The Zero Theorem

Preparing Your Personal Interview “Commercial”

At some point near the end of the interview, the interviewer will ask “why should I hire you”? Although you may pause for dexterity and posture, you have been waiting for this very question, as you know it gives you an opportunity to give your personal commercial — you know the commercial where you’re going to sell your amazing one-of-a-kind product — You. Just like they do on TV!

Good commercials communicate in one direction (to you) and answer your anticipated unasked questions.

Just like the commercials we see on TV, your personal commercial should be confident, clear, exciting, concise, and believable. It is also a way for your audience (the interviewer) to learn additional information she may not have asked, and offers an added glimpse into your personality, skills, and characteristics.

Commercials are not done on the fly. Neither are they overly lengthy, but it is obvious that quality time went into preparing the commercial. Actors rehearse until they can deliver smoothly. Let that be a clue. Take the time to write out your personal commercial on 3 x 5 cards (that you can carry around) and practice until you feel positive and can deliver it effortlessly. Don’t forget the enthusiasm and the passion for your field or the company!

Your Commercial should include:

1. Your strengths and how they will bring value to the company.

2. Traits and qualities that make you unique and an ideal candidate for the position. (This will give insight into your personality, and should include work ethics, technical skills, and your passion for this type of work and/or the company).

3. What you can offer if you are selected for the position.

4. Brevity – don’t go over two minutes — you want to be memorable but not boring.

5. Examples. Don’t just say I’ll be great for the job. Explain why and give illustrations.

6. Relativity — Speak to your audience. Don’t talk about unrelated job skills and experience. Expand on your most relevant experience. (Even though you will rehearse the main parts of your commercial, you will need to tailor some of your examples so that they are pertinent for the company and position).

7. Just like a good commercial, if you believe in your product, so will your audience.

8. It might be tempting, but this is not the time to get on your soapbox.

9. Make sure that your commercial covers the value you will bring to the Company and shows how you will fit in with the company culture.

With practice, you will be more than ready to answer this question. Practice, practice, practice. Your well done personal commercial could effectively cinch the job!

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