I’m a huge fan of using “mini-stories” during interviews. When prepping candidates, I strongly encourage them to prepare short stories about their on-the-job successes, especially ones tied to the competencies an employer is looking for. There’s just no better way to demonstrate your ability to be effective in the role. Here’s an excerpt from an article that backs this up:
After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics.
If you were a candidate looking for a job in recruitment and you read the following two statements in two different job ads, which job would you be more likely to apply to?
- Job ad #1: “You will have responsibility for the identification and hire of 15 new staff.”
- Job ad #2: “We started last year with 6 people. Stephen and Reza then joined us as interns after responding to a Youtube video; no salary, just the will to grow and learn. Lisa trained as a Black Belt 3 years ago in her old job. She called asking us if we were hiring and we snapped her up. Since then we’ve hired Johnny’s brother Graham and his mate Dave. This year, your job will be to scale this to 15 more people. You’ve got your work cut out! ;)”
Both job ads tell us exactly the same thing, but job ad #2 has given us so much more insight into the company looking to hire. We now know the story of how they’ve gotten to where they are now. We feel invested in the people mentioned in this story. We’d love to meet them. And we’re relishing the challenge of putting our skills to the test to find more people like Stephen, Reza, Lisa, Graham and Dave, and adding to this already great team.
As the incredible Chip and Dan Heath said in their book ‘Made to Stick‘, “Credible ideas make people believe. An emotional idea makes people care. The right stories make people act.” And as recruiters, that’s exactly what we need them to do, act! We need to compel the right people to apply for our jobs. And the best way to do that is through storytelling in your job ads. Storytelling grabs attention in a crowded marketplace and makes you memorable.