Career Calling

May 31, 2013

“We” Talk Is a Loser in Job Interviews

As a culture, we train people to value team achievements.  From the time we’re young, we’re drilled with cliches such as, “There is no I in team.”  Many of the clients I work with talk about their jobs in terms of “we.”  I frequently stop them and remind them that employers are not hiring “we.”  To be successful in a job search, you need to be able to let potential employers know what you can do for them, not what you did as part of a team at your former job.

Practice what you will say at interviews, but don’t do it in a way that will sound scripted or canned.  I recommend that clients use 5-7 index cards.  Put one achievement or success story on each card and then practice telling the story different ways.  For example, a success story in sales can also be a success story in negotiation or problem solving.  The key is to use the story in a flexible way that tells the employer how you will help her company.

Remember what the employer is looking for in every interview: someone they can trust.  You need to talk about yourself in a way that is clear and believable.  “We” stories don’t tell the employers anything about you.  Keep them focus on you and what you bring that will make you a great employee.

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