fbpx

Can’t Remember the Punch Line?

I am going to continue my theme on building a compelling story to use when job interviewing and/or power-networking. In a previous blog I presented the idea that your interview needs to be YOUR story. Just like a comedian who tells a good joke, you have to be able to tell your own punch line at the end of your story.  So when you are doing an interview, you do not want to leave the punch line up to the interviewer. You need to tell the punch line. It’s the why I am relevant and significant for the job opening.

First, this thing I am calling your story is different from the traditional “elevator pitch”. Basically, I hate those. They always have a way of coming out either rehearsed or canned. There is no personality in that. To have a good story, you need to be ready to modify things on-the-fly. You need to be soaking in the dialogue from the interviewer. Listen carefully and shape your responses to fit the context, language, terminology, and buzz that the other person is using to communicate.

Here are the basic elements. You need a beginning, middle, and an end. WOW! When have you heard that before…hmmmmm, maybe in 5th grade language arts? I did. This childlike simplicity is so powerful. It goes something like this.

“I know exactly what you are talking about. My experience includes direct handling of XYZ during the most recent change in the market. I was responsible for 20% of the increase my old company had in XYZ. Because your company is launching a new initiative with XYZ (I know this from studying your information), I am sure I can make a similar contribution here.”

Keep working on those stories and the right punch line.

PS – I have become a contributing author on Linked2Leadership. Visit http://linked2leadership.com/

PPS – for more on career transition and job search resources, visit www.AskJMS.org