Your personal brand is what people think and feel about you. Companies spend millions of dollars developing and protecting their brands. Typically, individuals do not pay attention to their professional or personal brand, however everyone has one. Think about the people in your life, what is their brand? Some people’s brand is honesty, reliability, considerate and integrity. Others may be forgetfulness, tardiness, disorganized and poor on follow-through.
During an interview, your can use personal brand words to quickly communicate those qualities you want the interviewer to associate with you. First a word of caution, you must select personal brand words that truly reflect your brand, you can define and speak to, and of which you can give examples.
To define your personal brand consider some of the following questions:
* What do I do that adds remarkable and distinctive value to an organization?
* What do I do that I am most proud of?
* What do I want to be known for?
* If someone interviewed people who know you well, what would they say your gifts are?
* If people around you that you heard that you had accomplished something of value, what would they guess that would be?
* Think of a time when you felt you were contributing to others in a satisfying way?
* When you felt that you were most in tune with your gifts and talents? What were you doing?
* What do you consider to be your best contributions to others?
* When people gossip about you, what do they say are your talents?
Once you have answered these questions and you have a sense of your brand, select words that communicate your brand. Words can reflect your personality, your skills, your experience or your personal qualities. Words can include, active, flexible, intuitive, credible, distinguished, analytical, charismatic, etc.
Once you have three or four words that communicate your brand, use them in your interview. The best way to do this is to have them displayed as part of your interview presentation. When written, the words will have more impact and thus will serve to differentiate you more powerfully. If you choose not to use an interview presentation, verbalize these words frequently during the interview and use them to answer questions related to your personal style and success factors at work. Do not be concerned about frequent repetition, just think about how often companies repeat their brand and “just do it”.
Personal branding is the process people use to differentiate themselves and stand out from the crowd. By defining your unique value and then communicating it with a consistent message, interviewer(s) will think and feel about you in a way that is consistent with your personal brand. Your personal brand message will be successful if after the interview when one interviewer ask another “what did you think about _____ ” and the res