Cause and Effect, Part 1

Our Manager of Client Relations, Joyce Clinton, recently spoke on strengths and weaknesses at a presentation.
We’d like to share her words of wisdom with you today.


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Oftentimes when we are interviewing, we are asked in various ways about our strengths—what positive attributes we can bring to the job. Common interview questions are often: “What are your strengths?”, “What can you bring to the role?”, “Why did you choose this company?”

With all of these questions, you as a potential employee are expected to effectively communicate why you will be an asset to the company. My advice is to be prepared to answer these questions by communicating your strengths and how they can benefit the brand you are interviewing for.

I like to call this “cause and effect”. Cause and effect is a relationship between events or things where one is the result of the other. The “cause” is your strength, but you need to follow up with how this impacted your business, the “effect”. When communicating your “effect” make sure to give quantitative examples of how you have impacted the business and know your numbers!

To identify your strengths, try using some of these adjectives:

  • Analytical
  • Strategic
  • Creative
  • Positive
  • Disciplined
  • Proactive
  • Sales Driven

 

Be prepared to answer these questions by communicating your
strengths and how they can benefit the brand you are interviewing for.

 

When you tell the interviewer that you are an “analytical sales driver who is good with people,” you need to back that up with the effect of those strengths. Think about how you phrase this and turn these adjectives into strengths. For example:

“One of my strengths is my ability to positively affect change. As a General Manager with company X, I was able to turn around a negative working environment and develop a supportive team who achieved sales targets 9 of the last 12 months.”

“As a Regional Manager with company Y, I analyzed product assortments within key markets and worked with the buying team to change our assortment which resulted in an overall increase of 12% with increased inventory turn.

By providing the effects, these statements are much more powerful and give the person interviewing you an insight of your how your strengths lead to accomplishments.

Always remember that the people interviewing you are looking for a fit. They are forming a picture of you based on your answers and how you convey your strengths. Always communicate this by utilizing the “cause and effect” statements. Prepare these statements ahead of time so when you are telling your story, you will be confident in your skills and accomplishments!

I am always interested to hear your thoughts regarding this topic! In the future, I will write another blog regarding the dreaded question ”What do you feel are your weaknesses?”

Stay tuned!

Rob Bowerman is President and Founder of The Bowerman Group- a leading executive search firm for luxury brands in the US and Canada. Rob is also President of The Pinnacle Society, the premier consortium of industry-leading recruiters in North America.