Top 5 ways to showcase your hybridity and standout from the crowd during an interview

Hybridity is part of every aspect of your career

  1. they don’t know how to talk about being a hybrid or what that means
  2. they don’t want to sound like a jack-of-all-trades/ master of none, and
  3. they don’t realize that they need to be explicit about their hybridity to outshine the competition

Top 5 Tips for Hybrid Interviews (these can be used in traditional roles and in ones called hybrid roles)

  1. Be explicit. Introduce yourself as a hybrid: This one is simple and obvious, yet people don’t think they need to say it. You set the stage of who you are and how you want to be seen. Straight out of the gate, call yourself a hybrid. Lay that as the foundation of who you are so you can weave other elements of yourself back to that. You can do this effortlessly by saying the following during your introduction, “Hi, I’m Sarabeth, I’m a hybrid professional and I can’t wait to tell you more about my interest in this role…”
  2. Use the term hybrid two or three times: If you forget to introduce yourself as a hybrid, you can certainly bring it up later in an interview question whenever it’s appropriate. In fact, I recommend splashing the word hybrid into your interview answers two or three times over a 30 minute or hour long interview. A little repetition won’t hurt, especially if you’re backing it up with a story (see point 4). If the hiring committee doesn’t notice or it didn’t seem to mean anything to them the first time they heard you say it, saying it a couple times will likely capture their attention. The point here is to drop hints about your hybridity and reinforce that this is an important part of who you are. Remember, saying you’re a hybrid is never enough on its own; you still need to back it up with meaning, which comes from your intersections and stories (points 3 and 4).
  3. Talk about your intersections: Intersections are when your primary professional identities overlap, and hybrids work from those spaces. A key phrase I hear people adopt after they realize they’re hybrids is this: “I work at the intersections of ________, ________, and __________.” This could be industries or skills or a combination. Again, this is another easy prompt to use. By inserting this phrase into an interview answer, you quickly frame your key areas of expertise. Deliberately using the term intersections shows you’re not in one bucket — you cross all of them together. The word intersection and the concept of intersectionality are powerful because it contextualizes your multidimensionality.
  4. Portray clear examples of your hybridity in action- (especially where you make connections others miss): Hybridity is hard to see. We mistake hybrid work for traditional work by giving it conventional labels because true hybridity defies language — we have no words to call the new thing that emerges in the intersections of who we are. That’s one reason why being a hybrid and doing hybrid work is difficult to describe. When you learn how to examine your intersections, and study what you’re doing when you integrate identities, then you can point out specific instances where your hybridity is present. It might be an event that combined digital, physical, and immersive elements with live music in a way that hadn’t been done before; it might be a new product that merged design, engineering, and user feedback in a radical way; it might be the way you handle conflict and team dynamics through meditation and psychology even though you work in the tech industry. The point is, hybridity appears through our actions — the things we create, produce, direct, guide, and implement. You need to have a few strong examples in mind that reflects your hybridity. If you say you work at the intersection of three or four identities, then you need evidence to back up a time when you did that. Give quick illustrations during your interview to show the hiring committee you can do what they’re looking for AND you integrate other elements to make the work and outcomes stronger, more efficient, more effective, and a better solution for whatever the requirement was. When you share stories about your hybridity, it should meet the desired expectations of the interviewer and then some. The “value add” are the additional elements you blend together that no other candidate could or would be able to do. That’s what sets you a part.
  5. Don’t be afraid to educate an employer or hiring manager on what hybridity is and why hybridity is a value add: Remember, this is a relatively new term and awareness is still being built. Even if the term hybrid resonates, employers and hiring committees might not know the larger context of how hybridity is a different way of working and how it adds value. You have to feel this moment out, but if it feels right, you can mention you’re a hybrid, and then say, “Have you ever heard of a hybrid professional before? Would you like me to explain what I mean?” And if they nod yes, then briefly share how some people are experts, others are generalists, and then there are people who integrate identities together (it might even mean multiple areas of expertise) and those are hybrids. Hybrids are a segment of the workforce that’s growing and hybrid jobs are growing twice as fast as traditional jobs because they can’t be automated or outsourced. Hybrid workers are a unique link in the chain of talent, and that’s why this organization needs you.

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