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How to Answer Questions in Narrative Form

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When you are asked a question, one way to answer is in the narrative format. This is particularly useful in a job interview when employers ask you to demonstrate how you have used a job skill in a certain situation. A narrative is a story, so make your story as relevant, to the point and compelling as possible.

Get to the point quickly in your story. Avoid providing any unnecessary background information. It is important, instead, to provide details that support and add to the recreation of the incident for your listener. Every detail you provide should directly relate to your story's main point.

Speak in the first person. Use “I” throughout your narrative. Mention co-workers and colleagues that helped you with a project or situation. This demonstrates that you acknowledge the contributions of others and that you are not the only person of importance in your narrative.

Include setting, characters, plot and climax in your answer, just as if you were writing a story. Relate the story's conclusion, and connect the story to the skill referenced in the question at the end of your answer.

Avoid using words like “um,” “you know” and “like” in your answers. Practice your narratives before the interview by coming up with answers to common interview questions. Do mock interviews with a friend or family member to help you speak clearly and concisely.


Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

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