career storybankHave you ever wonder (and envy about) why some people are so charismatic and seem to have unlimited interesting stories to tell?

Whether it is in networking sessions, parties, job interviews, or even new dates, great storytellers can effectively foster new friendships, build trust, deepen understanding and get buy-ins for their ideas. Having a personal storybank is the most important foundation for you to tell the world who you are!

What is a Career Storybank?

A career storybank is a strategic system for collecting, organising, remembering and sharing your life and career stories.

You can create stories using Evernote which you can add multiple #tags to each note for easy searching afterwards. As best, your Storybank can be accessed on the go so you can review before you enter the interview or networking room.

A good story should be able to capture attention by putting abstract ideas into perspectives, engaging the five senses, and convey both information and feelings with energy, which has to do with your delivery.

Prefer to Watch a Video Instead of Reading Text? Access the youtube version HERE

Benefits of Using a Career Storybank In Your Job Interviews

  • Interview Preparation Made Simple! The Career Storybank method is a systematic and organised method for your overall job interview preparation. Therefore, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the preparation work before every job interview, once your storybank is built, you just need to make minor adaptation each time.
  • Even if you have NO prior related work experience, you can extract your learning experiences from different parts of your life to demonstrate your skills, talents and work ethics and convert them into captivating stories.
  • It is convenient and handy, so whatever questions they ask, you can just pick a relevant story from your storybank, given you have a memory recalling method that works for you.
  • Your brain power can also be freed up during job interviews to tackle any unexpected questions on the spot.
  • The interview process is boring to most interviewers. Telling stories can captivate their attention and help to build a vivid impression of you in the interviewers’ mind.

Steps to Create Your Unique Career Storybank

  1. First, pick 10 – 15 life stories which are the most significant to you and relevant to your career. They could be from work, internship, projects, volunteering, sports, competitions, or personal experiences, a moment of inspiration or realisation.
  2. Create a topic of the story, then list the key points in bullets.
  3. Next, structure these stories using the STAR approach (problem, action, results, key skills polished/lessons learnt).
  4. Then, based on the theme of the story, categorise them into the most relevant “Cabinet”, and then add “Tags” which is like the “drawers to cabinets” to each story.
  5. Understand that every significant life story would involve the usage of a combination of various competencies. Therefore, you can create different versions of the same incident to showcase various competencies. E.g. you can create one story on people skills for working with people from a diverse background from your overseas experience, and another story on problem-solving where you handled challenges on your own.
  6. Go to the Competency Checklist below and see if there are any empty “drawers” that you can further fill up.

competency checklist job skills

7.  To memorise these career stories systematically so you can recall them at ease when you are under stress, you can adopt the “Memory Palace Technique” :

Step 1. Choose Your Place: You’ll need to pick a place that you’re very familiar with. Somewhere that you’ll be able to ‘be there’ using your mind’s eye. A good first choice could be your own home, with cabinets, and drawers. Also, try to define a specific route in your palace instead of just visualize a static scene.

Step 2. List Distinctive Features: Now you need to pay attention to specific features in the place you chose. If you picked a walkthrough in your home, for example, the first noticeable feature would be the front door. Now go on and mentally walk around your Memory Palace. After you go through the door, what’s in the first room? What is the next feature that catches your attention? Continue making mental notes of those features as you go. Each one of them will be an element that you’ll later use to store a single story.

Step 3. Imprint the Palace on Your Mind: That is, literally, familiarise yourself the full details of your palace so the 3D image is so vivid in your mind’s eye.

Step 4. Associate! You take a known image and combine with the element you want to memorise. Make it crazy, ridiculous, animated.
For example, an elephant display on your desk reminds you the service learning project you did in Thailand together with international volunteers. So you can associate the elephant with keywords like “Project Management” “Flexibility” “Collaboration” and these tags are like flags and are sticking on the back of the elephant.
After you’ve associated all your stories with the features, you’re done with memorising the items.

Step 5. Visit Your Palace: Repeat the journey at least once in your mind to strengthen the memory.

And there you go! Your Career Storybank is now printed to your memory palace!

Although it looks like a lot of effort, once the storybank is built, you’ll have much ease and confidence next time when you are presenting yourself! Try it!

[This article is extracted from the Book “First Job Bible: Strategies and Answers to Top Job Interview Questions”. Get it now HERE]