There is a reason why Hum Saath Saath Hain and Hum Paanch were cult hits in their respective mediums. Filmmakers realized that the trick to success lies in ‘hum’ or ‘we’ rather than the melancholic ‘main’ or ‘me’. Now, if Bollywood could crack this code, why shouldn’t ‘we’ the people also adhere to this principle in a job search?
The ‘we’ route is an excellent way to project one’s seniority in an Executive interview. It re-positions you from an individual contributor to a leader. It keeps the focus on your ability to achieve larger goals through a charged-up team, rather with your own energies alone – all the while projecting you as a people’s person. Convince the interviewer that you have been able to stitch together a good team and the job is as good as yours.
A few rules of the ‘we’ game that you should refer to before that interview:
1. Think and Speak From a ‘We’ Perspective
Without sounding too melodramatic, move from an ‘I’ perspective to a ‘We’ perspective to stand out as a leader. Nothing indicates your commitment to the company, the department or your team more than the humble ‘we’, convincing your interviewer that you think of the organization over yourself and your career.
2. Don’t Worry About Your Achievements Being Sidelined
The person on the other side of the interview table knows what you can do and why you are talking about your projects as those of a team’s. There is no need for you to clarify that certain things were solely your initiative. Let your achievements speak for themselves.
3. See the Best in People
You emerge as a leader when you see the potential in others. When you trust and support people, it shows in your interactions, it tells the interviewer that you will encourage your own team, giving him the positive vibes he needs to be convinced of you. Who is looking for anything else?
4. Project Your Team’s Growth and Development
It’s your responsibility to ensure the growth of your team within the system and help them to realise their potential. Casually mention a protégé who has moved to a stellar role or how your team members have moved forward in their careers. Their achievements speak volumes about your ability.
5. Stay Humble
It’s OK to ask for help even as a leader. You are not expected to have all the answers yourself. Instead, as the leader it’s important that you reach out to others, drawing on their expertise and yes, learning along the way.
Take a leaf out of the Indian cricket team’s Captain, who always talks on the behalf of his ‘boys’ collectively – in good and bad times. Even if the game plan was solely his, the Captain goes “we did well to restrict the batters” thereby winning his team’s heart and confidence, if not always the game!