Your personal brand is the best tool you have for your upcoming interview. You are likely in panic mode though. You feel like you are forgetting the basic details. Such as your name. Ultimately, this is one of those things that might not be in your favor. If you are not in panic mode, then I extend my congrats to you because you are one step closer to a good interview, but if you want a great interview, I have a personal tip for you that has helped me and many others make that leap. It is not really a big secret, especially over here at Brand-Yourself. Your personal brand — this is what you need to take to your interview. Just like you have a heard a million times before, selling your personal brand, but what does this truly mean? That is what I intend to clear up for you.
We have all been in this situation before: we were all set for the interview, but now that we are there we are sweating bullets the size of cannon balls. “Is my iron off? My apartment could be burning to the ground right now. Crap! I’m probably being robbed right now. My stuff is gone. What job am I applying for again?” Do not worry. Your iron is off. You still have an apartment, complete with all of your unstolen stuff. In fact, you have the most important tool you need for this interview, your brand! Who knows you better than you? Well, a stalker maybe, but that is a police issue that we are unfortunately unequipped to handle. Now bring your brand forward.
Take what you have prepared and put your spin on it. Make it sound like you were built for this job. We all love talking about ourselves, do not deny it. This is your opportunity to do it and to do it with style. The company wants to get a feel for your personality and what you bring to the table, they most likely do not want a pre-programmed robot that acts on command and if they are do you really want to be there?
Using Your Personal Brand in 3 easy steps:
1. Practice/break down the question.
2. Answer the question with a little “you” attached.
3. Repeat as needed.
Practice/Break Down the Question
Practice the questions beforehand that the interviewer might ask so that you are better prepared. Breaking down a question on the spot and giving back an intelligent answer on the spot is a very hard skill to master. By doing this you will not stumble all over the answer. Do not worry though. You are allowed a little stumbling. This process will just help you out a lot in the end and put a minimum on the mistakes.
Answer Question with a Little “You” Attached
Here is where you take those broken down parts and make them your own. We will take the two parts from the question above. You can start by stating what you know about how they do it. Show that you know their business. Then, when answering the part about your knowledge, you will not simply wish to say that you know it and that you can do more than just the bare minimum. You want to state approaches you have previously used to accomplish what they already do but with your own version of it and explain what it has done and why it has worked for you. I will use Twitter as an example as it is one of the fastest growing social marketing tools around, you could state something like, “I have noticed that your marketing has drawn in X amount of new business via Twitter but also I have noticed that your not retweeted as much as you could be. Have you considered shortening your tweets to around 120 characters so that others have the ability to retweet with minimal editing to allow it to fit? I feel this could bring in further word-of-mouth business.” Instead of regular run-of-the-mill answer, you have successfully just stated your knowledge of the matter while simultaneously showing your ability to innovate. You have attached a little of “you” into this answer.
Do just that, repeat the process on the next question.
I speak all of this from personal experience and realize that interviews are extremely nerve-wracking. Just remain calm. Remember, you are who you are and your potential employer knows this — this is exactly why they called you. They want to know more about your personal branding. Thankfully, you have been perfecting this brand for years. You may not have even realized it and now you have an amazing opportunity at getting this job that you have always wanted.
For more posts about your personal brand and other interview tips check out these blog posts:
- Using Social media to develop your personal brand
- How to Write a Short, Professional Bio On Yourself (Learn from a master)
- Branding Interview with Ola Rynge
- How to Answer Interview Questions
Jeffrey is a graduate of Michigan State University. Known in various lairs of the Interweb as makeyourownfun. A writer, an innovator and a true idea man. He loves pretty much everything to do with the arts. Whether it be designing new graphics or writing random thoughts in his journal, if he’s not creating, he’s probably sleeping; even then its a crazy world. He pushes everyone to be at their best and encourages creativity on all levels in order to inspire innovation.