It’s a position that seems perfect for you. You made it to the interview and now it is your big moment. There’s a lot at stake. Not only do you want to make a good first impression, you want to be memorable for the qualities that matter.
But are you ready?
Yes, you brushed up your resume and you researched the organization. But did you take the time to get clarity on the key points they should remember about you? Can you succinctly and clearly articulate the main message about you?
When preparing for an interview, I recommend creating your brand statement. This is a personal summary of who you are, your skills, and attributes you bring. You must get clear, be succinct and land the message.
Tip #1) Have a brand statement. It is essential that you know your personal brand and have a brand statement. Your brand statement concisely defines your skills and the value system you bring to work (dependable, professional, responsible, creative). When I work with clients to create their brand statement, we use a self-assessment tool and value system exercise, but you can do the same if you are honest with yourself about your skills and principles. Here is a framework for your use.
- I am [your background] who [statement about a core strength].
- I provide [three to four key points about your strengths].
- I bring [statement about your values or how you do your job].
Here are two examples of real brand statements:
I am a successful executive who loves a challenge.
- Big picture clarity,
- Well-organized action and
- Polished presentation
I bring professionalism, integrity, politeness and self-awareness to my work.
I am an outgoing CPA who is focused on collaboration and team work to tackle tough accounting issues.
- Translation between highly technical tax regulation and business operations,
- Collaboration with key business personnel,
- Articulate summaries of tax challenges and issues, and
- Practical business minded solutions that save time and money.
I bring integrity, courtesy, credibility and helpfulness to my work.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Are you able to write your brand statement? You want this ready before you walk into an interview.
Tip #2) Use examples. Most interviewees talk in broad generalizations, but generalizations are fuzzy and forgettable. If you state, “I’m well organized,” follow it with a specific, concise example where you used organizational skills to produce a key product. Examples make it easier to understand the value of the skill in a practical, real-world situation. Plus, examples are essentially short stories. Stories stick in the brain more easily than generalizations. Have a short example for each point in your brand statement under the “I provide…” section.
Tip #3) Land your message. Most interviewees ramble. The interviewer easily gets lost in the onslaught of words and may struggle to catch the key points, much less remember them. Make it easy for the interviewer. Emphasize examples of the main messages in your brand statement throughout the interview. instead of ending with pleasantries, end the interview with a short, strong summary of your brand statement and tie it specifically to this position. Make it clear why you are THE choice for the job. Ending with your brand statement ensures that you manage the last impression and that you leave them with the main points about you.
Bring insight to your interviewing skills by defining your brand statement, using real-life examples and landing your message. You will stand out from the crowd….for sure!