Organizations are always looking for the best talent. So, when you have the opportunity to introduce yourself through an organization’s job site or to respond to an available role, how do you present yourself in a way that matters? How do you help the organization answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
As a coach, I routinely see that most of my clients have not initially developed a clear understanding of who they are. They don’t know their strengths, liabilities, values and interests, or what activates and diminishes their performance. This becomes one of the first things we work on because becoming self-aware creates the information needed to be able to assess which jobs fit and what will be important to share in an interview.
When you are aware of your strengths, you have the practical language to assess which opportunities need what you do and like best (why would you apply to a job that doesn’t need what you are good at and interested in doing?). And when you have chosen a good-fit opportunity, you are able to stand out among other candidates in the interview.
As organizations become wiser and shift away from strictly asking questions to also including activities in their job interviews to assess candidate alignment, knowing your strengths will help you develop confidence to demonstrate what you are best at. You must be able to help the organization clearly see why they should hire you. Remember, most organizations are ineffective at interviewing, so you’ll need to make it easy for them to see how you’re a good fit for their role. You may have to volunteer information about your abilities that the interviewers forget to ask about but are critical for them to know to see how you would add value and make a difference in this role and in their organization.
So, you need to know yourself to be able to find jobs that align to your abilities and interests, and to present yourself in a way that gets you noticed.
My guidance in helping clients who are job searching is to prepare for the interview by doing the following.
- Complete your inventory of abilities so you know yourself well. Be able to clearly identify your top 3 or 4 strengths, your interests, values and what amplifies your performance.
- Bring these two things with you to your interview:
- A summary of what you want the organization to know about you. It’s important to have a summary prepared so you can easily share it if they don’t ask. Make it easy for them to assess if you fit them.
- A summary of what you want to find out about the organization, so you can assess if they fit you.
- Have your thoughts ready to share about how you add value and make a difference in your current work and how you would do the same in the role you are applying for.
By doing some work ahead of your interview, you can gain self-awareness to wisely choose roles that fit you and be better prepared with information to know how to present yourself in an interview in a way that helps you stand out, regardless of whether the organization is good at interviewing or not.
And remember, the interview is for you to determine if they’re a fit for you just as much as if you’re a fit for them. Share meaningful information about you. Gather meaningful information about them. Have what you need to wisely assess if you belong in the organization.
Know yourself well to know what of your abilities will be important to this role. Create and deliver your personal branding statement. Make it easy for the organization to see you in their role. Be ready to help them see why they should hire you.
By Jay Forte
Consider reading Building a Personal Branding Statement