86 | How To Tell Your Career Story In An Interview With Dan Carr

In this week’s episode, Dan and I talk about interviewing, whether it’s an in-person interview, exploratory call or virtual coffee,  you want to put your best foot forward.  We all know it’s going to begin with someone asking you the typical questions: tell me about your background, why are you interested in a career pivot,  why did you leave or are leaving your current company, etc and it’s important how you craft your story.  Spoiler alert, it’s not about going through your resume bullet by bullet, they have the resume and have read it, that’s why they are talking to you. Knowing the answers to these common questions is the key to it all. And don’t worry, we have some actionable tips, tricks and advice for you to get you through an interview!

In this episode, you will specifically learn how to…

  • How to tell your why – Take a step back and think about your why.  Why did you get into your current role or industry, how did you end up where you are and your general connection is to the profession?  Being able to talk about these things will help you stand out among the crowd!
  • How to talk about a career pivot – Again, it’s about the why.  Why are you making a pivot?  Are there any skills that overlap between your current role and the new one?  Are you doing anything like taking classes on your own time, etc, to understand and bridge the gap between the two? 
  • How to explain if you were fired or laid off – Spoiler alert,  transparent and honest.  This allows you to own the narrative around what happened.  It’s ok to talk about failure but be able back it up with what you learned from it and how you moved on.  
  • How to talk about a gap or short employment stints – Most recruiters or hiring managers won’t spend a lot of time on this but just be honest.  If there is a family or medical issue, no one is going to fault you for that. But if you went back to school or took classes, traveled, started a band, whatever it may be, it could connect you to the person interviewing you.  On the other hand, job hopping isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s an opportunity to describe what was not right for you and how it brought you to this opportunity.  
  • How to talk about a toxic work environment – Take all the negative people or experiences you had and change them to challenges.  And talk about what you learned from it, how it helped you navigate a tough situation and how you have moved on to know what is important next time.
  • How to talk about compensation – Recruiters want to have some idea of what you are looking for.  Reflect on what you need and would be comfortable with.  Remember, it’s just a starting point, recruiters just want to gut-check if you both are in the same ballpark.

Links mentioned…

Interview Preparation Worksheet