Getting to know you before job interviews

Because you are the product that needs to be marketed and sold at job interviews, you must know all about you as the product before you interview. So getting to know you is all about obtaining product knowledge. That means getting to know what your main selling points are and being able to talk about them.

The first step in selling yourself

When it comes to selling either yourself or any product or service, obtaining product knowledge and knowing about your customers is always the first step.

Your customers are prospective employers who interview you for job openings. Until you determine what your selling points are, don’t even think about presenting yourself at interviews. This is why “getting to know you” should be the slogan of your job search.

How to uncover your unique selling points

Your selling points are your main strengths. A technique you can use to uncover the strengths that are uniquely you is called Functional Self-Analysis (FSA). This lets you see how you function to the highest level of your abilities. The term, functional self-analysis, was coined by Bernard Haldane, the granddaddy of career counseling in America who introduced many of the job finding techniques used today.

An easy way to do your functional self-analysis

Set aside short periods of time over a week’s period to break down your self-analysis into small bites

First, list of a half dozen things you do best. Examples are planning, analyzing, managing, writing, project development and execution, and physical dexterity (working with your hands). These are the tasks you enjoy doing and do well both on and off the job. Keep adding to your list as each task pops into mind. The list you’ll end up with after a week also identifies special qualities that let you handle a situation or solve a problem better than anyone else.

The major strengths you’ve indexed become the main selling points of you as a product in your campaign to land a good job.

Now, put your main selling points under various headings of your resume such as in the summary, or within the bulleted points that describe your major achievements and their results.

Practice talking about your achievements. Actors rehearse before going on stage or in front of TV and movie cameras. Litigators rehearse what they’re going to present before judges and juries. You need to do the same before interviewing. With practice, you’ll come across as smoothly and professionally as any of the actors you see gracing TV and movie screens. Then you’ll be able to turn it on at interviews. This happens only if you practice, practice, practice talking about your major selling points.

You’ll use this product knowledge—your selling points—in three main marketing and selling parts of your job finding campaign:

  • Telephoning to request meetings. This is a marketing function.
  • Writing sample cover letters. This is another marketing function.
  • And selling yourself at interviews. This is your main selling opportunity.

You’ll be able to turn it on at interviews with enthusiasm and confidence when “getting to know you” becomes an integral part of your mindset.

There’s a reason many job candidates find themselves floundering about at interviews.  It’s because they don’t know their main selling points. You need to uncover and use them to show interviewer’s reasons why you’re a perfect fit. Early in my career, that was the problem I faced. I began to win interviews, and later obtain broadcasting and consulting assignments, after learning the FSA technique from Bernie Haldane.

You, too, can learn many more techniques for getting to know you by reading “How to Discover and Develop Your Hidden Talents: Getting to Know You,” which is the second chapter in my book “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.” THIS LINK leads you to a description of the book and some readers comments.

CLICK HERE to order “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach” from Amazon.

You can also contact me for specific advice or give your suggestions by commenting below.

Copyright ©2016 by Ransom (Randy) Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.