This question is the question when it comes to interviews.
It's not just an explicit question interviewers (rarely, to be honest) ask you. It's an implicit question that is behind the entire process -- from applying to a job, acing the interview, negotiating a killer salary, and establishing your place in the your new team and earning respect.
"What do YOU bring to the table?"
This is the one question you should be able to answer at 02:00 am in the morning without thinking. If you'd struggle to that, it probably shows at every stage of the process (in between the lines, so the speak, of what you say).
The basic answer is that you are the solution to the problems an organization is facing. That might sound a bit overwhelming or arrogant, but in fact, your answer should feel focused, straightforward, and practical.
For example, when the pipes in your home are leaking, the solution to your problem is a person who knows how to track down leaks and repair those leaks -- that's the person you want to hire for the job. And you also want someone who will show up and fix the problem fast, do it right the first time, and not rip you off. That's basically what your next employer wants as well.
What are the problems that you can help a company solve? And what talents, skills and accomplishments demonstrate you solve these problems? Given those abilities, how can they count on you to deliver? What makes you trustworthy?
These are the focus areas for answering this question and, again, the goal of the entire interview. So take the time to work through fitting these pieces together. Once you see yourself as the solution to specific problems, you'll feel more confident about delivering this answer, and it won't feel like "selling".
Karen, you're not alone when it comes to disliking this question. It's something that many people struggle with.
That's the reason why I've made this the foundation of Interview Success Formula -- and its new sister program Dream Job Formula (which we're rolling out to the small and exclusive test group right now).
As members of Interview Success Formula know, answering this powerful question is the first thing we do together.
Everything else that follows is built on your own unique answer, and, together, we get you to the stage where your responses to just about every other question the interviewer asks you reinforces that.
Next, Rachel asks:
I've just signed up for your Dream Job Formula programme and I'm wondering if it can be used as is if I'm searching for work in a different country. Are the techniques the same for international job search? One big difference right off the top is the difference between resumes and CVs.
I'd like to know how I can make myself stand out in the international job hunt.
Yes! Absolutely yes.
Dream Job Formula isn't about "tricks" or "what's-working-now"-type stuff (though we do have some excellent strategies and techniques that you can put into action and use right away).
Many job seekers aren't "square pegs for square holes" -- the first person a hiring manager might think of for a job. Being international puts you in that category Rachel, so I strongly encourage you to not rely on your CV alone to find a position, and to focus on other approaches.
One of the strategies the program teaches is how to use relationships to get a job. For you, Rachel, a couple of places to look could be alums or classmates from a school you attended or perhaps the friends and family of work colleagues of whomever is motivating your move. Because you are international, even small commonalities can be enough for others to want to connect. And it's only natural for you to ask for advice and guidance on your move from people who live there.