(sample edited by me)
The proportions of the story
are almost more important than the story itself.
ALWAYS START WITH THE FACTOR YOU ARE GOING FOR FIRST –
FACTOR – Motivation
PROBLEM/SITUATION (20%) 5-7 sentences
There was a situation, where the high school field hockey program that I had once played for, was suffering miserably, losing every single game by multiple goals and standing last the league, year after year with no hope of that changing.
Having done very well as an athlete while I was in the program and having gone on to play in college, I was approached by the school with the opportunity to rebuild the program.
I saw this as an awesome way to give back and pay it forward, so I accepted the head coaching position.
I was excited and eager to get started, but was soon warned this would not be an easy undertaking as the girls were notorious for being disrespectful, lazy, and as one teacher put it quite frankly “won’t amount to anything”.
MY THOUGHTS WERE…(thoughts, feelings, challenges are important to your story to show them who you are and how you operate)
Transition sentence – feelings, thoughts…
I felt pressured. This was an intense assignment, and I knew I would have to put time and energy into the preparation if my team was to do a good job.
ACTION (60%) 7 -9 steps — more or less
”WHAT I DID WAS……” (use this phrase to signal to them and to you that the main part of the story is beginning. Once you begin the ACTON you can’t go back to the problem.) —
So what I did was, I set up a few informal “open hockey nights” to get to know the girls better for myself.
I knew I didn’t have a lot of time to earn their respect, something I knew was important for success, so I set the tone early by deciding to show the girls what I expected rather than just telling them.
I decided to model the behavior I wanted to see.
They were shocked when they saw I had my stick and mouth guard, and was going to play WITH them. (GOOD ACTION STEP)
That night I out hustled them, beat them to the ball, used phenomenal stick work to maneuver around them, verbalized clearly to my teammates where I was going and where I needed them to go, and most importantly I was intentional about demonstrating a very positive, confident, energy on the field. LONG SENTENCE—LAUNDRY LIST – THIS IS YOUR ACTION – 60% — WORTH BREAKING UP
(I AM NOT A FAN OF LAUNDRY LISTS – BY MAKING THE POINTS DEPENDENT STATEMENTS THEY HAVE MORE OF AN IMPACT – ESPECIALLY IF SOMEONE – THEY – WILL BE TAKING NOTES.)
Edited by me:
That night I out-hustled the players. Some of my tactics included beating them to the ball. I think they were too shocked to move.
I also used phenomenal stick work to maneuver around them.
One thing I did was to verbalize clearly to my teammates where I was going and where they needed to go.
And, most importantly, I was intentional about demonstrating a very positive, confident energy on the field.
When there were water breaks I took the time to walk around making sure I talked with each and every girl, asking how their summer was going, their favorite things about hockey, making sure they knew I noticed and appreciated they were there.
RESULT (20%) —- 3-5 sentences
As a result, I felt calm and confident while giving the presentation and that helped the others feel the same. I received an “A” for my portion of the project.
The team’s overall grade was an A+.
I received many comments from my team and my professor telling me what a great job I did. One team member told me that he had never felt more organized on a project.
(If there was any kind of kudo or comment given – be sure to include that in the end of your story.) Third party endorsement is like a “gold star.”
MAKE IT CONVERSATIONAL – TALK LIKE YOU TALK TO COLLEAGUES
The structure above is the “template.”
Once you write the story, you will turn it into a conversational dialogue.
Make it a conversation like you were sharing the story with others.
Would you talk this way if you were talking to professional colleagues?
We tend to write more formally than when we speak – especially to colleagues. These people who are interviewing you are equivalent to your colleagues. – and may become your colleagues one day.
At least you hope that they will be.