“Let me make this clear…” Do these words sound familiar to you? If you have heard President Obama give a speech, you’ll probably recognize them. The President uses that phrase whenever he wants the audience to remember a key point.
His technique for introducing a statement with an alert that something important is about to be said is not unique. All the great speakers and interviewees do it. There’s a name for it, it’s called flagging. And just as you flag an email that you want to make sure someone reads, when you speak you can flag a particularly critical point that you want to drive home.
At The Bagg Group, we’re renowned for our expertise in helping candidates interview well. For the past 30 years, we have worked with the best employers in the GTA on placing full-time candidates, temporary workers and contract workers, so we know what interviewers in companies in the GTA and across the province are looking for. And what they are looking for is clarity.
They want to know what you can bring to their company. And if you can flag your major contributions so that these are easy for the interviewer to grasp and remember, you will be doing everyone a favour.
What’s more, by flagging, you help the interviewer figure out what to say about you when talking to their colleagues after your meeting is over. They will likely repeat the key points that you flagged as important. And these are the perfect messages you want to spread about yourself.
It’s not hard to flag. Our expert recruiters can tell you how to do it in two easy-to-follow steps:
Step 1: Before your interview, write down 3 to 5 key points about why you are well suited to the job.
As an example, perhaps you want to emphasize that you developed effective software solutions at your previous job. Or you want to make sure the interviewer is clear that you have a proven ability to communicate well with external clients.
Step 2: Come up with some flags that work for you. The words should roll off your tongue easily.
Here are two possible flags:
- “I think you may find it interesting to know….”
- “If I might emphasize….”
So perhaps you would say, “I think you may find it interesting to know that I developed a software solution…..” Or you might say, “If I might emphasize two things, these would be my ability to come up with software solutions and to communicate these solutions to clients effectively.”
Flags work because they tell us when to pay attention. When told you will find something “interesting to know” you can’t help but be curious. Just as when someone alerts you that they wish to emphasize a point, you are keen to learn what it is. This is simply human nature.
So develop a flag and use it wisely in interviews. And as you walk away, after your meeting, you may find yourself overhearing the interviewer say about you…”There were two things in particular that impressed me about (your name here). He/she developed……”