The first stage of our interview process at Good Commerce is a life story interview. Many folks haven’t experienced a life story interview ahead of interviewing with us and we often get asked how to prepare.
What is a life story interview?
A life story interview is a style of interview that goes beyond traditional job-related questions and focuses on understanding a candidate's personal and professional journey, experiences, values, and aspirations. We use it in our recruitment process to gain a deeper understanding of a candidate's background, motivations, and the events that have shaped their life and career.
Our goal of a life story interview is to get to know the candidate on a more personal level, helping our team assess whether the candidate is a good fit for the culture and values we exemplify at Good Commerce.
How to prepare:
- Self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on your life experiences, both personal and professional, to identify significant events and achievements. You may choose to journal through some of the things that come up for you to get clarity from some of the things you’ve experienced and how they’ve shaped you as a person.
- Structure your story: We’ll begin the interview by asking you to choose a point in your past and we work our way forward from there. Take some time to organize your life story by creating a chronological narrative with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
- Practice storytelling: Practice narrating key moments in a concise way. Focus on the most relevant details. While you may come in with key milestones and lessons learned, our recruiter will ask questions to help you navigate through your story and you can expect to touch on things that weren’t part of your original narrative.
- Highlight achievements: Emphasize your accomplishments, challenges you've overcome, and the skills you've developed along the way. We want to hear what you’re proud of and what lights you up. Make sure you’re sharing these key things with us.
- Align with the job: Tailor your story to demonstrate how your experiences have prepared you for the specific role you're interviewing for. We want to make sure you’ve done your research. The fact that you’re reading this blog is a great start. We take a great deal of care to ensure that our job postings are authentic to the role we are looking to fill. Make sure you also have a good understanding of the job description so you know whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
- Be authentic: Be genuine and honest in your storytelling, as authenticity can resonate with interviewers.
- Prepare for behavioural questions: Expect questions that explore your problem-solving skills, teamwork, leadership, and adaptability. Back to the journaling: if you can find some real-life examples to support your responses, you’ll be well prepared.
- Address failures and setbacks: Don't shy away from discussing challenges or failures. Describe how you learned from them and grew as a result.
- Do your research on Good Commerce: Everyone who we’re interviewing wants a job. Take the time to understand our company culture, values, and mission and identify if these align with your own expectations and values.
- Ask questions: Be ready to engage with the interviewer by asking questions about the company or role, showing your genuine interest.
- Stay within time limits: Respect the allotted time for your life story and ensure your narrative fits within that timeframe. It’s not beneficial to have your interview go over time.
- Seek feedback: Practice your life story with a trusted friend or mentor and ask for feedback on your delivery and content.
We start with the life story interview since it’s a great opportunity to gather an understanding of each candidate’s experiences and personality. We hope you’ll make the most of it by being well-prepared and confident.