It’s probably the best question you can ask if you want to come across well at an interview. I use it prior to new business pitches and without question, it gets you thinking. You may not like the answer, but it will improve your outlook for the future. To generate a positive outcome – you need to think about yourself and how you come across very hard and honestly. In some respects, you need to know how other people see you in terms of character and ability.
Your CV gets you in front of your new, potential employer but that’s as far it goes. Companies don’t hire a CV – they hire you & it’s not just your ability, it’s your levels of integrity, willingness & work temperament. Unless you are being hired as a Doctor or Fighter Pilot, where core competence is essential, I’d say over 80% of hires in the marketing world are made on emotion, so it’s worth giving yourself a good look in the mirror.
Your personal presentation is important too but, it will only get you so far. Savvy people will quickly oversee your flash attire – just think of The Apprentice. I’ve helped many people over the years with their career moves and what comes into question, more than anything is your personality, your manners, your attitude, your punctuality, your integrity & levels of openness & honesty. In over 20 years, I’ve never heard one client say ‘his / her CV was so amazing – we could not help but hire them’. The decision is always based on personality & character.
See yourself as a personal brand & you should be extremely conscious and considered about it too. Don’t leave it to chance. Ask friends (who you trust to be candid) to tell you how you come across & may be listen to work colleagues & peers too. They may not all be honest with you but the ones that are will make you a better person.
The bets tip I can give you is come across as sincere & genuine because people respect & value the fact you are being altruistic. There is zero point in creating a dreamy & artificial picture of yourself because you’ll get found out quick & that never ends well. If you’re asked a difficult question in an interview, and don’t know the answer, be up front about it rather than trying to blag an answer. You would not have been invited for an interview if you don’t have the right skills – the rest is showing your own, genuine, personality because that is what people want to see. Not an illusion.
Not all interviews will be successful so do not beat yourself up if they don’t go to plan. Like I say, most hires are based on emotion and sometimes, you just aren’t their cup of tea and vice versa too. It’s life and you just must deal with downs just as much as the ups. There will be a point in your career when you will turn down the chance of employment as well, so these things tend to even themselves out over time. It’s more damaging to believe you can always win and quite simply take each interview on their own merits but, always listen to sincere & helpful feedback because it will help for future ones.
I’m not saying you need a complete personality assessment, or overhaul & we all get a bit panicky before interviews, but knowing who you truly are & being transparent and thoughtful will win you far more battles in the long run.