Take a look at these examples, and ask yourself which person you would hire.
Interviewer: “Tell me about what you do in your current position.”
Interviewee #1: “I work in marketing communications promoting our new product.”
Interviewee #2: “As a marketing communications manager, I develop marketing collateral, website content, YouTube videos, and TV advertisements to promote our new VirtualFlashDrive. Something that I’m particularly proud of is a YouTube video I produced, which went viral with 5,000,000 views.”
Interviewer: “Why should we hire you?”
Interviewee #1: “I’ve been in pharmaceutical sales for several years, I’m very analytical, and I’m excellent at developing relationships with customers.”
Interviewee #2: “In my five years in pharmaceutical sales, I’ve met or exceeded my sales goals every quarter. My success is due to my focus on building strong relationships with office staff, because they are the ones who remind physicians about my product and discount cards. I also analyze my sales data weekly and make adjustments to my call cycle so that I see my high-potential customers three times a month. You should hire me because I will use these skills to meet or exceed sales goals every quarter for you, too.”
So, who would you hire? Most likely, Interviewee #2, because she clearly explained her responsibilities and backed them up with specific examples.
2. Promote your accomplishments and achievements.
Look at these examples, and ask yourself who you would hire.
Interviewer: “What is one of your greatest strengths?”
Interviewee #1: “My greatest strength is my ability to thoroughly understand my customers’ needs so that our new product contains the features that they want.”
Interviewee #2: “My greatest strength is my ability to thoroughly understand my customers’ needs so that our new product contains the features that they want and results in increased sales. In fact, at 3X, I ran 10 customer focus groups and learned that the majority of my customers wished that they could feed their cat remotely from their ePhone. So, I built the cat-feeding feature into our ePhone 4Z series, and, as a result, 3X sold more that 10,000,000 phones in the first year alone.”
Interviewer: “What is one of your weaknesses?”
Interviewee #1: “One of my weaknesses is that sometimes I’m not as organized as I could be.”
Interviewee #2: “After about two months at ZymeGene, I realized that my usual organizational system wasn't effective, and I was spending a lot of time searching for documents. So, I dedicated half a day to creating an organizational system that would be effective. My new organizational system reduced the amount of time that I searched for documents by one hour per day, and it increased my productivity by about 20%.
Who would you hire? I’m guessing Interviewee #2, because he backed up his answers with impactful accomplishments and achievements.
Are you ready to have a killer interview?
Before your next interview, make a list of your key accomplishments and achievements, and also make a list of examples that highlight your relevant skills. If you provide an example or accomplishment with each answer, you’ll be guaranteed to have a killer interview.