A Publication of WTVP

The basics in preparing for an interview include focusing on your first impression, dressing appropriately and ensuring that your interview materials are in good order. That’s a good start, but there are three more steps that can better your chances of a good interview.

Step one is to fully understand your career history and professional strengths and how they contribute to the skills and talents you will present to employers. Step two involves practicing your interview skills until you’ve mastered them. Finally, step three —what this column will focus on—revolves around developing interview-enhancing C.A.R. stories.

C.A.R. stories are brief narratives that describe professional Challenges, Actions and Results in which you played a direct and valuable role at previous jobs. Establishing several C.A.R. stories centered on your best career accomplishments prepares you for marketing your talents during an interview. C.A.R. stories also help you answer open-ended interview questions with compelling, memorable answers that underscore your strengths and abilities.

Begin your C.A.R. story by describing a professional accomplishment or challenge. Next, share the skills, resources and tools that you employed to overcome an obstacle and reach your goal. C.A.R. stories make a positive impression on employers because they illustrate specific accomplishments in which you played a lead role. The following questions are intended to help you fine-tune your C.A.R. stories for successful interviewing:

C. Challenge or problem you have encountered

A. Action you took to resolve the problem or situation

R. Results you achieved