A unique angle for interviewing: Be the Good Product!

There is stiff competition in most sectors of the economy and in almost all walks of life. To win in any sector or profession, you need to rise above the crowd. This is what successful people and successful products have been able to achieve in the marketplace. This also applies when attending a job interview.

To be successful in any job interview, you must see yourself as a unique product or brand. What makes a product unique is not in the looks—though this is vital—but in the ability of the product to solve problems and provide solutions. In the same vein, to ace the interview, you must see yourself as a unique product that helps the prospective employer solve problems and provides them enduring solutions. Answer every question at the interview with this in mind.

People are drawn to you when you become a solution provider; when you help others solve problems. In the marketplace, nobody cares about your challenges, but rather, what answers you have to their problems. And it is these answers that attract them to you.

Every good product has features and benefits. Ultimately, what sells a good product is not the feature, and not even the benefit, but the value of that product to the consumer. Your 5 years of experience, for instance, may mean nothing to the prospective employer until you show him or her how those 5 years can translate to attracting more customers, generating more income, or making their products more accessible, faster, safer or cheaper in the market. Always see yourself as a good product at interviews, translate your experiences, qualities, qualifications and skills into tangible value to the prospective employer. A typical answer to a job interview question below captures the essence of a good product:

I’m a seasoned sales manager, strong in developing training programs and creative market penetration methods that have resulted in revenue growth of over 250 percent for xyz company in the past three years. I’d like to discuss how I might be able to do something like that for you.

Every employer recognizes people of value and is willing to pay a premium to engage their services. Although there are more qualified candidates than available job positions in most industries, which results in unemployment or underemployment, people of demonstrable value will continue to be in high demand all around the world. Your task as an individual is to find a way to improve your perceived value to the employer by doing a good job of whatever task you are currently handling and being able to communicate this clearly to the prospective employer. It is not enough to have a good product (you); it is even more essential to learn the skills of effective communication. No one can sell you better than yourself!

So, as a good product, identify the value you bring to the employer ever before you meet him or her based on your strongest qualities for the job and communicate it clearly.

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.”