How to Effectively Demonstrate Your Value

Nancy Anderson
Posted by in Career Advice

One of the most common mistakes candidates make is not giving specific examples of how much value they would bring to a new position. The job interview is your one chance to tell a hiring manager how valuable you are as a professional in your industry, so giving generic examples does you a disservice and hurts your chances of being hired. Follow these interview tips to help potential employers understand your worth.

Many people prepare for job interviews by practicing their handshakes or looking through books of common job interview questions. You should keep doing these things, but don't forget to sit down and come up with several examples that demonstrate your value as an employee. Read past performance reviews or review completed projects to see if there is anything you should mention to the interviewer. If you have several specific examples in mind, you won't have to scramble to come up with something on the spot.

Make use of specific numbers during your job interview. Telling an interviewer you cut project costs by $2,500 or 62 percent sounds a lot better than saying you helped your department save money. The second example doesn't really tell the interviewer anything valuable because you could have saved the department as little as $5 or $10. Saving your department thousands of dollars is more notable and will cast you in a more positive light.

Be very specific when you give examples that demonstrate your value as an employee. If you use the CAR model, you'll describe a challenge you faced at work, outline the actions you took to solve the problem and provide details about the results. The STAR method is similar, except you describe a work-related situation, explain the task you had to accomplish, outline the actions you took and then explain the results. Both methods help you describe specific accomplishments that show your value.

You also need to get over feeling like it's rude to talk up your accomplishments. It's not right to brag every time you get together with friends, but you shouldn't worry about being humble during a job interview. When you meet with the interviewer, don't be afraid to outline your accomplishments and explain the exact steps you took to achieve them. If you and another candidate have similar credentials and work histories, the hiring decision may come down to who does a better job demonstrating their worth during the job interview.

In a tight labor market, it's not enough to send a polished resume and show up at your interview in a suit. You must think of ways to demonstrate your value and give interviewers an idea of what it would be like to work with you. Improve your chances of being hired by following these interview tips the next time you are scheduled for a job interview.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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