Recently, I participated in a cultural festival in my neighborhood with a local dance school at which I'm an instructor. We had organized to do a performance, a brief dance lesson and host a booth, with the hopes of attracting a few new students to register for classes. The GOOD news: our strategy BLEW UP like wildfire and a SLEW of people signed on as new students on the spot. Yeow! Needless to say, we were STOKED!
So, WHAT did we do successfully and how does this apply to how you market and present yourself at job interviews? Two words: risk management.
In essence, we (the School) were being interviewed all that day at the festival by potential students in the crowd, in the multiple interactions they had with us in one way or another (watching us performing, learning from us as teachers and speaking with us at our booth). And it was through these multiple interactions and impressions with/of us, that we were able to, in the minds of the potential students, reduce the risk associated with plunking down their hard-earned money on the spot (having never seen or heard of us before) and purchasing classes with us.
And how did we do this? By building trust.
Trust is what advertising agencies spend zillions of dollars to build in the mind of consumers like you and I, with the intention of directly influencing which products we purchase. Especially on larger, more expensive purchases, we are usually making a very conscious choice, based on careful consideration of which product / brand is of the highest value/lowest risk to exchange our dollars for (cars and houses are a great example!).
And, this is the SAME thing that you must do, in order for a potential employer to take a chance to invest in you and hire you as an employee.
Basically, your goal is to build trust in their mind of you, so they see YOU as 'highest value/lowest risk', and make you that job offer. And when I talk of value, I don't necessarily mean money, salary, etc.
The value of a job candidate to a potential employer can mean many things, but in Human Resources / Recruiting-Speak, it means:
The individual who is most likely to make the largest measurable impact to the organization, in the shortest amount of time, with the least risk associated.
And just HOW do you build this level of trust in you by a potential employer?
By the personal brand and impression you convey of yourself before, during and after the actual job interview, using savvy implementation and representation of the Five P's*:
Is your passion and enthusiasm for the company and the role at hand obvious?
Do you convey a positive, complimentary personality that fits / gels well with the company culture?
Is your overall behavior and image professional to the extent it is in line with the values and intended brand / image of the company as a whole ?
4. Persistence / Perseverance
Are you persistent in your pursuit of the job opportunity at hand? Do you quickly return phone calls and emails from their Recruiting/HR department, and do you persevere throughout the recruiting process and happily make yourself available to the company as needed in their candidate assessment (i.e. so they can quickly and effectively assess YOU to be the kick-ass candidate that you are)?
Notice I list preparation last; only reason being that the above 4 P's / character traits are just as important at the interview, as your mental preparation before it. And while many people feel anxious and overwhelmed as soon as they think 'interview preparation', it doesn't need to be this way, if you know how to go about it. A SMART, well-prepared interviewee knows 1) how to get inside the mind of their potential interviewer, 2) how to answer questions the right way and 3) how to distinguish themselves to stand out from the competition.
So, how do you do all that?
Easily, in 7 supercharged (and simple!) steps.
In the story above, the dance school and I were able to show our Five P's via our passion and personality that naturally shined through in our fun, energetic performances and lesson, our professionalism in the efficient and friendly service at our booth, our persistence / perseverance at the event by choosing to make multiple impressions upon the crowd throughout the day (performances, lesson, booth, interacting with the crowd in general) and our smart preparation as a whole (our many rehearsals, strategically chosen costumes and songs/music and our well-organized booth as a source of convenient information and direct interaction with potential customers/students).
And it's these same Five P's that, when combined together, make a huge difference in the first impression you make upon potential employers...and you want that impression to be a lasting, unforgettable, irresistible one!
Your Action Item:
Get ready to showcase your Five P's at your next job interview! Here's HOW:
1. Leave a Comment below and tell me what new or different approach you will take to minimize risk, build trust and showcase your Five P's at your next interview.
2. Learn the crucial keys to Preparing SMART* at my FREE teleclass:
7 Steps to a Kick-Ass Job Interview: How to Prep Smart, Stand Out and Give Recruiters What They REALLY Want. Thursday, April 18th 9:00-10:00PM EST
Learn what recruiters and hiring managers are really thinking as they interview you, the behaviors and answers that can make or break your chances, plus the 7 key steps to preparing that will help axe your anxiety, boost your confidence and catapult your candidacy to the top of the list.
Register and get the dial-in details instantly here.
*Five P's phrase and concept coined by and paraphrased from a very wise and esteemed former colleague of mine in Financial Services Recruiting (thank you for your impressionable and prolific words).