Interview tip: you’re a CEO

June 19, 2009
By Mansi

Perhaps, you’ve never thought of your name as a brand before and yourself as a company — but indulge me for a minute here.

When you go for an interview, what are you really doing?

Selling yourself.

In a stipulated amount of time you present a brief synopsis of your achievements, you gloat over your accomplishments, you showcase your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses, you put your best foot forward and convince people who’ve never met you before to invest in your talents.

This scenario is very similar to a CEO of a startup meeting with VPs to secure funding for his next big idea. He brings to the table a strategic vision and a stable business plan — much like you, the interviewee.

When you look at the job description, check off things you have done and can do, while circling those you don’t have an expertise in but want to learn.

You also think five years out (at least three, if not five — stability is important).

Where will this job take you?

What can you add to it beyond the essential duties?

Think about how the company can help you grow…chart a career path for yourself but never forget how you will add value to the company.

What do they not have that you bring? Passion is great, but also show them ambition.

When you walk into that room, think of yourself as a CEO, not an interviewee.

What makes a good CEO is what’s going to help you get the job.

  • Leadership matters — don’t expect to be babysat. Employers appreciate employees who take initiative.
  • Teamwork is critical — be a team player and a team builder. Respect others’ expertise and inspire trust.
  • Experience is key — internships help and so do part-time jobs.

Good CEOs also:

  • Think outside the box — be open to new ideas. Everyone follows the beaten path because it’s easy. Challenge yourself
  • Believe — in yourself! There’s only ONE of you. Leverage your uniqueness. (How do you do that? Specialize, but remember not to box yourself in).
  • Always look to improve — you may think you’re perfect, but you’re not. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work on them.

Illuminate the room with your personality, ideas and talent. Walk in believing no one can do this job better. Walk out knowing you did your best.

You are your best ambassador. Go get ‘em!

(Thanks to Juan Escobar for planting this idea in my head :-) )


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