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The interview took place in Victoria Island, Lagos that year. I arrived at the venue and met other candidates who came to interview for the role. A few were people I knew from Ibadan.
When it was my turn and I got into the office where the panel interview held and sat after I was instructed to do so. There were about 7 people on the panel and it was led by the Managing Director of the financial institution- an Indian.
One of the questions I was asked was, ‘Why should we hire you?’ The organization just started a new branch in Ibadan and was hiring Relationship Managers. I smiled and responded that I knew Ibadan- their target market- ‘like the palm of my hands’.
I actually used that descriptive term to emphasize the point I made. I explained the business demographics of Ibadan by mentioning the major business hubs- Dugbe, Challenge, Mokola, Ring Road, and Bodija while highlighting the type of businesses in those locations.
I highlighted the New Court Road location of the new branch and applauded the location due to its proximity to Agbeni Market- the second biggest FMCG market in South West Nigeria after Oke-Arin in Lagos.
I gave a summary of the kind of businesses at Agbeni Market- the distributors for the FMCGs, pharmaceutical distributors, food wholesalers, etc. I dimensioned the commercial, retail and public sector business in the City and mentioned key stakeholders.
By the time I finished answering that question, I saw most of the members of the interview panel nodding in affirmation. I could almost see on their faces the expression ‘yes, this is our man’. I got the job.
Whenever you hear the question ‘why should we hire you?’, that is your opportunity to articulate your value. That question provides you a platform to highlight your skills, strengths, experience and personal qualities.
Never fail to seize the chance to explain what you are bringing to the table.
Organizations are not looking for people who will collect salaries alone but those who will add value. Let your value be more than just seeking a job.
Therefore, when you attend interviews, answer questions from the standpoint of value addition. You should articulate your unique offer to convince the employer that you’re the right candidate.
I call that my USP- Unique Selling Points. Some call it EVP- Employee Value Proposition. Your USP/EVP will show why you should be hired.
So here are 6 ways you can articulate your value to your prospective employer during interviews:
1. Better Service Delivery
Can you improve the quality of service in that organization? How exactly? How can you tie this to better efficiency, improved output, a shorter TAT (turnaround time) or even improved revenue?
2. Improved Revenue
Can you improve revenues? Can you grow their sales? Can you expand their market? More acquisitions? In the example I cited, I showed a good understanding of the market. When you do this especially in a sales role, your prospective employer can bank on you.
3. Cost Savings
Employers will be willing to listen to you if you can demonstrate how to achieve cost efficiency. To improve profitability, it’s either the revenues are going up or the cost is coming down. If you can show how to bring down the cost, you have a leg in.
4. Solve Problems
This should be self explanatory. Every company has a problem they are trying to solve. Can you solve that problem? It may be a glitch you observed on their app or website. Or you have an idea on how a campaign can run better? Share that idea and get hired.
5. Be An Expert At A Task
If you’re so good at a particular thing that there are not many of you in that industry with those skills, your expertise will be in great demand. You can even ask for a premium when seeking employment.
This speaks to the process efficiency of an organization. Can you make things simpler and faster? Can you unbundle and make things easier and less complex? Can you reduce the workload?
During the interview, ensure you articulate your value properly. You’re your most important spokesperson. Represent your client well.
Written by Bayo Adeyinka
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DISCLAIMER: Do not pay or release sensitive financial details to any organizer/recruiter unless futher verified from your end.