The One Question To Ask Yourself Before Every Interview

By Kari Mirabal

For many people, searching for a new job means asking, “What’s in it for me?”  However, with unemployment at its highest rate nationally in the last 20 years, job seekers might find more success if they instead ask, “What’s in it for them?”

Applying the “what’s in it for them” strategy requires you to successfully demonstrate your transferrable skills to a potential employer.  That means acing the interview and being able to show what you can do for a company and why they should hire you, in a quick and concise fashion.  Remember that the primary interest of an interviewer isn’t to hear your life story, but rather to determine if you, as an employee, can help their company reach their objectives. And the easiest way to do that is to turn your skills into selling points in your career campaign.

To do that, make sure you know what your transferrable skills are and be ready to present them in an interview.  Start by writing down your top ten skills and then ranking them in order of priority.  Then, consider examples of work experience you can use to illustrate how your skills translated into saving money or making money for your company.  Finally, practice presenting your examples verbally in 60 seconds or less.  Prepare and present your answers confidently and with the company in mind at all times.  Remember that general interview statements like, “I’m organized” mean nothing unless you can explain how your organizational skills will help their company get ahead.

It’s up to you to present what you can offer a potential employer.  So brush up on your interview tactics, learn to present your transferrable skills quickly and concisely, and put the best light on what you can offer a new company.  And remember that how you answer that one important question, “What’s in it for them?” can mean a great new job for you!

Kari Mirabal is a Career Advisor, IT Recruiter and Speaker specializing in helping individuals clarify their career goals and develop action plans to attain them through career transitions.

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