You may have read the title and scratched your head wondering what on earth a dragon slaying story is other than reminiscent of the tales of King Arthur, but trust us when we say not only is it real but it is also a useful interview tactic. Let us be your knights in shining armour and tell you how to tell a dragon slaying story and get the job.
Goodness gracious great balls of fire!
Before we go any further we’ll explain what we mean by ‘dragon slaying story.’ This is a short, powerful story that informs an interviewer about a problem you’ve faced in the past (the dragon) and how you’ve resolved it (slaying.) A dragon slaying story has three parts:
- What went wrong
- What you did to fix the problem
- How this had a positive effect
Up in smoke
Now you know what it is, you’re probably wondering when you’ll get the opportunity to tell a dragon slaying story. This may happen more often than you believe and is often framed in a surprisingly dull way. The interviewer may ask ‘so how long have you been using this piece of software’ or ‘tell me about a time when you’ve dealt with an unhappy customer.’
Don’t give them a straight up timeline answer, this is not what they want to hear! Saying that you’ve used Word for more than five years doesn’t actually mean anything, you could barely know how to do more than make wordart in it and likewise almost everyone in a customer-centric job has dealt with one that was unhappy. The important part is how you phrase your answer and the end result that it has on the interviewer.
Imagine dragons (and a good reason)
Take the first example and try to think of a strong reason why you know how to use the software, whether it’s that a friend went off from work ill leaving you to use unfamiliar software and meaning you had to teach yourself in their absence or perhaps you wanted to expand your skillset in your field because you thought your CV looked a little weak.
Likewise, you can say how rather than interrupt a customer and make them even angrier you listened patiently to their concern before apologising and looking for a suitable solution. Explain these parts succinctly to the interviewer, don’t give them a novel – you have now covered what went wrong and what you did to fix the problem.
Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities
Much like that title, don’t big yourself up too much when you give your answer. You don’t have to prove how brilliant you are at something, your answer should display your experience well enough and if you can master that all you have to do now is tie up your dragon slaying story by talking about its beneficial impact. Say you’ve gone for the ‘colleague off sick’ route with your story. Complete your heroic tale by saying how through teaching yourself how to use the software the workload didn’t pile up and you showed your manager that you can use your iniative in a difficult situation.
If you learned how to use the software to expand your knowledge you could say that the positive result from this was that you did not have to be taught by your company meaning you could start the task straight away and impressed staff, or in the customer service area, you could tell the interviewer how due to your patience the customer calmed down and was very pleased with how you resolved their concern.
Now you know how to tell a dragon slaying story and get the job, and if you want to test your tale-telling skills then find an interview through us!