I’ve noticed that companies are shortening the length of their job interviews. They’re spending less time on each candidate and interviewing more candidates for each position. Interviews that were 60 minutes long are now typically 30 to 45 minutes in length for a senior positions. Why? – when it is so important to get the right people in senior roles? I assume this change comes from both the sheer number of qualified candidates in the marketplace and the rapid pace of today’s business environment. One senior finance client said the hiring company told him that they were interviewing 15 people for the CFO role.
As a candidate, this means that you have less time to get your message heard. So, your personal branding statement is even more important. It should be tight and targeted. Spend time before your interview uncovering and understanding the specific issues facing the hiring organization. That will help you tailor it so it resonates with them immediately. And, your supporting interview stories should be tight and targeted too. Research shows that people remember a maximum of three ideas from presentations. So, use a maximum of 3 short interview stories to support your branding statement. State the result first, then how you achieved it. Make each story two or three sentences in length.
Here’s an example from my own interview experience. In 1999, I decided I wanted to change into a new consulting specialty as a mid-career move. Consulting firms are keenly interested in people who can bring in revenue. My personal branding statement was: I get and keep clients. That simple statement got me in every door when I cold called. In support of that statement, one of my interview stories was: I got all my clients back after a 12-month expatriate assignment. I nurtured them from afar.
A tight and targeted message will help them remember you in a positive way so you stand out from the crowd of qualified candidates and land the job you really want!