Martin.
In the first half of her book, Carole assesses your interviewing IQ and then proceeds to tell you why your answers work or don’t work. In the second half of the book, she covers tips and tricks to help you get through to round two. This includes how to tell “the story.” You know what kind of question I am talking about. Tell me about a time when…?
There is a three part equation for telling a story that one should always remember. It’s called the 20-60-20 rule. In other words, you need to answer that question with the proportions properly assigned. Here’s how it goes:
Part I-–20% is your introduction. Here you will simply set the stage and give the context of the situation including the who, what, where and when. If you did not look like a champion in front of your boss, division or department…obviously, this is the wrong story to be introducing in an interview. Go back to brainstorming the possibilities for demonstrating the competency they are asking you about.
Part II – 60% of your story is about the actions you took and the steps taken to solve the problem. Don’t forget to mention the ideas you were able to generate, tasks performed and the challenges that were overcome. Explain your role in the process and give details of what you did. Be sure to give a crystal clear picture.
Part III – 20% is about wrapping it up. Be sure to talk about the results you achieved. Don’t forget to mention that your boss was delighted or thrilled. Outside references always works great.
When I hear that candidates are getting to the table and landing interviews but not closing the deal with job offers, I am wondering if they are truly preparing like an attorney going into court. Reading Carole’s book will surely fire up your interview IQ, so you can win in the job hunting war.