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What People Are Saying

Working with Cheryl last year was one of the best experiences in a long time of pursuing my professional development. She was able to help me define my visions, focus my efforts, and guide me towards an efficient and successful job search. Even though she has not worked in my field, she provided me with plenty of tailored resources and taught me how to use social media tools for professional networking and growth. Even after finding a new job I continue to work with her on my career development goals, because she thinks out of the box and gives advice that consistently brings me closer to the 5-year goal that she helped me formulate. Cheryl always appears to be one step ahead of your thought process and is extremely talented at asking the necessary questions so you can reach your own conclusions as to what seems best for you. She is motivating, supportive, optimistic yet realistic, and one of the most positive forces you can have on your side while trying to reach the next goal.”

Susanne Ebling

Cheryl has been a pleasure to work with and she gets results. I found a new position, in a tough economic environment, through LinkedIn using the strategies that Cheryl taught me. I was in the job market actively looking for over six months. I was not using social media before the pilot program with Cheryl and was having very limited success. Once I started using social media based under Cheryl's direction, my success rate improved dramatically and the number of interviews increased resulting in multiple job offers. I highly recommend Cheryl as a career coach.

Dave Becker

“I had been struggling with the umptenth rewrite of my resume for weeks, unable to get it to speak out for me. Then a mutual friend recommended Cheryl. I didn't call her right away since I stubbornly insisted to myself that I could do it without help. Finally, I realized that I needed a new set of eyes and some new thinking. Cheryl's response knocked me over. In a few short days I had a powerful resume that is exactly what I was looking for as well as a cover letter that I can easily customize. Cheryl delivers!

Richard Floyd

Cheryl wrote my resume, and after weeks of sending out my old resume and getting no phone calls, as soon as I got the first draft I sent it to a few job listings and was 5 for 6 in return phone calls- yes 5 for 6!!!..after no responses in the first 2 weeks; Cheryl's work made that much of a difference!! I know anyone looking to move on from where they are working and needs that GREAT resume should contact Cheryl immediately.”

Darrin Bailey

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Tell me about a time when…   This phrase is how many behavioral interviews begin.   The interviewer asks you to tell him or her about a specific event that demonstrates a certain type of skill.  If you are in a customer-facing role, the interviewer may say, “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer.”  If you are in management, the interviewer may say, “Tell me about a time when you had a difficult employee with poor interpersonal skills.”

Unfortunately, many interviewees fail these types of questions because they are not prepared for them.  Too many interviewees answer with generalities instead of specifics.  To simply state that you have dealt with difficult customers before is not sufficient.  You need to think of a specific instance in which you handled a difficult customer and talk about how you resolved the issue.

In preparing for an interview, you should have at least three stories that you can tweak depending on the question that is asked.  All of your stories need to have the same elements:

1)      Be specific. As was stated before, don’t talk in generalities.   Give a specific example with enough detail to be compelling.

2)      Be memorable. Your story should stand out.  Even though you may have many stories that you can tell that speak to the specific issue that the interviewer is asking you about, you need to choose your most compelling story that best illustrates your point.  For example, if you are a meetings manager and you are asked to tell the interviewer about a time when you faced challenges in terms of hosting a meeting, you should talk about a time when the challenge you faced seemed insurmountable.  Then talk about the steps that you took to resolve the issue.  And the end of the story should demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are capable of handling difficult situations with finesse.

3)      Demonstrate competence. Only share stories that have a good ending and put you in a good light.  Interviewers ask behavioral questions because they are trying to determine form your past experience how you would perform in the future.  That means that your stories need to illustrate that you are competent and that you will be a great new hire.

4)      Build credibility. A well told story can increase your credibility as a job seeker.  Anyone can say that they are honest, dependable, and hard-working.  And employers expect to hear this because it is how so many people describe themselves.  But you gain credibility with potential employers when you share a story that shows instead of tells what type of worker you are.

So telling stories can help you make your case for why an employer should hire you.  But don’t wait until you get into the interview to start thinking about stories that you can tell.  In the moment you may draw a blank.  But if you prepare appropriately ahead of time, you can win the interviewer over by sharing stories that illustrate that you would be a great addition to the team.

For professional assistance with refining your answers to interview questions so that you can land a new job, talk to a certified career coach at 877-743-9521 or send an email to admin@calltocareer.com.