Friday, December 2, 2011

You are NOT "the best"


First read this article:, Stop Competing to Be the Best, from the Harvard Business Review Blog.

Now, this blog article is about products. But when you’re on the job market, you are the product. So here’s an interesting scenario: You’re sitting in an interview for a job you really, really want. Your interviewer asks you one of those predictable, standard questions: “What makes you the best possible person for us to hire for this position?” And your response (which you give without missing a beat, because you’ve prepared for this question) is “I’m not.”

And then you offer a dazzlingly brilliant explanation. You’re not “the best,” because such a person does not exist. Instead, here are the qualities and attitudes you can bring to the job; here is the direction you can take this job. Someone else will (of course) be and do something slightly different. Each one adds value to the organization. But the organic whole of the organization, if it is healthy (and I assume you’re applying to an organization you perceive as a healthy place for yourself and others), is a syncretic mesh of the talents of many people.

Besides, claiming one person is “the best” suggests a competitive mindset; I prefer an atmosphere in which all employees recognize and support each other’s strengths.

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