I am often asked what is the better way to prepare for an interview and how to actually increase your chances to get the job. Well, yes, my experience is focused on cybersecurity and privacy roles, both as a recruiter, building several security and privacy teams in my career, and also as a candidate going from engineer based roles, up to consultant, architect, senior manager and director level positions, but I was always interested in the way recruiters think, not to mention my wife worked as a recruiter, now being a coach and driving people to their success.
So what is the secret? The most important thing most candidates don’t understand is that getting a job is always a battle, like in sport, you need to be better than your opponent. But most of the time, you play with a lot of other people in the same time. So how you succeed? Always, but always you need to think from the employer perspective and answer one simple question: ”Why they should hire you?”. Why do you think you are better for this job than the other 100 candidates? Having this question in mind will help you find the qualities you need to present.
Let me give you my answer to this question as an example. Well, I do think my main quality is practically the diversity in skills – and I have separate lessons and sections about that in my Career Development training– but in few words – I am a deep technical expert with an engineering background, but in the same time I do have sales, financial and business development capabilities being either able to generate new business or build a separate business unit from scratch. And this is extremely valuable because I can easily accommodate 1, 2 or even 3 separate jobs in the same time – but the real value in a client conversation for example – is that I can discuss all the aspects of a business case from the C level executives up to the technical engineers. This means I do not lose time with getting too many resources in the picture and I can get more business easily – and that is gold for companies in the consulting area, or companies that sell something.
Besides that, I think I am a strategic thinker and extremely effective, being able to deliver quicker results. And I can even give examples from my previous work. Now, these are things that you can use toSELL yourself to the employer. You will ask me “Yeah, but its important I am a good technical guy” – of course it is, that’s why you have a technical interview – nobody will hire you if you only know how to talk, not even in a sales role – I would personally notJ- but in the battle – be sure there are many other good technical people out there – so don’t count only on that – and don’t play only the LUCK part. Its true, luck is part of the game, as well as first impression, or your chemistry with people you got the interview with – but success will always come when you have something extremely VALUABLE to put on the table.
And this is mostly something unique to each and every one of you, something that you need to build over time.
I have built my career around these concepts and how I will practically be able to have a better message for my next company or career move. Becoming better at what you do is one step, but becoming a complete expert is what actually counts in the end. Think about football right? Everybody is looking for players that are able to hit the ball with both foots or players that can be used on more than one position, so being called polyvalent – it is the same thing in business and you need to adapt to it.
So what is your VALUE on the market?