Taking your Personal Brand to an Interview
Margaret G. has worked at Centene for 3 years and is a Leader in Employer Brand at Centene.
Interviewing, much like dating, provides an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other. You swiped right (applied to a job) and the company also swiped right (reviewed your qualifications). Now, you’ve been asked to interview for the job! But how do you stand out amongst the other candidates and ensure a successful ‘match’? It’s simple, bring your personal brand to the interview!
But what is a personal brand? It’s your skills, experiences and personality that make you who are and how you present yourself to the world, consistently. Personal brands influence perceptions which can be positive, negative or neutral. In a professional setting, effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust; and in an interview setting, it can help you showcase your true self – setting you apart from other candidates – and highlight your strengths.
So how do you showcase your true self and use your personal brand when interviewing for your next job? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Have an ‘opening statement’ to immediately break the ice and set the tone of the interview. For example:
- Professional positioning: “Thank you so much for your time today, I’m looking forward sharing my qualifications and asking you questions about your organization.”
- Friendly positioning: “Hi there. I’m really looking forward to sharing all the good stuff I’ve been doing at my current company.”
2. Answer questions using “My” and “I”, rather than “We” and “Us” since this will help you own your skills and qualifications. For example:
- “My principles are…”
- ‘I’m motivated by…”
- “I’m known for…”
- “I excel at…”
3. Don’t be afraid to share something personal about yourself such as a hobby, pet or community group. Personal branding is rooted in storytelling and as a result, this could be an opportunity to bring your authentic voice to the interview process.
The beauty of a personal brand is that it is 100%, uniquely yours. It changes and evolves as you age and gain experiences. Your personal brand can and should be used when interviewing for a job since employers want to ‘get to know the person’ and ‘understand how their skills and experiences’ will meet the needs of the business.
Your personal brand is what will set you apart and differentiate you from the other candidates!