Potential employers ask standard questions such as: “Tell me about your work experience.” or “What salary are you making now?” or “Tell me about your experience using (a specific software program).”

Open-ended questions are designed to draw out your personality and character traits. “Tell me a little about yourself.” or “Tell me what isn’t in the resume.” are common examples of this type of questioning. The best way to answer these questions is by showing examples in a story telling nature of both your personal and professional accomplishments while including how your values led you to achieve these things.

Individual examples of how you have already dealt with great challenge will erase the potential risk they might have in hiring you. Remember, in good stories, “showing” is much more effective then “telling.” Don’t tell them you are a hard worker, tenacious and dedicated. Convey that in your story. Allow them to draw that conclusion and feel the truth in it. It will mean much more.

For example, if interviewers ask me to fill in the blanks of what is not on my resume, the first thing I generally say is, “I am a single parent of four children, who when my children were all under the age of seven found that I had to recreate my life.” At this point they usually sit up straight as if they’d swallowed a poker. The silence in the room is deafening. I realize that with the way I set this up, the story better be good.

A prospective employer may ask you what your greatest work related accomplishment was. Think of one that gave you great personal reward as well as gave the company great financial reward. Employers value accomplishments that reduce expenses, raise revenues, and solve problems.

Make sure you have several personal success stories that you can share. Stories should average between 30 to 90 seconds. Practice telling these stories while you are driving. Make sure you have listened to yourself say them before you deliver them to another individual.

Stories should revolve around the following themes:

1. Made or saved money for a previous company.
2. Tragedy to triumph or turn-around story.
3. Functioned as part of a team, describing your contribution.
4. Leadership that drove a new direction for the company.
5. A professional failure that you overcame.
6. Career changing events.

Stories leave a deeper impression because they are coupling visual images with problem solving. Be sure to lace quantifiable results into your stories.

    Below are my weekly Twitter posts that you may find helpful:

* Millionaire Women Look Ahead: http://www.startingovernow.com/Articles/Millionaire-Women-Look-Ahead.html

* Eight Rules for Dining Etiquette: http://www.startingovernow.com/Articles/Eight_Rules_for_Dining_Etiquette.html

* 13 Ways to Brand Yourself/business with AllTop: http://ping.fm/Hjde5

* Great New Business Ideas Everyday: http://ping.fm/ipgvK

* Expand Your Job Search – Use Job Search Engines: http://www.startingovernow.

* What you see depends on what you are looking for.

* How to Find a Mentor: http://www.startingovernow.com/Articles/How-to-Find-a-

* To receive a weekly list of career tips, links and job resources get the StartingOverNow Blog e-newsletter – info@StartingOverNow.com

* Why do Men Make More? http://ping.fm/anv8v

* Does Your Resume Look Weathered? http://www.startingovernow.com/Articles/Does_Your_Resume_Look_Weathered.html

* I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few
are living, and countless numbers are still unborn – a Nigerian Chief

* Four Quick Tips for College Graduates http://www.startingovernow.com/Articles/Four-Tips-for-College-Graduates.html

* HireMyMom! Mom professionals capitalize on the freedom and flexibility to do
top-rated work from home http://ping.fm/b0SZZ

* How to Remember People’s Names http://www.startingovernow.com/Articles/How-

* Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. John Maxwell

* 50 People Job Seekers Should Follow http://ping.fm/MZyXp

* You may only be someone in the world, but to someone else, you may be the

* …the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it. – Rafikki, The Lion

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For the FREE Worksheets: “Does Your Resume Look Weathered?” and “Where to Find a Job Other Than the Classifieds?” go to Mary Lee’s web site at: http://www.startingovernow.com/WorksheetsandArticles.html

Mary Lee Gannon went from being a stay-at-home mother with four children to divorce, poverty and then on to become a newspaper reporter, trade association executive director, public relations consultant, and foundation president and CEO. View Mary Lee’s free career tips, worksheets and Blog on her website at http://www.startingovernow.com. Contact Mary Lee at info@startingovernow.com.