Tips for Telling Compelling Stories in a Job Interview

English For IT
English For IT
Published in
4 min readApr 7


Mastering the art of storytelling is a crucial skill for anyone looking to succeed in the modern business world. Why? As a professional, you can leverage storytelling to get people’s attention, convey (= express) complex ideas in a simple and engaging manner, and inspire action.

In this article, we will focus on storytelling for job interviews. If you’ve been to a job interview before, you’ve probably been asked the question “Tell me about yourself. If you know how to tell compelling (= interesting / gripping) stories, you will be able to knock this question out of the park (= succeed /do a great job) every single time.

What you need to do is focus on these 4 core aspects.

1. Begin with a hook

Start your answer with an attention-grabbing statement which will help to engage the interviewer from the outset (= from the very beginning).

2. Highlight Key Moments

Identify specific moments in your career that were particularly impactful, such as your first job at a big company or the time you lead a team to build a new product.

3. Show Growth

Highlight your progression through various roles and responsibilities to demonstrate your adaptability and willingness to take on (=accept) new challenges.

4. Demonstrate Passion

Discuss your relevant personal interests and involvement in various social activities to demonstrate your passion for what you do. If you’ve attended relevant meetups, events, or hackathons or worked on a personal project, consider telling the interviewer about it.

Let’s take a look at the following example of an answer that uses the mentioned storytelling tips.

(Opening hook) My name is John and I am a software developer. I have always been passionate about cutting-edge technology and automation, and I’ve been able to optimize and automate business processes in all of my past jobs.

(Highlighting key moments and showing growth) Just a few words about my background. After finishing my degree in computer science, I landed my first job at a small startup where I was responsible for building out the company’s website and mobile app. It was a challenging role, but I loved the fast-paced environment and the opportunity to learn new things every day.

Since then, I have worked for several other tech companies, each time taking on more responsibility and growing my skills as a developer. One of my proudest moments was when I led a team that built a new platform from scratch, which ended up being a huge success for the company bringing in thousands of new users.

(Demonstrating passion) In my free time, I enjoy tinkering with (= playing around with) new technologies and exploring the latest trends in software development. I also enjoy volunteering at local coding events and teaching kids how to code.

However, don’t limit yourself to using storytelling just to answer the “Tell me about yourself question”. You can tell compelling stories all throughout your interview to help you make a better impression. Remember that the job interview is a perfect opportunity to show you’re competent, likable, and friendly. These are all very important factors in you getting the job.

Here are a few best practices for using storytelling in a job interview

1. Prepare stories in advance

Before the interview, think of specific stories from your professional experience that demonstrate your skills and accomplishments. Make sure these stories are relevant to the job you’re interviewing for.

2. Use the STAR method

When telling your stories, use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers. Start by setting the scene, describing the task or problem you faced, explaining the actions you took to address it, and sharing the outcome or result.

3. Focus on the impact

Oftentimes, candidates get too carried away (= distracted) describing what they did and fail to detail the impact of their achievements or actions. Make sure you describe the why and the how, not only the what. For example, when describing a project you did, make sure to explain what impact your contribution made, what specific results you achieved, and how you managed to do that.

4. Be concise

Keep your stories brief (= short) and to the point (= relevant / without extra detail). The interviewer likely has a limited amount of time, so make sure you get to the main point quickly.

Now that you have all the theory, the only thing left is to practice!

Check out our Job Interview Crash Course where you can practice your storytelling skills, learn how to answer common job interview questions, upgrade your LinkedIn page and resume, and more!



English For IT
English For IT

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