How to Brand Yourself and Excel at Job Interviews
So you got the call.
The company has called you for an interview.
Are you nervous?
Let’s imagine ourselves in this situation.
And play it in our minds.
That way we can make sure that when it really happens, we do well.
In this post, I want to talk about how to brand yourself before a job interview.
And get the job that you want.
At the salary package that you want.
So let’s get started…
First, you need to change some of your belief systems about how hiring decisions are made.
I am talking from my experience…
Many people think that the hiring decision is made during the interview process.
It is true to some extent.
30% of the decision is already made in the mind of the employer, even before you go for the interview.
And that 30% decision is made based on what the employer sees online before you show yourself in person.
Creating a strong personal brand before you go for the interview helps a lot.
Because you are not the only candidate going for the interview.
For the same position, there will be at least 5 candidates doing a Face-to-face interview.
The employer would have already formed biases.
He/She would have already made up his mind on who is more likely to be hired.
And this bias is made based on your personal brand.
So what does your personal brand involve?
How to make sure that you brand yourself in the best possible way even before the interview happens?
Here are some tips which I have followed to get the jobs that I want.
I have worked in 5 different well known companies as a digital marketing manager, and these branding methods helped me every time I wanted the job, at the salary that I wanted.
1. Have a Professional Photo on All Your Online Profiles
Having a professional photo helps a lot with personal branding.
It shows the employer that you take your professional life seriously.
It communicates that you are ready to go the extra mile to be professional in the corporate world.
Here’s the photo that I use on all my profiles.
This was taken in a professional setting.
With professional clothes.
So hire a professional photographer.
Mark a day in the calendar for a professional photoshoot.
Take at least 5 pics.
Most of the professional photographers in big cities would charge around 300 to 500 INR per photo.
And they would ask for a minimum of 10 photos to be selected from the shoot.
That way you will spend around 3000 to 5000 INR for this.
It may look costly a bit.
But it’s an investment.
If you can get a 10% more salary, it would pay for itself many times over.
And starting with a 10% better salary would set a benchmark for your future salaries.
So who knows?
May be an investment of 5000 INR would yield 5-10 lakhs in the next 10 years.
So do not hesitate to invest in a professional photo.
And once you have the photo, update it on all the online profiles.
You can leave out Facebook and Instagram because they are personal social networks.
You should upload this professional pic in LinkedIn, Twitter and most importantly your email sending photo and signature.
You should also put the same photo in your resume.
Keep the brand consistent so that people can recognize it.
2. Have a Self Hosted Blog with Custom Domain Email ID
This really matters.
When I apply for job interviews, I use email@example.com as the mail ID.
This creates an impression in the minds of the employers.
Because 90% of the people apply to job interviews with a Gmail ID.
And since most of us cannot get the email ID that we want with Gmail, we end up making it a gibberish.
We add date of birth, sun signs, moon signs, lucky numbers and everything else to our email ID.
These are the kind of email IDs that candidates have when they apply for job interviews.
And you will apply with firstname.lastname@example.org.
We just need to be better than the others.
There is a long way to go before we become the best.
But doing the above two, having a professional head-shot photo and having a custom domain email ID will set you apart from MOST of the other applicants.
You just need to be the preferred choice among the people who have applied, and that’s all you need to do to get the job.
Many times, the employers get curious with this email ID.
And they visit digitaldeepak.com
Which takes them to my blog.
Which is full of digital marketing articles!
Which takes us to the third point:
3. Have a Blog!
This is the most powerful method for personal branding.
Anyone who writes – we consider them as experts.
Because writing is not easy.
It takes a lot of knowledge, experience, skill and patience to sit and write something.
Many companies give assignments to candidates before hiring them.
Most of these assignments are something that the candidate should write about.
It could be a report.
This content helps the employer to find out the aptitude of the candidate.
But with a blog…
The brand is pre-framed.
The employer might still give you an assignment, but he would know that you are already good.
Because you have a blog with articles.
Most of the jobs I’ve got is because of my blog.
The kind of articles I’ve published gives an insight for the employer about my subject matter expertise.
And this brand is pre-framed before I go for a job interview.
Their perception about me is different.
So there is no doubt that this method works.
I have had more than 10 job offers for digital marketing manager and everytime the conversion happens because of the blog.
You can also add some testimonials and feedback from previous employers to your blog’s about page.
Because that’s the best real estate you can get for advertising your social proof.
So let’s recap.
We’ve discussed 3 major things so far:
- Have a professional photo on all online profiles
- Have a custom email ID
- Have a blog where you talk about what you are good at.
Now let’s look at a bonus tip.
The 4th point.
This is too powerful.
Even I’ve not exploited it to the fullest extent.
4. Publish a Book!
If you become a published author…
That’s the ultimate personal branding method.
That’s 10x more powerful than a blog.
You can take a hard-bound printed book to the interview.
You can give it as a gift to your potential employer.
How can someone resist that.
Even if you don’t get hired (because you rejected the offer)…
No one throws away a book.
It will stay with them for a long time.
That’s free retargeting for you!
Your name will be there in a physical space, and they will keep looking at it.
People who visit them will have a look at it.
And your brand will spread.
I’ve written an extensive article on how to become a published author on my blog.
You should definitely read it, and consider publishing a book.
It is not an easy task…
And that’s a good thing.
Because if it is easy, then everyone will do it.
So if you do it, you will stand out of the crowd.
So that’s it.
Follow these 4 points, and you will be able to ace any job interview.
Because just being an expert doesn’t guarantee the job that you want.
You need to show-off that you are an expert.
You need to market yourself.
Everyone is looking for indicators of intelligence and smartness.
All the above branding methods will help you communicate your intelligence to your employer.
And in the long term, this personal branding will take you places.
Having a blog and a book could be a platform to start a business in the future.
As I had mentioned in my TEDx talk…
Your blog could become a full time business one day.
Blogging changed my life…
It could change yours too!
All the best for getting your dream job!