It's the point blank question every hiring manager should ask in an interview—and the one that applicants almost never answer correctly. "Why Should I Hire You?"
Hiring managers want to know what is unique about you, and they're not afraid to ask. They need to see what you can bring to the table, and what's in it for them if they hire you.
So if I were to ask you right now why you should be hired, how would you respond? That you're good with people? Dependable? Great at managing details? Those all sound fine, but what do they really say about you? These are responses a lot of people could give—generic strengths that leave the hiring manager thinking there's nothing all that unique about what you will deliver.
So how do you set yourself apart and nail the answer to this question? By knowing your personal brand. Your brand is what defines you in the workplace. How your passions, abilities and experience fit together to showcase the unique value you will bring to an organization. Another way of looking at it is your reputation. What are you known for? What tasks do people know they can count on you to hit out of the park? How do you go about doing that? Your title doesn't define your brand—the way you answer these questions does.
Think about it this way. If you were going to go into business for yourself, you'd need to identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), right? It's essential to understand whether or not people would buy what you're selling, and a testable USP would help you do that.
Here's a news flash: when you're seeking a new job (whether you're unemployed or trying to get promoted), you are going into business for yourself. You must identify your USP, which is your brand. Then you must learn how to articulate it in an interview so that people know exactly why they should hire you. Trust me, you will fail miserably if you just list off degrees, certifications or experience that anyone else could have, too.
To express your personal brand in an interview, create statements that tie together these three components:
1. An action
2. To whom or what receives the action
3. The value you create when doing it
These are not achievements, but rather statements of how you work—the patterns of behavior you are known for in the workplace. When you combine several of these statements together you will have created what I call personal branding statements.
So when you are asked the question, "Why should I hire you?" Or "Tell me a little bit about yourself." Or "What are your greatest strengths?" You will be able to use an effective way of telling the listener that, through certain actions, you create value wherever you go!
As someone who's been intricately involved on both sides of the hiring table, believe me: Being able to express your brand and prove your unique value will be the tiebreaker between you and another applicant. So what's your personal brand?.
David Hults is the CEO of Activ8 Careers, a Career Coach, Author, and Speaker. For more career tips & strategies, check out his blog, https://www.activ8careers.com/career-str8-talk/, and website, https://www.activ8careers.com.© 2021 David Hults
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