Interviewing in 2023 has been practically a recreation of the Hunger Games, but in the job market. The competition is always fierce, and so, as a candidate from District 12, you want to be the most prepared to fight and get that offer but also be able to leave a long-lasting impression on all these decision-makers in the Capitol.

Now, leaving this far-fetched metaphor on the side, how do we achieve this in a single interview? The answer is storytelling!


What is storytelling & how does it work?

If we look at the definition of storytelling, at its essence, it represents “the art of conveying information, experiences, or messages through a narrative structure.” In order to do this, we create characters & plots aiming to connect with others, cause emotions, and effectively communicate an idea or message.

From ancient cave paintings to the modern silver screen, storytelling has always been present and essential for human communication. But the power of storytelling is deeply rooted in the neurobiology of human cognition.

And as if this is not amazing enough, it has been proven that our brains tend to remember stories more effectively than separate facts or pieces of information. Imagine you hear a compelling story from a friend. While listening to their story, your brain undergoes a series of complex reactions that result in you understanding, connecting, and feeling empathetic towards them. Your brain and the storyteller’s brain will start mirroring each other’s neural activity in this process (the so-called neural coupling). This will result in establishing a stronger connection between both parties.

So after these impressive scientific facts, it is safe to say that storytelling is a powerful tool. If you have it up your sleeve during interviews, it could lead to establishing a better connection with the interviewer & to a higher chance of them remembering and recalling details from the interview.


When & how should we use storytelling?

It is quite common that candidates end up listing their skills and repeating their resumes during interviews. Storytelling will allow you to take this a step further, showcase your skill set, and run the interviewer through real-life situations in which you needed to apply this.

Another plus to using storytelling is that it becomes a powerful way to convey your values across. You don’t need to explicitly run the interviewer through your principles; your story will. And also don’t forget: Interviewers are humans too! Storytelling would help you connect with them on a human level, making you more relatable & memorable. And in this competitive job market, creating a memorable impression is more than invaluable.

Not every question should be approached with storytelling. Otherwise, the interview will result in more of an open mic night. Just like in life, achieving this golden middle is key here. The good news is that the questions that are opening the door for this approach are quite easy to spot. Questions that begin with phrases like "Tell me about a time when..." or "Describe a situation where..." are the ideal time to show off your storytelling skills.

I bet by now you are convinced to try it out, but you are wondering: how do I go about crafting these stories?