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Four Techniques for Drawing Business Stories Out of Others – Part 4


Draw out stories from others with behavioral based questionsI spent six years in the world of recruiting and learned behavioral interviewing questions back then.  The idea behind behavioral interviewing is that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so ask the interviewee to tell you about their past experience related to important aspects of the job you’re interviewing them for.

Behavior based interview questions start with phrases like…

Tell me about a time when…

Can you give me a specific example of how you…

Describe a problem you’ve encountered with…

I know for me, these type of questions lead to better hiring decisions.  People ended up telling me stories from their past that help me see if they were a fit for the jobs we were filling.  Which leads me to …


Technique # 3 – Question Based Interactions

In talking with the instructional designers, I got a wide range of great questions that are used to help pull information out of subject matter experts.  But since we’re looking to pull out stories, these behavioral based questions serve us well.

Here are a few sample questions to get you going…

Tell me about a time when things didn’t go smoothly?

Can you give me a specific example of when this went exceedingly well?

Describe a problem you’ve encountered while doing this?

What’s your biggest success with this in the last six months?

What happened that taught you that lesson?


As we discussed in the last post, TRUST is key.  You still must honor the interviewees and maintain their trust through the question and answer period and beyond.


What Questions Do You Use to Draw Stories Out of Others?

Please share your gems in the comments!!!