There is a story element that is so compelling, so exciting, so fundamental, we are obsessed with it. Entire series, franchises, entertainment empires have been built around this one element. We will watch hundreds of episodes craving just a hint of it, see movies across every genre that explore every angle of it, build friendships around the promise of witnessing it, and argue profusely over the validity of it.
What is this story element that is so raw, so human, that it rallies us into an emotional frenzy and drives us to obsession?
That one moment where a single piece of knowledge changes everything.
There are many different flavors of the reveal.
For example, when we know the secret and watch anxiously, desperately wanting the protagonist to figure it out. We want to scream at the screen “Watch out, he’s the bad guy!” or throw our hands up in frustration “It’s him behind the mask!” (or glasses… yeah, looking at you Lois Lane) or shake some sense into them “Why are you dating her? It’s the other one who really loves you.”
When we don’t know the secret and anxiously wait to discover it. Who is that amazing singer behind the mask? Why is he hearing those strange voices? Who are her parents?
So what makes a reveal so compelling that we dedicate serious time and emotion hoping, guessing, yelling, obsessing? Because it proves us wrong.
I was wrong… and I love it!
The best reveal stories play on our (or the protagonists) assumptions. They take the conclusions we jump to and turn them upside down in one grand moment of truth.
Consider the feeling when…
That mask comes off and you see the singer for the first time, and they were nothing like you imagined.
The person behind all the evil plots was the father, who didn’t at all ‘seem the type’.
Lois FINALLY realizes the obvious after so many times she missed the hints because she is so clouded by her belief that Clark is just a dorky man (honestly, how could you not notice he is Superman – they are just glasses!).
The reveal works because we are fantastic at jumping to conclusions, but not always so fantastic at jumping to the right ones or realizing our mistakes until they smack us over the head.
The power of the reveal… in hiring
It is one thing to imagine the wrong person behind the mask in a singing competition because they are not what we envision as a pop-star or not realizing who the true villain was because he didn’t fit our view of a ‘bad guy’, because it’s just entertainment. It’s another thing to get an unpleasant surprise after hiring someone.
How many times did we ‘not see that coming’ after we hired someone that fit the vision of the job but didn’t succeed? How many more did we not consider because they just didn’t ‘seem the type’ in their resume or first impression?
Imagine turning it around and using the power of the ‘reveal’ for good in hiring. Keeping applicants anonymous, just like masked singers, so they can win us over by their knowledge, skills, abilities, and approaches without being clouded by our assumptions (otherwise known as biases). Then, at the end of the process, the mask comes off to REVEAL that applicant you have been searching for all along.
You don’t have to imagine anymore – it’s real. Creating an anonymous applicant screening process is possible and we can help. With career.place, applicants remain anonymous, allowing organizations to evaluate their skills and knowledge and approach those candidates without the distractions of biases. At the end of the process, REVEAL the ones that are the best fit for your job and organization.