Many people are hesitant to “toot their own horn.” When CPG recruiters and hiring managers seek candidates for a CPG marketing or market research job, most are at least a little uncomfortable self-aggrandizing. And with good reason – most people react negatively to braggarts.
This poses a dilemma in interviewing: you have to sell yourself “just right.” Undersell, and you don’t get the offer because a competing candidate is perceived as better qualified. Oversell, and you don’t get the offer because it turns people off.
CPG recruiters value differentiation.
You are a very intelligent, accomplished, and professional individual, with experience in interviewing successfully. The other half-dozen CPG candidates for this position are also very intelligent, accomplished, professional individuals with lots of experience interviewing successfully. You need to make the case to the company for selecting you over these other highly qualified candidates.
Think of the interview as a sales presentation. The interviewer is the buyer, you are the sales person, and YOU ARE THE PRODUCT YOU ARE SELLING! Approach interview preparation and interviewing exactly the same way you sell your fact-based recommendations to management.
First, determine the customer’s needs and wants.
- What skills and experiences are necessary to successfully perform the open role?
- What talents will drive superior performance in this role and future roles?
- What are the company’s culture, values and style, and what kind of candidate will fit best in this environment?
Next, develop your product and personal brand.
Successful selling requires that your product meets the customer’s needs and wants better than the competing products – those other candidates you need to outshine.
- Identify your talents – your raw ingredients – and be constantly proactive about improving and adding to your skill set. Ensuring that you have the strongest possible inventory of skills will create the formula for your success.
- Diligently apply your talents and skills in producing accomplishments.
- Create your own “brand identity,” the track record of success which distinguishes you from the competing brands – the other candidates.
Finally, persuasively communicate your brand.
The way you position your product and brand’s features, benefits, end-benefits, and emotional end-benefits will give you the edge.
- Your features are your skills, talents and style – the “who” you are.
- The benefits are the accomplishments you are able to achieve by applying your skills and talents. The benefits are the “so what” of having your talents and skills. This is where you show CPG recruiters and hiring managers that your strengths are the foundation of your accomplishments, and that you will be able to consistently replicate your accomplishments going forward.
- End-benefits are the “so-what” of your features and benefits as they relate to the buyer. The end-benefits you offer are the positive effects you will have on the company’s business by applying your talents and skills and your proven ability to deliver accomplishments (in other words, your features and benefits).
- Emotional end-benefits are partly the good feelings your interviewers will experience by landing you for their team. They are also the good feelings they expect to enjoy by starting a new friendship with a very likeable person.
Remember to Test Your Message
As in any selling situation, it’s important to refine your approach with independent insights. Experienced CPG recruiters can provide valuable market intelligence and give you objective feedback about how you can most effectively position your product (you) to meet the needs and wants of your customer (the hiring manager).Contact us to ensure you are ready to “sell yourself” in a highly competitive job market.