During a job interview, you’re selling yourself. You’re selling your skills, your enthusiasm, your ambition, you name it.
The stark reality of the situation is this: if you’re sitting in an interview and you’re not selling yourself, you’re wasting everybody’s time, including your own.
Not everybody is comfortable with the idea of selling themselves, but those candidates who do so successfully are the ones who land the jobs they desire. By engaging in the five steps below, you can improve the outcome of any job interview.
- Do your homework. Conduct targeted research about the company. Some things you’ll want to discover are who the company’s competitors are, and if possible, what the company’s mission statement is. With the availability of information on the Internet, finding this out may not be very difficult.
- Bring your own questions. An interview is far from a one-way street. There’s no rule stating that you can’t ask any questions. You should ask questions and the interviewer will more than likely be expecting you to do so. However, be sure to review each and every question for clarity and relevance.
- Be prepared with specific examples of your accomplishments. Citing goals met or projects completed is one way to do this. Don’t be vague about what you’ve accomplished. Providing specific examples will help you to achieve the next (and quite possibly most important) step of the selling process, which is below.
- Emphasize the value you would bring to the company. This is the bottom line when it comes to selling yourself. Your goal is to ensure that when the interview is over, the person sitting across from you will have an excellent idea of how you will add considerable value to the company. If you’ve done your homework properly and have brought specific examples of past achievements, your chances of accomplishing this goal will increase dramatically.
- End the interview on a positive note. Although you should show enthusiasm throughout the entire process, it’s especially important to do so at the end of the interview. This denotes not only excitement about the position, but also an eagerness to move forward. The interviewer should get the sense that you’re ready to take the next step, and if you’ve sold yourself properly, you’ll be well on your way to taking that step.
Remember that you want to be just as pro-active in an interview as you are reactive. Sure, you’ll be answering plenty of questions and taking your cue from the person conducting the interview. But you’ll also have ample opportunity to initiate conversation, ask questions of your own, and affect the direction and the scope of the interview.
And many times, you’ll have to be pro-active in order to effectively sell yourself.