Enhancing Job Interviews Through Storytelling

 

The shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story.

-Anthony de Melo

 

 

“After a year of misdiagnosis due to a chronic nonproductive cough, a 30 yr. old female patient with a positive PPD gets thrown into the county hospitals ICU in isolation for 2 weeks. They tell her the chest x-ray is “bad.” They don’t tell her anything else. She goes home and grabs her iPhone charger before going into mandatory quarantine.

 

The next morning, she wakes up in her ICU bed. Her nurse wearing a duckbill mask enters her room and brings her a breakfast tray and a handful of multicolored pills in a small paper cup. The patient picks up the small paper cup with the pills and asks: “what are these for?” The nurse looks into her eyes, breaths out a puff of air which fogs up the plastic part of the mask that covers her eyes. “You mean the doctors didn’t tell you? You have tuberculosis! And it’s Bad!”

 

That story is part of the “Nurses and Hypochondriacs podcast: Tuberculosis: The Consumption That Made Puccini Famous (launching soon). That story also blew away the medical director at my last interview. That story got me hired.

 

The use of storytelling in job interviews is a powerful tool. Stories can get you the job. Stories can potentially get you a monetary bonus.

 

Human beings bond through the power of storytelling. When we share stories with one another we exude “oxytocin,” the bonding chemical. The sense of empathy is enhanced in storytelling. If someone starts to bind and connect with you during a job interview, they are more likely to trust you.

Here are some storytelling tips to use at your next job interview:

1.Choose a story that is relevant to the job that you are interviewing for. For example: if you are a new grad RN or resident share a story from your clinical experience that was impactful. A Nursing student recently shared with me a story of when she was able to help give CPR to an ICU patient in a code blue. It was very dramatic and showed off her clinical skills.

2.Make sure your story has a beginning, middle, and end. It’s easy to meander when we are telling stories. And like any good movie, or New York Times Best Seller, we want our audience, and person interviewing us to be entertained and follow us through our storytelling journey.

3. Practice your story at least 3 times before your interview. Practice makes perfect. Tell your story to your friends, your neighbor, and or your pets. The more you know your story, the better and impactful storyteller you will be.

 

And Good Luck!