Consolidating Vignettes (Part 4 of 6)
Choosing the Best Stories to Help Answer Common Questions
From the last post, you should have a long list of questions with bullet point answers prepared. These answers should include a story, what you learned, and how that experience will prepare you for the field. If you have these for most/all of the questions, you’re off to a great start!
As you certainly realized when coming up with your answers, some examples are really hard to come up with. At the same time, you hopefully surprised yourself with the abundance of experiences you’ve had. Simply going through the exercise of coming up with these examples will make you more prepared on interview day, so you’re already ahead of the game.
The next step is to go through common questions and see if there are any similarities. For example, the questions “How do you approach working in teams?” and “Tell me about a time you disagreed with a team decision. What did you do?” are very similar.
Once you’ve grouped the questions, take a look at your answers. Looking at your answers, is there one story you thought of that is strong, expresses something about you that matches your three adjectives, that could be adjusted to answer multiple questions? If so, practice adjusting the answer to apply to any question in that group. Once you recognize similarities between questions, it’ll be easy for you to apply this same approach during your interview, allowing you to answer questions with the strongest examples possible. Ideally, you’ll have 5-10 stories that can be adjusted to answer a variety of questions, showing your competence, confidence, and the three adjectives you chose to highlight.