Selling Yourself In The Interview

The key to selling yourself in a job interview is to actually know yourself. Prior to an interview, do an in-depth assessment of your skills and attributes. Online tests can help pinpoint your most marketable attributes. It can also help guide you to a suitable career path. Think of an interview like a sales call. You should have a clear idea of who you are, where you are headed, and why you are the best “product” being offered.

Once you have determined a number of your strengths, write down specific examples of how these skills can apply to the career you have chosen. Identify real examples from the past of how you have used your talents to secure tangible results. For example, if your strength is organization, expound upon an academic club in college that you founded and managed. These examples do not need to be extraordinary. Just be specific and always relate back to how it will help in the position. Be careful to identify the positive quality in addition to the example, since the quality and not the story is transferable to the potential job. This will require research about the company you are interviewing with. Find out what they expect, learn details about the company, and get a feel for the work environment from their company website. While you are studying your strengths, think about your weaknesses as well. Sometimes the best way for a company to gauge your fit with the company is through your ability to identify and solve problems. The “what is your greatest weakness” question is a hard one to answer on the spot, so spend some time thinking about it beforehand. Then, show how you are working to overcome this weakness or how you have used it as strength.

Now it’s time to rehearse your answers. Practice in front of a mirror so that you can control your facial expressions. Know each answer well, but don’t sound like you are reading off of a script. To avoid this blunder, it helps to focus on memorizing the examples and stories that you wish to tell, rather than memorizing the exact wording. Remember that the most important part is relating yourself to their company by showing how your strengths will benefit them.

When you go to the interview, always arrive early and dress one level above what is expected for the job. In order to sell yourself successively, you need to set yourself apart from the other applicants. Most applicants make the mistake of talking too much. If you allow your interviewer to have a discussion with you, then you will appear genuinely engaged in the interviewer and the job. Prepare some questions for him or her in order to show interest in the company and to facilitate two-way communication.

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