Before you go for a job interview, it's important to not only find out as much as you can about the company, but also to identify your strongest qualities and how these bring value to the prospective employer. To identify your strongest qualities for an interview, I recommend the 5-Star Points Approach (5-SPA).
The 5-SPA is a list of the five best reasons that a particular employer should engage you. Your 5-SPA may differ from company to company, depending on what you are being interviewed for. The number of reasons may vary; for you it could be 3-SPA or 10-SPA! The following will help in developing your Star Points:
Be clear on what you have accomplished, both academically and professionally, and present them in the best way possible to show you are the person for the job. Consider the pedigree of the school you attended, your qualification, the awards you won in school or while on the job, and projects you executed—whether successful or not.
Diverse industry experience is especially important for those who have been employed for some time. If you have worked in several companies or industries, share one or two landmark experiences that are relevant to the position for which you are being interviewed.
If you are multilingual, make it one of your points, especially if the job you are applying for entails traveling or mingling with people from different cultures. Your ability to speak a second or third language is a major barrier breaker (in the marketplace) and gives you an edge during the interview.
While individual skills and talents are important, the most essential ingredients to success in business are team play and a positive winning attitude by members of the team. Consequently, you stand a good chance of being hired if you are able to demonstrate that you are a team player, a professional with a winning attitude, and someone with a positive mindset.
The example below shows how elements of the Star Points could be used at an interview:
My work experience has been top notch. When I completed my degree in economics, I worked as an apprentice with a very good analyst who consults for many big firms in the country. I was able to use this time to work on my MBA, which I just completed. Working with a good economist has made me an asset to any company that will hire me. Moreover, I am ready and quick to learn, and willing to accept challenges. All of this makes me suitable to fill the role of an analyst in your organization.
Now that you have identified your 5-Star points, next is to use a tool called SWOT analysis to assess your personal capacity. The SWOT analysis is an invaluable research tool available to you to enhance your interview preparation. It is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It assesses what an organization or an individual can and cannot do as well as the potential opportunities and threats in the market. Therefore, SWOT analysis assesses your suitability in terms of your strengths in relation to the job.
With a tailored 5-SPA and well-executed SWOT analysis you are positioned to land that dream job!
Guest blogger Harry Nnoli, a 20-year business world veteran, teaches young professionals tactics and strategies for making the best of job interviews in his new book, “You’re Hired.”