Pushing your brand (subtly) in an Interview
We all know that the interview process is your chance to shine and show why you are better than all the other applicants and so why shouldn’t you ‘push’ your personal brand? The key is to do it subtly and with effect.
There is a fine line between a confident go getter and an arrogant ego maniac and it’s staying in the safe zone that will help you sell yourself. Here are some ways you can talk about yourself without coming across as a self-centred egoist.
Tell your Story
Through the ages, people have enjoyed and shared stories. It’s a worldwide culture. It’s a form of learning, expressing, experiencing and showing – why not use it to help your interviewer learn more about you and your experience and skills. Interviewers are looking for the best fit for their business and so if your story appeals to them and they can see how you will fit into their business they may be more inclined to hire you. Share your experiences of how you managed to resolve an issue, how you helped increase profit margins, what made you feel alive in your last jobs, why you feel that you will be an asset to the recruiters business and a story to back this up. Draw the interviewer into the picture that you are painting and get them to connect with you as a person. It’s a sure fire way to familiarise yourself with your interviewer and help them to understand your abilities, skills and strengths.
Be yourself and be enthusiastic
No one wants to hire someone only to find out a few weeks later that the person they hired is nothing like the person they interviewed. Be honest, be real and show them how much you want this job. If it’s the right job for you then this shouldn’t be difficult. A hiring manager will suss out a fake from a mile away and it’s up to you to make sure that your ‘brand’ is coming across genuine. Show enthusiasm for the company, the products or services and of course for the role you are applying for.
Share credit where it’s due
A brand doesn’t get where it is on its own steam alone. Everyone has a little help to get to where they are and acknowledging the help you’ve received to get where you are, will go a long way in showing prospective employers that you aren’t just a one man band but a team player who gives credit to those who help him. Speak about “we” instead of “me” when talking about past ventures, ideas or successes. Show that you are someone who attributes their brand success to the help and inspiration of others. Most jobs require teamwork and collaboration so it’s guaranteed that hiring managers will find this an attractive quality in you.
Last but not least, do not be a bragger!
So you climbed Mt Everest with a depleted oxygen tank (yes yes ok so you would be dead), or you’ve lived in 8 different countries or you are a member of MENSA. Promoting yourself (subtly) and bragging about how amazing you are and how much you know or have experienced are two very different things and you have to draw a fine line between the two. No one likes a braggart and few people will hire one unless their ego is worth tolerating for their incredible skills or experience on offer, chances are you aren’t the next Einstein so toning it down will be a better option for you. Speaking about skills or experience that are relevant to your position are of course, mandatory, bragging about anything else outside of the scope of work is not really professional or endearing. Stick to relevant things and realise that putting yourself in the position of being a one upper will only bring you one down….