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How to turn your achievements into compelling stories: Being able to tell compelling stories that keep your interviewer informed and interested is the key to success at an interview. If you haven’t done the right preparation you could ramble on potentially boring your interviewer to death and still not give them the information they are looking for. Read more

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How to turn your achievements into compelling stories

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How to turn your achievements into compelling stories


Being able to tell compelling stories that keep your interviewer informed and interested is the key to success at an interview.


If you haven’t done the right preparation you could ramble on potentially boring your interviewer to death and still not give them the information they are looking for.


The first step is understanding your own achievements.


Make a list of your biggest achievements from school, university and work. Take each achievement individually and ask yourself the following questions.



These questions are designed to get you thinking about your achievement in a way that will help you turn it into a compelling and succinct story during an interview. Start with a direct one line answer and if they want more detail just think STAR!


S - Situation  –  what needed to be solved


T -Task – what was your task in helping to resolve the situation


A - Actions – think of 4 or 5 actions you took to make this achievement successful


R - Result - at least 3 positive results ending up with anything complimentary anyone else said about your achievement


Although this is a short story, the way you tell it is crucial to keeping your interviewer interested as well as informed. It’s a good idea to have a few of these ready before interview


Example: Sarah, what do you think was one of your biggest achievements when you were working at the bank?


I made the hiring process quicker, efficient and more cost effective within my area.


Can you tell me a little more about it?


The situation was that the hiring process was in a real mess as hiring managers didn’t believe in it, didn’t communicate with the recruitment team and the bank were losing out on great candidates.


My task, having been brought in as an in house recruiter, was to streamline the process, improve the communication and not lose out on top talent.


Actions: So I engaged with the hiring managers to get them onside about the need for change. I then set up a weekly meeting to keep us all informed at each stage of the hiring process. I sent out a weekly spreadsheet detailing all vacancies within the department and who was interviewing for what. I led all the meetings and encouraged the hiring managers to share candidate’s details in case they would be the right fit for other in the department.


The results were that I built strong working relationships with all the hiring managers. We stopped losing out on great candidates because we were sharing information – and we saved recruitment costs. I had loads of positive feedback from the hiring managers saying that they enjoyed the weekly meeting and the new processes so much they stopped dreading the recruitment process.

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