FAB is an acronym for Features, Advantages, and Benefits. FAB is a common 3-Step strategy employed in sales and marketing to generate interest in products. However, the technique can also be utilized during an interview to SELL yourself and fit any expertise acquired through experience, education, and training to specific job requirements. Consider the following when organizing your FAB responses:
Feature – What key factors, attributes, and skills do you have as required by the position?
Advantage – What strengths do your accomplishments, abilities, or past performance indicate relative to the competition?
Benefit – What is the result or value an employer can anticipate from hiring you?
A paralegal job description will typically require the ability to prepare legal documents and correspondence as well as the ability to organize and maintain files. The examples below illustrate how you can use the FAB method to focus your responses, so they are more impactful.
Feature: You earned a Paralegal Credential
Advantage: You understand the legal process and terminology better than someone without a credential
Benefit: You are qualified through education and training to perform substantive legal work that requires knowledge of legal concepts, and as a result, can complete the work more quickly and effectively.
Feature: You devised a new process at work with specific rules for creating and tracking files
Advantage: Employer had better quality control over documents
Benefit: More efficient operations and timely retrieval of information in vital situations
In any sales presentation, the objective is to make a product come to life. During the hiring process, that product is you! All candidates who interview have an opportunity to “tell” a potential employer about their background, competencies, and accomplishments. Unfortunately, many stop just short of meaningful answers to questions that actually “show” how they stand out. Great communication and customer service skills, 2 years of experience, and a degree are general talents and strengths. While they may be important, generic responses like these can be less effective as they don’t link your competencies to performance outcomes.
To transform your interviewing power, communicate a FAB message that not only gives weight and depth to your skills and abilities but also demonstrates how they add value to the position. Results matter! You are more likely to ace the interview by selling an employer on what they can gain by hiring you. The FAB model can help you state facts about yourself, highlight accomplishments, and then quantify how they can make a tangible difference to the organization.
Having a compelling list of FAB statements before each interview that connects your skills to a solution for a potential employer is foundational to any job search. With thoughtful preparation and planning, the time that you invest in preparing your FAB can help you stand out above other candidates. What does the employer need? What are the key qualifications specified in the job description? What can you offer to build your authority in these areas? Hiring managers and recruiters want details – evidence of capabilities that enable them to envision you in the role. Match your unique features to the job posting and convert them to advantages. Then think about how to translate them further into a benefit for the organization. If you can answer, “what’s in it for the employer,” and back that answer up with advantages and benefits, you will likely rise to the top of the candidate pool.
The FAB approach allows you to show precisely how you can improve or add value to an organization. This is how to use it. Pick two or three of the most important qualifications listed in any job description and match them to your strongest skills. Doing so will help you provide concrete examples and concisely sum up how you meet the top requirements with a powerful answer. This technique may also help with other questions like, “Why do you want to work here?” and “What are your strengths?” Remember, you are a competitive product. The hiring manager is your customer. It's up to you to transform features into benefits that close the sale and get you the job.
Center for Advanced Legal Studies provides career services to recent graduates and alumni, enabling them to prepare and compete for paralegal positions in the greater Houston area and throughout the United States. Visit us at paralegal.edu to learn more about the paralegal profession and our accredited paralegal programs.
Director of Outreach and Career Services
Tami has an extensive and varied professional background that spans criminal justice, paralegal education, and international school marketing and communication. Her career has been guided by a focus on developing strategic partnerships that facilitate school growth and student opportunity. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Texas State University.