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4 Tips to Nail Your next Job Interview before You Even Enter the Room

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4 Tips to Nail Your next Job Interview before You Even Enter the Room

Would you like to be able to walk into an interview calmly and confidently?  What If I told you that through practice you can be the type of employee that exudes reliability and impresses all employers?

Having a successful job interview can be a life changing event. To achieve this you need to be properly prepared.

There are plenty of things to keep in mind during an interview. This article will focus on 4 tips for you to execute beforehand in order to make things easier on you. Keep in mind that in order to be successful at anything preparation, practice and hard work are your way to go.

1. Go into the job interview armed with 3 situation specific stories

An interview is actually a platform that gives you a chance to sell yourself to potential employers. If you’re not prepared with your best stats, accolades and stories off hand you’re going to have trouble making a lasting impression.

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It is almost a guaranteed fact that you will get asked the typical “what is your greatest strength and weakness?” question.  Even if you are not asked this question directly there will be an opportunity to go over what you’re good at and what you could improve on.

Greatest Strength

Your story about your greatest strength will deal with a positive attribute of yours. You will show how this attribute relates positivity to the position you’re interviewing for and show how it is only one of many reasons that you’re a valued employee.  Be sure to craft a story that shows off your experiences and wisdom and don’t be afraid to include volunteer work experiences here.

Greatest Weakness

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The second story will be about a weakness of yours or something that you could do better. Whatever weakness you go with make sure you sit down and take time to craft a story that shows how this weakness is actually a strength in disguise. Show how your weakness helps you in other areas of your work, talk about what you are doing to improve it and always end the story with something positive about you.

The Closer

The third story you need to be armed with is the most important: the closer. You’ll lay this one on the interviewer at the end of the interview to make sure that they remember you. This story should summarize the most impressive of your skills and attributes (the ones most relative to the position you’re applying for) and you should touch on what the company will be missing out on if they don’t hire you. Be as compelling and charming as you can at this point.

It is important that you take time to sit down and craft these stories as meticulously as possible. You are the person that knows your skills the best. Study yourself and your experiences so that you know what you have to offer and build a story on it. When you know exactly what you bring to the table you can establish leverage in the job interview or realize when you should take a step back.

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2. Do a trial transportation run the night before

In whatever way you are planning to get to the interview take a test run the night before. Time how long it takes you to get there and always add 10-15 minutes for traffic or unexpected delays. The night before is when you should be looking for potential shortcuts. Take time and look for possible alternate routes if there is a traffic hold up or something during the morning.

3. Research the company’s preferences

Do everything you can to get the scoop on potential employers before heading to an interview. The internet is a powerful source of information that can make your interview go a lot better with proper research. You want to look for things that you can do to make yourself more endearing to potential employers.

When looking up a company always be certain of what it is they do, what they sell and what they stand for. If you can align your skills with these 3 things potential employers will look at you in a better light.

Look up employee reviews to know what to expect going in, try and fish out what will impress the people in charge and the type of things they are looking for in an employee

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Some things to look up are:

  • The company mission statement
  • The dress code
  • The type of awards they give employees

Take the information gathered from the company’s preferences and the position you are applying for and use them to estimate the type of people they want

4. Lay your clothes out the night before

Save yourself trouble and pick out what you are wearing well in advance. Make sure all your clothes are properly ironed and that you don’t have any lint hanging around your clothes. When you wake up in the morning you’ll have one less thing to worry about and you’ll be able to get ready more effectively.

Don’t put your clothes on until you are ready to leave. Eat breakfast, gather your stuff and brush your teeth all before getting dressed – all it takes is one toothpaste stain to throw off your plans. Once you get dressed stay away from all liquids and foods and get a move on.

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Job interviews can and will be stressful if you are not properly prepared. Keep these tips in mind and always remember to leave yourself with enough time to get to the interview early. Being early doesn’t only mean getting there ahead of time. You will also need to take all the time you have before an interview to prepare in order to ensure your success. Follow these preparation tips beforehand so that you can enter interviews feeling calm, confident and excited for the opportunity that lays in front of you!

Featured photo credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor%E2%80%93patient_relationship via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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