Even when job openings are plentiful, it’s the candidates who stand out during the interview process—particularly those exuding clarity and confidence—who are most likely to land an offer. Whether you’re just launching your marketing career or have decades of experience, here’s how to market yourself in a way that can help you land that dream job.
There’s Power in Clarifying What’s Important to You
If you’re like most people, simply thinking about an interview makes you nervous. While this is perfectly natural, it doesn’t have to negatively affect your performance during the interview process. A focused approach to planning and preparation will go a long way.
Sound appealing but wondering where to start? An excellent tool to help you focus your approach is Total Leadership by Stewart Friedman. Originally published in 2008, Friedman’s structured method—developed specifically to produce measurable changes in one’s life, both professionally and personally—remains extremely relevant today.
More specifically, Friedman’s Total Leadership Experience includes a number of exercises designed to help you “clarify what matters most to you.” Why does this matter? Because people who possess a clear understanding of their work desires and individual strengths will find it much easier to convey their personal and professionals goals to a potential employer and to articulate how the opportunity at hand fits into their long-term career vision.
Friedman breaks all this down for readers into three manageable steps:
1. Understanding Where You Have Come From
First, you need to examine the critical events that have happened in your life and describe someone you admire greatly. The goal is to make sense of your personal history so that you can “connect it to your collective—whether that collective means people at work, your family, or friends and community members.”
2. Describing Your Leadership Vision
Here, Friedman guides you through the process of writing a one-page narrative that details your vision of the type of leader you want to become. You’ll describe what your leadership destination looks like, how you got there and, most importantly, how you’re making a difference as a leader.
3. Articulating Your Core Values
Friedman’s final exercise in this section of his book is intended to zero in on your core values and why each one matters to you. As you complete this exercise you will begin to see how your core values are intertwined with your background and experience.
Using What You’ve Learned for Your Interview Prep
After you’ve finished all of the exercises above, it’s time to think more deeply about what you’ve uncovered, such as:
• What connects your past to your vision of the future?
• How does where you come from influence the leader you hope to be?
• • What changes you can make today to live a life that reflects what matters most to you?
Practice communicating this new “story of you” in a manner that is compelling, yet concise. Then, use it as your foundation when preparing for an interview. How has your personal history led you to the opportunity you’re pursuing? In what ways do you see yourself being a leader in the role ? How do your values align with the organization and the work that you will do? Armed with well-crafted answers to these questions, you’ll find it easier—and far less nerve-wracking—to navigate a broad range of interview questions with clarity and confidence.
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