Tip for First Time Job Seekers: Find Your Stories – Tell Them


Last week, I was at my alma mater, the University of the Pacific, as a proctor for mock interviews for students to help them prepare for finding that first job.

All of the students I met with where very well spoken and I am confident will be in good shape when they start the actual interview process. There was one common thread with all the students in that they had some amazing experience but either forgot to tell me about it until I helped pull it out of them, or they “buried the lead.”

  • In one case, the student had developed a comprehensive social media promotion program for specific campus radio shows and was using Snapchat to drive program engagement and audience.  In this case, Snapchat worked due to the relatively small addressable audience and the need for immediate action and engagement.
  • Another student had taken over marketing for a band, and learned some extremely valuable lessons about working with all stakeholders to develop a marketing plan; and
  • Another had identified when the posts they may on social networks were most likely to get a response, and tailored their activity accordingly.

Any one of the above should be the first thing they are talking about in interviews.  I advised the students to each have 3-4 “stories,” they were ready to tell in their interviews.  Each of these stories could be used to answer the standard interview questions, i.e. talk about a challenge and how you overcame it, how you worked as part of a team…..

Even if you aren’t looking for a job, what are your stories?  How do you describe what you do to friends and family?  What do you tell a prospective business partner or sales lead?  Find your stories. Be ready to tell them.


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