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Are you stuck in the notion that the job interview is just about the job duties – it’s NOT! Here is what the interviewer is really looking for.

CAN HE/SHE DO THE JOB?
The first item of business for an interviewer to determine is if you have the qualification to perform the duties of the job. That is the basic part of interviewing – to determine if the qualifications and experiences fit the requirements of the position. I talked about how to make yourself and yourself stand out from other candidates in my previous blog post

DO WE LIKE HIM/HER? WILL HE/SHE FIT IN?
The next item of business is to find out if this person is a good ‘fit’ for the job. In other words, will he fit into the team and the company culture? Although this is more subjective part of the interview, it can make or break your chances of getting the job.
The way you answer a question could be sending the wrong message. Are you describing yourself in the best light?

QUESTION: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
On the surface this appears to be a straightforward question, but if you answer too hastily you may end up sounding like every other candidate. What makes you unique? How can you make yourself stand out and be remembered?

Interviewers ask this question for a couple of reasons: to hear where you place the emphasis in your description, and to see how quickly and creatively you can think on the spot. SPICE UP YOUR ANSWERS.

Don’t leave the interviewer with the same old answers everybody else gives. Think about new ways to get your message across and sell yourself.

“I am a high energy person”. This answer needs more detail and energy.

“I am a person who is energized by challenges and problems”. Better – but you might want to back your answer with some brief explanation of what challenge/problem you’ve recently overcome at work.

“I am a hard worker”. The most common phrase used. No imagination.

“I do whatever it takes to get the job done’ sometimes working 10h days.”

“I am a quick learner.” An overused phrase which has lost its effectiveness. Along with “I work well in a team as well as on my own.” (This is probably the biggest cliché I see in job applications)

“I can hit the ground running and come up to speed faster than anyone I know” (again, back it up with some example of when you’ve done that)

“I am analytical”. A lack luster answer, which does not reveal much information.

“I am a whiz at analyzing data and transforming it into useful information”

“I am very organized”. This is a very understated answer.

“I am a person who can bring order to chaos.” (again, backed up with some example proving your point)

“I am reliable”. This answer needs more information to get point across. “I pride myself on my record of never missing deadlines”

“I am good with customers”. The answer needs clarification – good in what way?

“I build great relationships with customers – they always ask for me.”

SCRIPTING EXERCISE

Describing your personality is like writing ads for a product. What makes you unique? Are you the type of person who’d fit into this organisation? Your job is to convince your interviewer that you are that person. Make a list of personality traits that describe you. The qualities you’d like the interviewer to remember after the interview. Use some of the same words in the job posting.

Requirement: “Must have 5 of more years experience, managing a diverse population of employees”.

Your Answer: “I work well with all types of people”.
This is a rather flat statement and not specific. Try a new slant using more powerful words.

“I am a person who values others’ qualities and contributions. My employees would tell you that I am a very fair manager who listens when they have something to say.”

The more specific you are with your answer, the better your chances of leaving a lasting impression. Interviewers talk to several candidates in a single day. What will make you a memorable candidate?

In today’s competitive job market it is worth taking some time to think about how you can describe your personality in a way that makes you stand out. The buyer needs to be sold on your uniqueness and abilities. When you sound like everybody else, you look like everybody else. Distinguishing yourself from the pack will give you the edge. A little work before the interview will put some zip in your pitch.

If you’d like some help in identifying your unique selling points to use during the interview and creating examples to use to impress the employer, you might be interested in my e-Guide “Land That Job!” at http://www.landthatjob.co.uk

In this guide, I will also give you specific examples of CVs and covering letters from different industries, tell you what to say to handle employer’s typical concerns and how to negotiate a better salary. There is a whole excellent chapter on how to negotiate a salary/pay-rise.

If you want fool-proof strategies, that you can learn and apply quickly and easily so that you’re way ahead of the pack, you can get “Land That Job” for only £15 instead of £27 when you enter VIP15 when you check out. I might take the discount away at any time, so if this is something of interest, you need to act fast:-)

To your job interview success!

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