Stories are everything.


When answering a question, say – ‘tell me about a difficult project undertaken?’


Don’t tell the interviewer that you can do X, Y & Z…


Tell a story that illustrates your value.


Sample answer.

Some years ago, I was handed a challenging project that had been grossly under-bid. The starting point was around 15% under the contract price, and I was tasked to turn it around.


I did this by aggressive negotiating, value engineering, effective management of changes and claims, and carefully monitoring budgets, cost reports, and knowing exactly where the weaknesses were in our bill of quantities. I ensured that all members of the project team scrutinized our contract documents, making it easier to highlight areas for change that would yield the most advantageous results. I regularly communicated this information to the project team to maintain an aligned front to the Client.

We ended up with a project that made a profit in the single figures (20% turnaround).


Interpretation

By telling a simple story like this, you demonstrate you know what makes a role successful; you take the initiative and work effectively as part of a team (“I” and “we”).


You can also build layers on top of this simple framework, expand the examples. A story like this provides interesting follow-on questions from an Interviewer.