We’ll begin with the three elements of success:
1) Tell them who you are in an authentic way
2) Tell them that you can do what they need you to do
3) Have successful evidence your claims are true
You have 60 seconds to impress your hiring manager. From the moment your butt hits the chair, the clock is now ticking. But it shouldn’t be cause for anything but quiet confidence – you’re about to look like a hero.
The elevator pitch, your opening paragraph about who you are, is going to set you up nicely for the rest of the conversation. Because you have written it down, edited it, polished it and perfected it, your familiarity with yourself will be authentic when you describe it to another person.
Next – what you can do.
Ask 100 people what to put on a resume and you’ll get 100 different answers. Paying someone to “fix” your resume is a waste of good money. Some companies make it the foundation of your hire. Others take a peek. Many don’t care at all. In a world where people are tweeting for a shot at an interview, the resume seems a bit quaint. What I tell students and clients – make sure it’s honest, don’t list a bunch of skills that are not unique (Office is not a skill in 2013 – the Adobe CS6 suite is) and for students, remember that your degree is not your education. The things you did at school are.
When asked in the interview if you know how to do something, and you don’t, simply say “I ‘m not familiar; tell me about it.”
The company is not expecting perfection. They are demanding you be genuine, however.
Finally – the proof.
Back in the day, companies might take your word for it if you made a claim you were a master designer or you led your team in regional sales 4 quarters in a row. Now companies want you to prove it, sometimes on the spot.
Here’s an example. You’re interviewing for a video editing job. You tell your hiring manager about all the work you have created and how awesome it is. It’s quite possible they may lead you into an editing suite and say the following; “Open this file and cut it down to 2 minutes. You’ll have 5 minutes to finish it…”
You say you can do it. They might make you prove it immediately!
Summarizing here. Companies want to know three things:
1) Who you are
2) Can you do what you say you can do
3) Do you have outstanding examples of that work
If you hit all three of these, I like your chances.
John Scott is a media studies instructor and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University San Francisco. Check out John’s book, “Destination: Reinvention”, on sale in the Amazon bookstore. He finally got the audiobook finished – it’ll be out in a couple of weeks on Audible and iTunes. The hardcover edition is on sale now at Lulu.