090 – Corporate Storytelling—Job applications and interviews

Posted by  Anecdote International —January 12, 2021
Filed in Communication, Corporate Storytelling, Podcast

How do you establish rapport and connection in a job interview? Listen to hear how the use of story can give you a special edge in the job application and interview process.

Welcome to 2021, and to a bonus episode which finalises our Anecdotally SpeakingCorporate Storytelling series!

Last year, we released the first eight episodes of this podcast series. The series celebrates the publication of our definitive guide to corporate storytelling, titled Corporate Storytelling—The Essential Guide. You can access it here and read about the myriad of ways you can apply storytelling in a business context.

If you would like to read more about how stories that elicit disgust are more shareable, click here to access Chip Heath’s paper, Emotional Selection in Memes: The Case of Urban Legends. 

We will be back to our usual episode format next week, and again we’ll have a new episode out each Tuesday at 7:00 am (AEDT).  We hope you’ve enjoyed this series. If you would like to see more episodes like this from us in the future, you can tell us in the comments section below.

For your storybank

Tags: corporate storytelling, job interviews, human resources, disgust, change management

This story starts at 08:53

A few years ago, Anna, a highly experienced change management practitioner, saw an advertisement for a job that was perfect for her. She decided to apply for it and put a lot of effort into her application.

The employer selected her for an interview, but when she attended it, it wasn’t what she expected. A panel of people sat across from her in a large boardroom, firing questions at her. She felt there was a distinct power difference in the room and didn’t feel comfortable. Mid-interview, she thought it was not going well and that the answers she was providing were not what they expected.

At one point, one of the interviewers asked Anna what her change management philosophy was. Thinking she wasn’t going to get the job, she responded with, “My change management philosophy is based on dog shit.”

The panel was shocked. Anna went on to explain that she had a dog and lived near a great dog park. You could let your dog off-leash, and lots of people took their dogs there. Disappointingly, the dog park was covered in dog business. But Anna always picked up after her dog.

She was tired of this situation and, as a change management professional, thought she could make a difference. She decided to confront owners who didn’t pick up after their dogs. And she did, every single time she was there.

Most of the time, when she confronted an owner, she was met with rude comments and arguments. A few months went by, and nothing changed.

She thought that maybe she needed to change, so she adopted a completely different approach. When she saw someone’s dog do their business, and the owner didn’t pick it up, she would go over to them and offer them a spare plastic bag.

A few people would still tell her to leave them be, but most people would accept the offering and pick up after their dog. The park became cleaner and cleaner.

After Anna told this story, she said, “That is why my change management philosophy is based on dog shit. If you tell people to change, they will probably resist. You have to give them a choice and involve them in the process. They need a sense of ownership.”

In the end, Anna got the job. But she didn’t stay long, as the organisation was run a bit like their interviews.

About  Anecdote International

Anecdote International is a global training and consulting company, specialising in utilising storytelling to bring humanity back to the workforce. Anecdote is now unique in having a global network of over 60 partners in 28 countries, with their learning programs translated into 11 languages, and customers who incorporate these programs into their leadership and sales enablement activities.

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