It may seem an obvious question for an interview but it’s one that most jobseekers dread. “What should I share? How much should I share? If I talk about myself too much I may come across as arrogant. If I don’t share enough they will think I lack confidence.”
I’m often surprised how unprepared jobseekers are for this question. Maybe because it is so broad and they aren’t quite sure where to start. So here’s my tip: Think marketing. Think of yourself as a product that you need to present in a way that makes the other person sit up and think “Hey that’s exactly what I need!”
Here are some marketing questions to help you prepare your answers:
Who am I? (Personality)
Often personality is as much a factor as skills or experience in finding the person that is the right fit for a team. With this question you want to be sharing your values and what’s important to you. Things like being a good team member or leader, someone who likes to creatively solve problems or enjoys collaborating. Think about what the interviewer might be looking for in a jobseeker and align that with your strongest personality traits.
What is my experience? (Background)
Your past work and life experience creates a backdrop for the rest of your marketing story. This is where you can highlight key projects you worked on and what you enjoyed most about them. Be sure to highlight specific challenges faced and how they were overcome. Travel, hobbies and interests can also be featured here as they will provide a broader view of your life experience.
What am I good at? (Features)
As a jobseeker you need to showcase what you can do in terms of specific skills so that the interviewer can tick the boxes if you align with what they are looking for. Be specific and link your skills to your experience to demonstrate that you really do know what you’re talking about.
What have I achieved? (Benefits)
For every skill or feature you list about yourself, link it to a benefit for the employer – either past or future. For example: “By streamlining the project rollout, implementation was achieved in 3 months instead of 5 months saving the company X amount in implementation costs.” Always think in terms of: “What’s in it for them?” because this is what will get their attention.
What do I want? (Mutual benefits)
Interviewers are interested in what jobseekers are looking for because this is a big factor in how long they will stay with the company. Be honest in your expectations, but make sure they are grounded in reality. Link your expectations into why you applied for the position and want to work for the company. If you show that you are sold on the company and eager to contribute you are already half way into marketing yourself into the job.
As a final tip, keep in mind the perspective of the interviewer and market yourself to them. (What are they looking for, what do they want?) This will help prevent you getting too self-conscious when trying to talk about yourself. Put yourself forward as not just a jobseeker, but someone they really can’t afford to be without.
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The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 or email@example.com.