Saturday, April 3, 2010

Powerful Self Introduction

Good Morning!

What do you think are some reasons that people do not get hired at the job they are applying to?

I believe that one of the main reasons people don’t get hired is because they lack a purpose for being at the job interview. What I mean is, they don’t really know a) why they are applying for the particular job, and b) Why they are applying to this particular company. In short, I believe that one of the reasons people don’t get hired is because they have not answered within themselves a very powerful career question: WHY AM I HERE?

I don’t mean a philosophical question like “What’s it all mean? Why are we here?” I mean, why are you applying for the job? Is it to just get money? To just get a job? Or is the particular job you are looking at best fit for your needs, and are you the best fit for the companies needs.

Today we are going to look at this.

Today’s topic actually comes from a listener named Yeon Ji. She wrote me and asked if I could tell her how to make a powerful self-introduction for her interview.

So, Today I’m going to help our listeners create a powerful self-introduction they can use during their interview.

I believe that it is in this self-introduction that we answer the questions I’ve just mentioned. It is in the self-introduction that we communicate our purpose for being at a particular interview.

Our purpose is communicated in many different ways. Yes, we communicate using words. But according to behavioural research by famed scientist Albert Merhabian, what we say is only 7% of what we are actually communicating at any one time. 93% of what we say is actually non-verbal. It’s the sound of our voice, it’s the movement of our hands, it’s our facial gestures, our posture, our eyes.

These are the important things, and they communicate loudly. So, if you are uncertain of why you are at a particular job interview, or if you are doubtful of your desire to work for a company, or if your intent is not right, hiring professionals can sense this. Often times this is the reason people hire or not.

They may hear your words, but notice your body saying something different. They want someone who is completely interested in the job being offered. They hire the right attitude.

When our purpose is clear, our entire self communicates this purpose. There is no duality.

So, if you know why you are here at the interview. If you know you WANT to be applying for this company at this time, and for this position, that internal knowledge and passion communicates loudly and powerfully.

The best place for us to establish this desire, this purpose is in our introduction.

There are five questions you can ask yourself to help create a powerful self-introduction that communicates purpose and can inspire confidence in the hiring person. The kind of self-introduction that might just help you get the job.

This exercise works best if you write. Writing is a powerful way to get clarity of mind.

First: What are you personal qualities? Answer this question with the beginning: “I am…” For example, I am deeply interested in other people. I love helping people. I love creating new things. I’m passionate, I’m a dreamer.

Write down all that comes to mind.

Second: What are your skills? Answer this question with the beginning: “I can…”
This is good even if you are new from school. You have a lot of skills. Thinking about them takes time. So work hard at this.

Write, for example: I can motivate people, I can do math pretty well. I can talk to people easily. I can explain things well.

Again, write down all that comes to mind. Once you start, you’ll find that the ideas will pour out of you.

Third: What are your experiences? For example: when I was in college I led a campaign to clean up campus litter. So, I could write: in college, I led a group of people who were dedicated to cleaning up campus litter.

Again, write down all you can.

Forth: What are your convictions or beliefs? For example: I believe in the power of relationships.

The fifth question is the most helpful question.

This is the one that helps us find our purpose.

You want to ask yourself, What do each of the above answer mean?
What do my skills mean?
What do my qualities mean?
What do my experiences mean?
What do they mean to your potential employer? And what do they mean to you in terms of working for this company?

If I am applying for a sales position, for example, what do my qualities mean to the company I’m applying to?

For example: I said that one of my qualities is that I am deeply interested in helping people. This means that I value relationships, and I believe that relationships are a key to success in sales. A sales position means that I am going to be able to have a lot of good relationships.

I said that one of my skills is my ability to explain things well. This means that I can tell customers how a product works, I can provide excellent customer service. A sales position will help me to improve this skill.

We want to let the company know what that our relationship with them will be a win/win situation. We want them to know that I’m going to win by working for you. And you’re going to win because I’ll be happy doing what I’m doing. That happiness will benefit you!

Answering this fifth question helps us clarify that.

Then we must put it into a coherent one minute self-introduction. This takes time. It also takes boldness.

Here’s an example of the self-introduction I created after using this technique for myself. I imagined that I am fresh out of university and applying for a sales job.

My name is Michael Jay. I graduated from Oregon State university with degree in communication. I’m deeply interested in helping people overcome their difficulties. I’m a strong communicator with an ability to explain things well. In college I had the experience of leading a group of people dedicated to reducing litter on campus. I believe in the power of reslationships and team work. I’m here today applying for the position of sales person because I feel my deep respect for relationships is a powerful tool that can be used to increase the sales of this company. I believe my ability to explain well will help to create customer satisfaction of the products I sell, as well as increase sales. I believe a career in sales at Blah Blah Blah company will increase my abilities as a leader, and will it will provide me an opportunity to use my passion for relationships to benefit the customers that this company serves.

An introduction like this communicates strongly, passionately. It communicates purpose. It helps me establish myself and my reason for being at the interview with this company. It sets the stage for the questions that the interviewer may want me to answer. Of course, I will be prepared to answer all the claims I make during my interview. This may help control the direction of the communication during the interview. Whereas, if I state a long rambling narrative of my life, I might just get caught having to answer something I’ve not thought through very well. With an introduction like I’ve just said, you will be prepared.

Bottom line: sell a company your passion, and you just might sell a company your self.

Keep the questions coming listeners! Great stuff so far! Thanks to Yeon Ji for today’s question!

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