Picture of two individuals preparing for an interview You just entered the interview room for a new SAP job that you think is perfect for you. You have all the necessary experience and have performed as much research as possible on the company and their culture. Immediately after finding out that you got an interview, you shift your focus to how you will display your strengths in such a short window. The people who are making the hiring decisions might only have thirty minutes with you and you need to make yourself memorable and showcase your SAP Skills.

Knowing your strengths and communicating them in a job interview are two different skill sets. It is challenging to communicate your strengths without sounding egotistical. Here are specific tips that you can follow to improve your ability to communicate your strengths.

For even more tips download the Ultimate Guide to Landing Your Dream SAP Job.

Build a Narrative

Humans are natural storytellers and are captivated by the idea of stories. We remember narratives and the threads that are weaved in those narratives. As you prepare for and participate in a job interview, think about how your strengths work together to tell the story of you.

This can be challenging to imagine. It is easy to answer each question distinctly and not build upon previous responses. However, if you take the time to think about how your strengths work together to present a holistic picture of your abilities, it means that the SAP recruiter and employer will remember the story of your strengths. The key to building a narrative is to:

  • Discern patterns in your strengths;
  • Discover concrete examples that show evidence of your strength;
  • Consider both your personal and professional experience in the construction of your narrative because your life is not distinct between the two.
  • Identify the type of environment or work project that exists when your strengths are most beneficial; and,
  • Look for areas of growth in your strengths or any weaknesses that are now an asset of your skillset.

It can seem overwhelming to build a narrative of your strengths but when you have one you can easily think about how your narrative can fit into a new job and weave it throughout the entire SAP job search and interview.

Practice Writing and Rehearsing Answers 

A common question during a job interview is to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Even though there is likely only one question that directly asks about your strengths, you should answer every question in a way that allows you to showcase your SAP skills and establish yourself as a proven SAP expert.

You might not know all the questions that are going to be asked in the interview, but you can gather some possible questions based on prior interviews or a quick Google search. You want your response to a question to be coherent, logical, concise, and effective. When you enter a job interview without preparing to talk about your strengths in response to possible questions, you have failed to build a prior knowledge base of how you will articulate your strengths in a way that is tailored for that specific SAP career path.

A suggested process for practicing for the interview includes:

  1. Create a list of your strengths. Write your strengths in actionable terms and try to come up with an example of that strength in a previous situation. Doing this will make it easier for you to draw upon examples of your identified strengths when under the pressure of the actual interview.
     
  2. Drafting interview questions. Think of 8 to 10 possible interview questions that could be asked. These should cover a breadth of areas including both the technical and soft skills that might be needed for the SAP Industry. Send this list out to a couple of close colleagues or friends and have them tell you if they notice any gaps in your questions.
     
  3. Associate your strengths. Before you write full answers to each question you should try and associate your strengths with each of the questions written. This will provide you with an outline for drafting your full responses.
     
  4. Write full responses. Write a full response to each question. You want each of your answers in the interview to take approximately thirty seconds to two minutes. Write one answer and then time how long it takes you to answer the question. This should guide the length of the rest of your questions since there are many variations in how long it takes someone to verbally communicate what is written. More complex or ambiguous questions deserve a longer response than direct questions.  
     
  5. Rehearse verbal responses. After you write full responses to the questions, practice answering the questions. You should practice enough so that you are comfortable with your response and answer it within the ideal time range but not so much that it looks like every answer has been fully memorized. Rehearsing your responses will show that you are prepared to highlight your abilities in the context of contributing to the company. Take extra care not to memorize the answer scripts. You could be asked questions in slightly different ways and you do not want to repeat a memorized step and risk not looking engaged.
     
  6. Dressing the part. Research shows that we behave differently in phone interviews when we dress like we would for a face-to-face interview. That logic can extend to practice interviews. When you have your question responses written out and rehearsed and you are ready for a mock interview, make sure to dress similarly to how you would for the real interview. Have someone ask you the questions in a mock interview in as close to the same setting as you will have for the real interview.

Study the Job Posting

Job postings reveal quite a bit with regards to what a company is looking for with regards to their SAP job. It can reveal several keywords that point to various competencies and abilities they are looking for. You can use the job posting to see how your strengths align with the overall job responsibilities and requirements. For any job there could be several hundred applicants and six to twelve interviews. The SAP job market is constantly evolving and growing. Understanding current SAP training and job challenges allows you confidently navigate the competitive waters and set yourself apart.

Tailoring your strengths to the job posting show that you have done your research and also have thought about how you will be an asset to the company looking to hire someone. There are several common responsibilities that are called for in a job posting. These include things like:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Budget and Financial Analysis
  • Forecasting and Predictions
  • Technical Expertise
  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Change Management
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Problem Solving

For example, let’s say that one of the job listings is for effective leadership skills. Think about all of your strengths that relate to leadership. If you answer in a generic way about how you lead a team to solve a problem, you are missing a key opportunity to infuse your answer with your strengths. Think about a very successful time of leadership. What made it successful? What was your leadership style? What about your leadership philosophy? Employers hear very similar stories again and again when interviewing for jobs. If you can change the answer and make it your own, it will be a more memorable response.  

Conclusion

SAP skills are in high demand and knowing that you are an asset to the company you will set you apart.

 After following these tips, you will be confident in delivering your strengths in a high-pressure job interview. Taking the time to prepare, weaving your narrative throughout, and deeply studying the job posting while keeping your strengths in mind will present you as the best version of yourself possible.

Do any of these tips appeal to you? Do you have other suggestions or tips that you have found work well in job interviews or other similar situations? Make sure to add your comment below and join the conversation.

 


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Claire Albaum is the Course Coordinator for Michael Management. She recruits new SAP instructors in addition to fostering relationships and working with existing MMC instructors. She has years of experience in recruiting and project management within the field of education. Claire is passionate about connecting people with opportunities and facilitating learning initiatives.