Brenda Griffin Get A Job Expert
Just be honest with yourself. That opens the door. ~ Vernon Howard
The interview. All eyes are on you. It's all about you! Questions and answers. It may be easy to think, "This is all about me." It is. Just don't forget to balance "me" with the "we."
Why? To demonstrate that you're team material. A mix of me-we statements can score big points. Here are some examples: We did this. We did that. My role was this. I accomplished that. I could have improved here. We learned this. I changed that. See the balance? Employers want candidates that work easily with people. Freely acknowledging others sends this message.
Where are you on the me-we balance? Monitor your language for clues. Be a tough grader! Speaking of tough, ask yourself the tough questions. Do you take all the credit and pass out blame or do you share credit, forget blame, and think only of lessons learned and ways to improve? Do you need to change more than your language?
Time spent during the interview process is all employers have to evaluate you. And that is not much time when you think about it. What messages do you want to send? Let's look at the extremes so you can get a vision of imbalance through word choices.
Think of a person who demands to be recognized. You know the one. Not only wants credit but steals it. Me, mine, and I fill each sentence like a broken record. We and ours are not on their radar. Sound like a team player? Not exactly. You may actually be a team player but not reflect that when you forget the "we" in interviews.
And then there's the opposite, the person who takes no credit. It's one thing to be humble and another to be a victim. Angry and upset, blame, criticism and sarcasm eventually ooze out because they've given away their power. Sound like someone you want on your team? Not exactly. You may own your place on the team by knowing your contribution, but fail to express it when over focusing on the "we." It's expected that you will take credit where credit is due during interviews.
How do you find me-we balance and communicate it? Simple. Look at the truth. Study truth. So you can speak truth! This is how you develop quiet confidence that allows you to present yourself in an authentic, real way.
Taking credit for your part, while giving a nod to the others is not as hard as it may seem. Study your background and think through answers to typical interview questions. Yes, take full credit for what you did! Also, take time to look at your accomplishments in light of the bigger picture of the team.
For each accomplishment, identify what you did for the "me" part of the truth. What did you accomplish? What was your part? What was your victory? What could you have done better? What lessons did you learn? How did you handle things that didn't go as planned?
Then review the role others played in the victory - the "we." In what ways did co-workers contribute? Did your boss give you guidance when you were not dead-on in your approach? Did an administrative assistant save you valuable time by taking on a task? How about another department? Clues come by way of delegated tasks.
Yes, you can find the me-we balance! Be real about your work life. When the time comes, you will naturally flow between the me and the we to stand out as real team material.
SLF369 at Tue, May 12 07:42 AM:
Dear Brenda: many thanks for your insightful comments about the importance of teamwork !!