The Key to a Successful Job Interview: Rock Soup

Know the story?

Once upon a time there was an old beggar who went from village to village looking for a hot meal.  After failure after failure, he looked down on the ground and saw a rock.  He got an idea.  He picked it up, took it to a stream, cleaned it, and placed it in his pocket.  He then proceeded to the nearest house and knocked on the kitchen door.

When the cook opened the door she barked at him, “What do you want?!”

“Could I please have some water,” he asked meekly, “so that I can make some rock soup?”

“Rock soup?” asked the cook.  “What’s that?”

“I’ll show you.  All I need is a pot and some water.”

Curious, she obliged and filled a small pot with water and put it on the stove.  The beggar then removed the rock from his pocket and placed it in the pot.

When the water started to boil he asked for a spoon and took a sip.  “It could use a little salt,” he said, and the cook gladly obliged. “Better, but maybe some pepper?”

Contemplating his meal he said, “A small piece of carrot and I think we’ve got it!”

Well the carrot led to a potato, which led to an onion, which led to some meat… which resulted in his rock soup turning into a nice stew.

And that’s how you conduct a successful job interview.  Begin with the rock – your top credential.   Place in the bowl, so to speak, your number one accomplishment which speaks to the job for which you are being interviewed.   Now they’re curious.  You have their attention.  Build from there.  As the conversation continues listen carefully.  It should not be too difficult to figure out what your interviewers want to hear or, if you will, what the meat is you need to add to the bowl in order to turn your rock soup into a stew of a job offer.