The Inquisitive Report 10/52

Week ending April 6th, 2018

Content Covered: Storytelling


Creativity takes time, prepared creativity even more so. Normally, when I start the practice of putting together content for my next workshop – I gather a whole bunch of ideas, create an outline – pick and choose 5 or 6 activities and then cut everything in half.

Why? Because half the content is what we normally have time for, and the other half is the back up.

The focus of my next workshop is: How to Tell Your Story, and the audience will consist of students who are getting ready to attend a job fair.

The reason why I am focusing on storytelling as preparation for a job fair is that every recruiter the students will meet will start the conversation with the same question: tell me about yourself.

Now a few things: first, this is more than an important opportunity to make an impression – thanks to the limited amount of time, it is their ONLY opportunity to make a first impression that allows them to stand out amongst the hundreds of other students who are also trying to get a few moments with the recruiter.

Second, we all know: first impressions are important. But did you know that due to the “Halo Effect”, all future interactions are also heavily influenced by our first impression of the person? Psychologist Daniel Kahnman discusses the Halo Effect in great detail in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, but essentially: we believe the first impression sets the tone for all else to come, and if a person does a good job up front, we are more likely to give them the benefit of doubt for any mistakes made later on.

Powerful stuff isn’t it? I call leveraging the psychology behind the Halo Effect – the Enhanced Approach.

Let’s break it down a bit further.

Emplying the Standard Approach, when the recruiter asks: tell me about yourself, the student would answer in the following manner:

Handshake, name, year in school, what they’re studying, what they’re interested in, and a: I’m really excited to have this opportunity to speak to you.

With the Enhanced Approach:

Handshake, name, year in school, what they’re studying and a- story about what they are interested in that ties into what makes them a good fit for that specific company.

Essentially, by embedding a story in their introduction about what they are interested in and how it ties into what makes them a good fit – the students will be implicitly telling the recruiter: I did my research on what your company is about, here is what we have in common and why I am a good fit, and why you should consider me.

Leveraging the Enhanced Approach creates a powerful and memorable first impression.


I hope this has given you a little taste on the focus of my next workshop; keep your fingers crossed for me; let’s see how it goes!

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