The Valuable Link Between Brand Ambassadorship & Interviewing

AdobeStock_151524961.jpeg

For decades, we've been helping clients be as ready as possible for interviews or big pursuits. Now that we’ve taken a step back to acknowledge that our work is all about Brand Ambassadorship, it can throw them for a loop. “Hold on,” they say, “so you don’t do interview prep anymore? I don’t see the connection."

Brand ambassadorship and interview prep might, at surface level, seem like two separate efforts. Interview prep is all about the short term, high-stakes, high-stress moments. It’s about helping a team be as ready as possible to make a great pitch to a selection committee in hopes of securing a big win. Brand ambassadorship, on the other hand, arms people within an organization to embrace the brand, articulate its value, and create brand awareness in a way that generates leads and, eventually, sales. 

How do the two connect?

The intersection between these two efforts is that both require human beings who understand and communicate your firm’s value. Both efforts express through human communication, which is composed of many skills that help you differentiate your team and position your value.

What is value propositioning?

If you’ve ever had someone run through their litany of offerings, you probably have a good sense of what a value proposition is not—value propositions aren’t lists of services, details about projects, or nuances on the process you use to solve problems. Value propositions are about who you help and what difference you make for them, not who you are and what you do.  

Think first about who you help, what they struggle with, where they want to be instead, and then (and only then) how you help. These ideas are central to both representing your firm (on the job, in a casual conversation, or at the industry party) and in the interview (as you begin , during the project exploration, in Q&A, and at the close).

What core skills help you communicate value?

A combination of hard and soft skills add up to enhance your ability to position value in the eyes of someone else. Whether you’re standing up or not, it’s a version of presenting. Whether you’re formal or casual, there are elements of your personality—you being you—that flow through your delivery to make it human. Regardless of where you are in the company hierarchy, you need to be confident without being arrogant and create a connection experience with the people you talk to.  

Look at this partial list of enhancer-skills to positioning value. All but one apply to both interviewing and brand ambassadorship:

Screen+Shot+2019-05-28+at+10.48.20+AM.jpg

Is there a “two for one” here? 

Between brand ambassadorship and interviewing, one fits inside the other. Not all ambassador opportunities are interviews, but all interviews are ambassador opportunities.

The main difference is one of specificity. In the interview, a branded approach is applied to a specific project. In brand ambassadorship, the story is more conceptual, about a broader hypothetical customer—the type you most want and in the situation where they’d need you most.

The skills for these efforts are so similar, that working on one is working on the other, so long as you promote the idea that networking, elevator speaking, and even business development meetings are practice opportunities for interviewing. Master the skills of representing the firm’s value and you’ll be well on your way toward stepping into a short-list interview with skills you’re practicing every day.

Dean Hyers