Recognizing that recruiters meet a plethora of candidates, it is essential that you maximize your time with them and ensure that you stand out. One of the easiest ways for you to do so is to tell a story during your interview. I know it may sound odd, but trust me–a recruiter may not remember the color tie you wore or how tall you were, but they will remember the story you told during your interview, especially if it was a memorable one.
Recently, I met a young woman who was interested in completing a summer internship with Hyatt. She was 1 of 24 students I interviewed during my time on this particular campus. When I asked her to give me an example of a challenge she had to overcome, she told me about her internship at a hotel in Hong Kong.
This particular internship required her to answer phones and assist guests who did not speak English. Although she was somewhat proficient in speaking Chinese, it was truly a challenge for her to provide assistance to guests over the phone without the benefit of body language or visual cues. Her description of the experience was both detailed and interesting enough for me to paint my own mental image and to share with my peers when we were discussing the students we had met during our recent recruiting trips.
Practice and prepare your story.
When preparing for your interview, consider one or two stories you would want to share with your interviewer. Did you run a marathon at age 12 or raise a significant amount of money for your community? These are achievements worth sharing! Although you won’t know the specific questions you’ll be asked during your interview, it is likely that at least one of the stories you prepare will fit in nicely within your response to a specific question at some point during the interview.
Choose your story carefully.
You want to ensure that the story you tell is concise, demonstrates a positive behavior, and shows you in the very best light! You also want to be sure the story is interesting and memorable. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you rehearse the details of your stories in advance. Rehearsing the story out loud for others will also help ensure that your body language and non-verbal cues support your storytelling.
If you’re having difficulty finding a story or two to share, take a look at your resume. Sometimes students have difficulty condensing their resumes to one page. The advice I often give is to consider the items listed on the resume–are there achievements or details that would bring more value when shared during an interview rather than hidden within the content of your resume?
A firm handshake, professional appearance, and warm smile are all the building blocks of a good first impression. In order to build a lasting impression, good communication skills and a memorable story are both key components!
Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers. Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee. During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit hyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at blog.hyatt.jobs.