Interviewing is Still Old School

We are losing the art of storytelling.

Before cell phones, when someone would ask “How was your weekend in New York?” you would actually describe the events – the crowds, Time Square, the Broadway shows, the historical sites, the food! Today, we simply hold our phone up and scroll through pictures – no need to describe, we just show. Dozens (sometimes hundreds!) of images bring you as close as possible to being there. Using words to describe seems second rate to “being there” in pictures.

Go to any gathering of friends, family, colleagues. Cell phones are ever present, an extension of ourselves ready to add color to any story, show the ordinary or extraordinary events of our lives. Human interaction is becoming two dimensional. Storytelling 2.0. You and your phone. We even allow our mobile sidekicks to interrupt our human interactions with text messages or updates that we simply seem unable to turn away from.

One of the few old-school situations that relies solely on YOU to be the storyteller is a job interview. No phone, no notes, just you. A rare situation in today’s world and one that find some candidates ill prepared. Are you able to talk about your success stories? How you overcame a significant organizational challenge? How you managed a project citing milestones, deliverables, setbacks, accomplishments, outcomes? Are you prepared to talk about yourself in about a minute and capture the essential checklist of who you are, what you have done, how you would contribute, and what you are looking for?

Like all skills, storytelling takes practice. Speaking about yourself with confidence, not cockiness takes practice. Your resume can be a perfect match but your ability to connect with an interviewer seals the deal. As I continue to say, it’s not just about the resume! Practice speaking while your driving. Practice speaking with a friend (phones away!) or call upon a professional who can take you through the paces of a mock interview. Then, when you get the call to come in to interview, bring you’re A-game, feel confident that you nailed it and get the job offer you always wanted, pick up that phone and text everyone you know!