Don’t Interview. Tell Stories.


I had a coffee the other day with a new arrival to the New Normal.  He was well educated and had a successful career in the Old Normal.  We had never met before but had gone to the same University in Canada. The University of Western Ontario.  Fancy that since we were in Southern CA.

I have lived in the New Normal for a long time.  I remember the .com bust from 10 years ago but that is a distance memory today for some today when a 23 year old Founder of Snapchat turns down 3 Billion from Facebook whose Founder is 29 and the highest paid CEO in the country.

My new friend arrived abruptly in the New Normal. Once you get to the New Normal you don’t care where you came from anymore because the sooner you recognize that the Old Normal doesn’t exist anymore the smarter you will be.

My friend sold products in the Old Normal that don’t exist in the New Normal.  When is the last time you went to Blockbuster, a One Hour Photo Place or bought a radio or a camera? You can’t get yesterday today.

I saw a package of acetates for an overhead machine the other day at Staples. They stimulated memories of old times, former presentations and I chuckled.  They were out of stock on what I wanted. He pulled out his devise from his hip holder and read the bar code.

My friend had quickly realized that his previous experience and skills didn’t help much in the New Normal. He was a quick study. An instant learner.  I am just meeting with lots of people and being a sponge he said.

I didn’t realize what I didn’t know he shared.

Now discovering new worlds has always been a human quest but when we arrive in the New Normal it can create some confusion when you realize that you can’t rely on the way you did things in the past to make you succeed.

His rude awakenings came fast and hard.  I sent out 67 resumes and got 3 rejections and 64 nothings he said.

I am not surprised I shared.

The waste of time was even getting involved in the sending out resumes game. Does anyone even get a job that way today?  Keeping busy is not necessarily progress today.

He shared that he had had a few interviews that didn’t go well.  How can you be good at interviewing if you haven’t done something in 10 years?   Trying to get through the eye of the hiring needle takes great precision today.

He then shared a nugget, a magic moment. He said I stopped interviewing and started telling stories and then things seemed to go well.

That is pretty smart I thought. He has firmly arrived in the New Normal. He is a native.

It immediately reminded me of another person I had talked to at Starbucks about new ways of selling. The bottom line was don’t sell, tell stories.

Story telling is old news in the advertising game.

No matter where I have presented across the country from places as diverse as Jackson Mississippi to Great Falls Montana people that come up to me always say the same thing.  “I love your stories.”

You see in a world that has changed and become increasing complex simple stories still connect us all, bond us all and build trust.  We all like camp fires and listening to elders.  It is in our wiring be it 120 volt or 240.

I don’t have a template on how to tell stories in an interview.  I just feel that it is a solid road. And it will lead to new stories for you.

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