…know what you’re selling

Three times this week, I interviewed  candidates with excellent track records and good work histories. Admittedly, they haven’t looked for a job in quite some time and weren’t use to interviewing.  But when I asked them the specific things they could do for a potential employer that nobody else could, they simply looked at me with a blank stare.

After a long pause, one  said, “I’m a  good worker!” What??? I asked her what that meanT and after another pause she said she couldn’t tell me, but she just knew she was a very good worker.

If you are looking for a job, you need to be able to explain to a hiring authority specific, exact benefits that hiring authority would get if they hired you over and above the 43 other people they are going to interview. Because of  “an intentional blindness” (… see my blog post on the ‘invisible gorilla’ below) you need to be very, very, very specific on exactly what you’ve done in the past, in terms that are extremely clear, that can carry over to what the hiring authority needs. You cannot say  the stupid stuff like, “well, I’m just a good employee… well everybody likes me… I don’t miss work… I get to work on time” or any kind of glib generality. You have to be able to communicate the specifics, “I consistently performed in the upper 2% of the company’s sales force… I consistently received excellent reviews and the maximum raises the company could offer… I was recognized by management 12 times in the last year… I was rewarded the top bonuses available in the company… I was promoted in the shortest period of time of any one of my peers…”

You have to be able to deliver features of your experience and background that can be benefits to  a hiring authority. They have to be clear and concise.

This takes practice. Don’t think you’re going to get into an interview without practicing this and all of a sudden be able to explain your features, advantages and benefits clearly and concisely. In today’s market you’re not going to get three “practice interviews.” Every interview is going to count. Know what you’re selling and deliver it well.

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