How to Sell Yourself in Any Job Interview
Your impressive CV, outstanding academic record and possibly recommendations from a friend or family may be enough to land you a job interview, but that’s all, they won’t get you that dream job you are looking for. Once you are answering those tough questions in an interview room, it’s up to you to sell yourself (your skills, experience and attitude) to the interviewer.
How do you calm your nerves during that all important moment of your career? How do you stay calm, concentrate, full of confidence to sell your personal brand to the employer and convince them that you are the perfect candidate they are looking for?
Regardless of the type of job you are interviewing for or if you haven’t been into the job market for years, to successfully sell yourself in a job interview, you’ll need to follow these few things:
1: Be well prepared for the interview
Without preparation, you’ll be nervous which can distract you from answering with confidence even the basics questions that you know. As with all best sales persons, confidence is key to sell anything including your skills, experience to the interviewer. I remember those days when I used to email a dozen of CVs to prospective employers every day. After a couple of weeks and sometimes months, then you receive a call to come for an interview and you can’t even remember when you applied for that position, worse you can’t even remember the details of that job offer. Now you start to panic as you can’t miss this opportunity even if you don’t even know what the job is all about because maybe you have been unemployed for quite some time now.
- Always make some notes when you apply for a job position. Write down the name of the company, and the job specification. It will come handy one day. If you can’t remember or you don’t have the job specification, feel free to request them and also find out who will interview you.
- Do a background research of the company, find out who they are and what they do. Research their mission statement and values, so you can gain a better understanding of some of the possible questions you may be asked during your interview
- Rehearsal can build your confidence. Ask a friend to assist you and play the role of the interviewer. This is not something you do often, so rehearse with a friend until it begins to feel easy.
- Ask your friend to ask you questions related to the job specification, use this article: Top 20 Job Interview Questions and Best Answers to get a comprehensive questionnaire.
- Prepare a portfolio of evidence: A portfolio is a collection of your past works and achievements usually in a file, you could include your current updated CV and your qualifications as well. Some careers require this, while others do not. For example, engineers could include structures they have designed, or web designers could include a list of websites they have designed for past customers. Remember to explain any drawings or images to the interviewer, so they have some idea of what they’re looking at
2. Learn how to answer Job Interview Questions
Express yourself Clearly, communicate clearly and directly, don’t let your nerves take over from your confidence. You will end up missing some words to say.
- Try to stay away from slang and abbreviations.
- Listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking, and let them finish first before you can start answering.
While there is no way of predicting exactly what kind of questions you will be asked, there is a couple of standard questions that tend to always come up. So be prepared, this is not time for mumbling, if you did your homework, you rehearsed, you will never go wrong. You will answer all questions with confidence.
- Highlight all of your best qualities and experience relevant to the job
- Explain in great details what you have achieved in the past, how you solved problems, how you boosted the spirit of your colleagues, how you managed to stick to deadlines despite all pressures.
- Demonstrate that you are flexible and willing to learn new skills in the company. If they ask you about a technology or procedure during the interview you are not familiar with, don’t get nervous, different companies do things differently and use different technology. Just admit that you are unfamiliar, but that you would love to learn more about it.
- Be positive about your past: Don’t try to portray negatively your previous employers or colleagues even if you believe they had bad behaviors, this won’t score you any point but will give the impression that you are that type of person who shift the blame
Read this article to learn more how to answer Job Interview Questions: Top 20 Job Interview Questions and Best Answers
3. Leave a Great lasting Impression
Dress Appropriately: Visual first impression is very important especially during an interview. Your own personal taste in clothes may not always be appropriate for the job. It always safer if you are not sure to wear a formal attire.
- You have no choice here, your clothes have to be clean and pressed. If you never iron your clothes, iron just this once for your interview
- Ladies, this is not a place to look like a fashion model, wear a smart blouse and skirt or pants.
- Gentlemen, wear a good suit, a plain shirt and tie. If you have forgotten your high school skills of tying a tie, Check out this article to refresh your mind: Learn how to tie a tie.
- Pay attention to your hair styles as well, try to be simple, clean and neat. If you are a man, try to be shaved.
- Rather than carrying loose papers, bring a folder with a few copies of your CV, a pen, a note book and a printout of the job specification.
- Arrive on time:Don’t arrive too early or even a mere 5 minutes late. Be on time at most 10 to 15 minutes early before time. If you don’t know the place of the interview, it wouldn’t hurt to go there a day before just to find out how to get there and how long your transport will take to get you there.
- Make Eye Contact: Always maintain eye contact with the interviewer, but this does not mean to stare at them. You are permitted to break eye contact every now and then. By avoiding eye contact, you will create an impression that you are shy or disinterested
- Send a thank you note after your interview is over to show your appreciation, and once again, highlight why you are a strong candidate and that you are interesting to work for them. This note could be in a form of an email, or a card in the mail. However you chose to send it, be sure to do it within the next day.