You are a star in a very dense universe. What does this have to do with interviewing? Everything! Most candidates don’t think about how they are perceived in the bigger world or how they compare to hundreds of competitors. They focus only on their own basic skills which does not differentiate them from all the other stars.
Most candidates claim: “I have the skills; I’m a good, smart person; and I’ll work really hard for you.” That line describes you and about 20,000 other “stars”. Skills aren’t enough these days because they’re just a baseline of what you offer. What you need to promote is your unique skills that will provide different and remarkable benefit to the hiring company.
Here is an example, I am working with a client that was a mid-level manager working in a large telecommunications company doing accounts receivables. Accounts receivable sounded pretty ho-hum until she began to talk about managing monthly receivables for Federal and Government business units for contracts valued between $2M and $20M. Expertise at collecting money from the government as Obama’s stimulus package gets delivered; that is a great selling proposition. Collecting government funds is the most unique benefit or value she can offer to an employer.
Take your value a step further
When preparing for an interview, first understand the company’s and the hiring manager’s basic needs and understand how your skills, experience, education match those needs. Then take it a step further and identify your outstanding area(s) of value; and yes we all have one or more. Once you have identified your outstanding value, prepare examples of times when you applied that value successfully in a work situation. During your interview be sure to talk about these examples. Do not leave the interview without having clearly communicated the outstanding, and differentiating, value you will bring to the company. If the interviewer does not ask questions that elicit the value just say, “I have outstanding value I will bring to your company, I would like to give you examples”.
In our current economy companies are interviewing more candidates for each position. Their belief is there are a lot of stars looking for jobs and they can be choosier than in the past. Every person interviewed meets the basic requirements of the position. You need to meet those requirements and then shine brighter to ace the interview and land the job.