Don’t show up for a job interview without a stockpile of good stories. These narratives should be parables with a moral at the end, showcasing the skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Make your stories do double duty: They should illustrate the good job you’ll be able to do for the company. And they should show that you’re loyal, trustworthy, or hard-working — some personal quality you need to get across. Be sure to have a failure story at the ready. Don’t cheat and talk about your tendency to “work too hard.” Pick something real that you were able to learn from. This will magnify you in the interviewer’s mind, not diminish you. There’s a good chance the interviewer will ask you to talk about a weakness or a failure, anyway — it’s better to be prepared than to come up with a unpolished response off the cuff.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from the HBR Guide to Getting the Right Job.