Congratulations! It’s not easy to land an interview for a new position these days. The market place is overloaded with qualified applicants seeking employment, and the fact that you made it this far is indeed encouraging.
But, you still need to ace the interview and it’s critical to do some preparation to showcase your talent and communicate how your expertise will benefit the company.
Here are some tips to help you differentiate yourself in the interview.
1. Identify and understand your value proposition. What are your strengths? What are your accomplishments? Make a list of each and write down how these qualities have helped you in past positions and how they have contributed to your recent success. Give specific examples.
2. Review the job description. List all the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations for the position.
3. Match your expertise and value proposition to each line item from the job description. For example, project management experience may be one requirement. How do you meet this requirement? List your experience from past positions.
4. Write a benefit statement for each of the above items. In other words, how did your specific contribution benefit that company? As a project manager for ABC Company, I led a team of 10 engineers to successfully complete a high profile project that resulted in a 25% increase in revenue within six months.
5. Research the company, the company mission, recent successes and challenges.
6. Align your experience and values to where the company is headed. For instance, maybe you are interviewing with a community bank that has a goal of becoming more visible and sensitive to the needs of the community. How does the fact that you live in this community benefit the bank?
7. Gather as much information as you can about the interviewer, the decision maker, your potential boss. Ask pertinent questions to better understand the position and the expectations as well as what the decision process is and what is important to the company or decision maker. Use this information to show how what you bring to the table will benefit the decision maker (perhaps your potential boss) and the company. For example, you’ve heard that your potential boss is no nonsense and bottom lined oriented. Tailor your conversation to his personality. Be direct. Stress how your experience contributed to net revenue.
8. Review your value proposition and benefit statements. Practice with a friend or family member so you are comfortable talking about how the company will benefit from your talent.
After completing the above exercise matching your experience and value proposition to the job description and company goals, you will feel confident that you are qualified for the position and ready to communicate specifically why you are the best candidate.
In order to differentiate yourself, it’s important that people understand how your value benefits them. Keep this in mind at all times and make the transition statements during your interview that state not only your accomplishments and expertise, but how that can help the company reach their goals.