Last updated: February 26

Executive Job Interviews & How to Answer “Tell me about yourself” (with free blueprint)

Your unique value proposition (UVP) is your unique promise of value to be delivered and acknowledged and a belief from the employer that the value will be experienced.

A unique value proposition can apply to an entire organization, or parts thereof, or customer accounts, or products or services.

A unique value proposition applies to you, the executive job seeker.

How to begin:

Offering: What are you offering the employer or investor?

Benefits: What are benefits the employer or investor will receive?

Added value: What bonus do you offer? i.e. Bilingual or deeply networked among Fortune 100 companies

Proof: What evidence substantiates your value proposition? What are your metrics?

What every employer is looking for today:

(Employer Buying Motivators)

How can you:

Earn Revenue

Save Money

Solve a Problem for the employer (legal, engineering, product development, compliance, etc.)

Your unique value proposition may be a combination of these three benefits.

networking

Know Your Qualifications

Before setting out to market yourself, you must have a good knowledge of “the product”—you are promoting—YOU.

You’re the product.

To do this, you need to create an accurate picture of your skillsets. You have to gain a solid understanding of  your own qualifications. You should:

  • Know your area of expertise (speciality, level, stature)
  • Know your background (education, experience, accomplishments)
  • Know your style (personality, individuality)
  • Know your added value (unique offerings)

Know Your Target Market (your audience)

Focus your search on suitable positions where you are a good fit. The tighter the focus – the better the chances for a match. Once you have determined your target, you must gain a useful understanding of it to write effectively.

You must:

  • Know the industry (sector)
  • Know the employer (company, products, culture, interviewer, supervisor)
  • Know the job (objectives, responsibilities, requirements)
  • Know the job (objectives, responsibilities, requirements)

Employer Buying Motivators

Employers are not looking for a specific person with skills to hire.They are looking for a specific solution to their specific problem. If automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning have taught is is that when businesses can automate a task to avoid costs, they will do so. 

Positioning yourself as a solution rather than an executive looking for a job will create clarity and confidence as you navigate the selection and interview process. 

What is the employer concerned about as they consider the candidate selection pool?

Can you do the job?

  • Your technical expertise, knowledge, skills and competencies.

Will you do the job?

  • Motivation – do you have good energy, follow-through and get along with the team?

Will you make the Recruiter (HR Consultant, etc.) look good?

  • Their reputation is important to them. How do you represent yourself (grooming, your attitude, your language and your body language)?

What are the risk factors of hiring you?

  • Up to 46% of new hires do not remain with the employer after 18 months.
  • It costs more than $800,000 to recruit, select, orient, onboard and train a professional earning $60,000 per year in an 18-month period.
  • Cost of recruiting, onboarding and training is a material concern for the employer and they want to ensure that they hire the right person.
  • What is your ROI (return on investment) – do you contribute or produce more than the value of your salary? Can you demonstrate this?

Effective Resumes Today are Accomplishment Rich and Evidence-Based.

Time to think about success

Value Proposition Theory

Strategy helps the job seeker, to:

  • Build a solid foundation by defining an objective and clear target.
  • Clarify what that target is to others.
  • Take systematic steps to learning as much as they can about that target.
  • Prepare a unique set of documents that speak to the target.
  • Use this foundation building process to position themselves in front of decision makers.
  • Using the research and information used to covey value will help to build confidence.
  • Use the “stories” created as the road map for the job interview.

Value Proposition theory = Strategy

Value Proposition is a business principle that when applied effectively to job search, and more importantly, to one’s career, will help to more easily convey the VALUE that is offered to a potential employer [based on the employer’s buying motivators – aka job description].

Marketing and Professional Branding

What Does This Mean?

What positive qualities are associated with you based on the targeted employer, industry, or organization? 

  • Know, like; trust factor is a critical marketing principle for your job search.
  • We want the employer to choose you over your competitor because you have a brand based on Value Proposition.
  • Employers want to hire people they know like and trust.

You must focus on your BENEFITS not FEATURES:

  • Feature – John is a licensed bus driver
  • Benefit – John has driven a bus for more than 15 years without a single safety incident. John won an award for Commitment to Safety three years in a row.
  • Benefits sell!
Value Proposition


Value Proposition Examples

In my own experience recruiting executives, I noticed most candidates were unclear on the specific value they deliver. They spoke in general and broad terms about their responsibilities whereas very few were able to articulate the specific benefits (with metrics).

Here are a handful of value proposition examples (fictionalized to protect privacy) from our own clients. Use the blueprint at the end of this article to create your own value proposition. When you do so, you can deliver your own unique value proposition to an executive recruiter, CEO, or chair of the board with clarity and confidence.

Value Proposition Examples


Value Proposition Examples


Value Proposition Examples


Value Proposition Examples


Resume marketing tool

Learn more about my advice around the interview process here.

Download Our Value Proposition Tool

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Maureen Farmer

About executive resume writing author 

Westgate - Maureen Farmer

Maureen Farmer is the Founder & CEO of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting Inc., an international personal branding and career consulting firm delivering premier executive branding and career consulting services for high-profile leaders. Author of The CEO Script Vault: Job Search Scripts for Busy Executives, Maureen believes that when we’re doing work aligned with our values, everyone wins. Using the law of attraction to identify quality employers utilizing the hidden job market is a cornerstone of her career management strategy.

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