One of the consulting activities that I love to help job seekers with is interview preparation. It's just plain fun and I am ecstatic when I see a client's confidence morph from "I am so nervous" to "Wow, I can do this!" You know the line practice makes perfect; while I don't know about perfect, I do know with certainty that practice pays when it comes to interviewing! One of the FAQs I hear clients struggle with is this:
"Why should I hire you?"
In practice sessions, I frequently hear responses of the following variety: "Well because I am experienced, I am very good with people, and I am also very hard working." Imagine for a moment that you are a discerning decision-maker and that you have interviewed your fair share of talent -- some good, some not so good, yet you always know a Stand Out when you meet one.
Before you go to your next interview, here's an idea to execute prior to your meeting. Start by carefully reviewing each of the 14 categories stated below, then proceed with Steps 1 - 5.
> Brand Image/Reputation
> Growth / Sustainability
> Cost Control / Expense Reduction
> Customer/Client/Business Retention
> Safety / Security
> Regulatory Compliance
> Employee Retention
> Financial Stability
> Environmental Stewardship
> Continuous Improvement
> _________________ Create/add your own category.
Step 1. Select the categories/outcomes that pertain most to you and the skill-set you wish to offer an employer. For each category, ask this question: How do I contribute to ______________? (fill in the blank from the above categories.)
Step 2. Write three to five examples of how you contribute to each of the various categories selected. Keep your examples relevant and brief; think tweet.
Step 3. Review your examples; have you incorporated dollar amounts, percentages, numbers and other descriptive data to create credible evidence while protecting the privacy of your current/most recent employer?
Step 4. Once you have written your examples, practice saying them aloud in rehearsal for the real thing.
Step 5. Practice multiple times to familiarize yourself with your 'lines' -- remember that school play from years ago when you had to practice and practice and practice? Nothing has changed...practice still pays!
The next time an employer asks 'why should I hire you', consider offering a response beyond the usual, tired refrains. Be a Stand Out and offer: Here are three reasons why you should hire me. I will contribute to your profitability, client retention, and sales growth (cite the categories you chose from the above list) and here's how I'll do that...(share specific examples to deliver credible evidence). Here's to you and your interview success in 2011!
posted by: billiesucher