This is my first article. So, bear with me.

After few years of being interviewees and a year of being interviewers yourself, this is one of the most asked questions when applying for any jobs.

I juggled through most of my first 10 interviews I had with “I’m very analytical, good at solving problems, and so on.” I gave what people wanted to hear. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. So long as they were convinced by determined-ambitious face of yours.

Oh, another strength I often said — I get things done. Illustrating can-do attitude. Sounds like an important tradeoff for lack of experience which I like to think I possess the trait.

Now, it’s different when you are sitting across the table (mostly, Zoom meeting). I don’t place much emphasis on the answer since these are just sets of well-prepared statements. Rather, I would listen about what they do. Projects, Activities, Personal Stories.

Back to the points, so I’m trying to find what are my strengths. One that stood out compared to most. And trying to leverage that to the fullest extent. I’m far less consistent than my co-founder. I’m no where analytical enough compared to my CFO. So, what is it?

As we started doing Career Fact then Cariber, I soon realized that I’m good at selling. To be more specific, selling ideas to people. Friends, Co-founders, Employees, Investors, Instructors and Guests. You name it. People around me said I have that sparkling eyes whenever talking about ideas, dreams I want to pursue, how we will achieve our goals together. Am I good at keeping them? Time will tell and it besides the point for now.

I still do get rejections. A ton actually. But, it’s definitely not without the lack of effort.

Justin Kan put it nicely about his strengths which I can relate.

“I’m a great catalyzer of people. When I have an idea, I talk about that idea. People got excited and come on board”

When you talk about selling, two key lessons for myself. 1. Be genuine 2. Find needs/wants. I don’t read books so these are just from my own experience.

1.Be genuine: When dealing with any matters, representing your true-self is by far the most important. State facts and sell the vision. When we started out, we have nothing. No capital. Little traction. Little revenue. I often said it up-front. We had 30+ interns from 1.5 years of operations. We have not paid a single one of them. (An example of me being genuine in this article :) ). These are usually my go-to statement to interns

‘We still can’t pay you. If there are places you can both learn (at this high-growth stage) and earn, I suggest you go there. Very welcome. However, here’s what we can offer you…’

This core value also applies to my personal relationship side. It helps.

2.Find needs/wants: I think this is simple and classic statement in any sales pitch. Give people what they want. I still think this is an understatement because for most of the time, needs/wants aren’t straightforward. For example, angel investors want to invest in a successful company. Obvious. However, the real question is how they define ‘successful’. From a great financial forecast to the new S-curve industry, factors vary. To my experience, deciding factors can simply be ‘Oh, that famous investor is on board too?’. And the rest don’t matter. So, find that.

That’s it. My first article. Just trying to put my thoughts out. I will try to write a few if it’s useful.

24. Co-Founder of Cariber and Career Fact. An early stage startup