The pandemic has changed everything about work as we know it -from the interview process to the actual work we do to where we do it. Some have become entrepreneurs via inspiration or necessity because of the volatile job market. While the process has changed, our hatred for the process remains the same. Whether you’re looking for a job or to talking a prospective client, you’ll need to learn how to interview to get that job or business.
Before you interview with anyone, there are five questions you need to ask yourself:
What are my skills?
You should take time to make a list of your skills. If you have a resume look at it and break down what you do. Then, look at your other interests, awards, and achievements. Ask others who know you well to make a list of your skills. Your combined list will give you the confidence to move forward. Knowing what you’re good at is very important in order to present yourself in the best light.
What’s my strength?
From your list of skills, pick just one strength. Choosing multiple strengths often leads to confusion and inaction. When you answer the question, “What is your strength?” you’re also answering the question, “Where do I start?”
You’ll probably need someone who knows you well to help you with this, too. Focusing on your strength gives you clarity, simplicity, and direction. As one of my mentors, Andrew Morrison, always says, “Pick one thing.” Pick one strength and play to it.
Who is my audience?
Instead of assuming you know what your audience needs, you should ask what it wants. Create thought-provoking questions to get insight on how to serve your audience. Once you get the answer to these questions, you’ll be able to properly craft a message to serve them. You may find that your prospective audience may not be your audience. You may find other audiences you can serve in the process.
What’s my message?
What do you want to convey? What do you stand for? Clearly communicating your skills and your strength is very important in your search. How you present your message depends on your audience’s wants. You must know this before you can craft your effective message. Before you interview you must show your audience that you’ve done your research. Also, when you craft a message based on the answers of your audience, not just your intellect, your audience will appreciate it because it will show that you care.
How can I take away their pain?
Your solution should be a product of your skills and strength, communicating with your audience, and knowing what their pain points are. Without either, you’ll miss the mark. Most people make the mistake of communicating their message without knowing what the pain is. At the end of the day, it’s not about your brilliance. It’s about their pain and using your skills and strength to take away that pain.
These questions should be asked in order as each question feeds off the previous one. The first two deal with you. The second two deal with your audience. When you combine these, then and only then, can you provide your solution. Also, know your value. Make sure you put the proper value on your solution. If you don’t, someone else will. Whether you’re looking for a job, career, or business, answering these questions will prepare you for your interview. They will also give you the confidence to get what you want without compromising who you are.