In brief: “Being a good salesman, a master in the art of selling, is not a born skill for many of us. Selling and Marketing is learned through professional courses, experience. In addition, one has to have the right personality for that. But how would one, who’s never sold a thing in his life, prepare to sell himself in the most important meetings of his/her career – the job interview? “
These days, it is imperative for any individual to secure a job. But, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Recession force organizations offer only a handful of jobs in relation to the abundant talent available in the market – Factually, it is a competition between talented candidates.
Since the job interview happens to be the first step towards securing a job, it becomes all the more essential for an individual to give the best shot in this short span of time wherein expertise and experience are presented for the job.
If the individual is successful in generating the interest about his qualities, bingo, s/he impressed the employer that s/he is one of the best candidates for the job!
Methods to selling yourself at interviews
Selling skill is a skill which needs to be attained and mastered.
Perhaps, the only possible way to achieve this skill set is to be proactive.
Now, having talked about interviews and presenting your most important key factors for the job, you’d need to understand the process.
Many people believe that the best way to sell yourself in an interview is to stress, even to ‘brag’, about your accomplishments and skill sets as these are important for increasing your chances. Some would say that the best way is to stay composed, rather than being ‘creative’, when answering interview questions.
Be assertive NOT aggressive
Like many similar occasions in life, it would be wise to maintain the ideal balance between the two schools of thoughts. Neither should you ‘brag’ nor should you stay passive.
Relevant past achievements plus key strengths are the best selling points for you.
Therefore, you must take the lead of the conversation at the right moments in the interview – Tactfully, focus your answer to this desired direction.
Talk confidently about your achievements and relevant skill sets that you have acquired, but most importantly, focus on your added ‘value’ to the job being discussed – you have many qualities to offer the employer. Reflect your qualities back to the job you’re applying for. You are having the potential to be a performer based on your overall qualities – experience, skills and behavior/attitude. That is how you sell yourself.
By doing so, the hiring manager will think – hey, this guy can stand for himself. You’ve just shown that you can sell the most important product – YOU.
You even show that you have the ability to sell the product/service you would be selling, once you are hired for the job.
My advice is – Be assertive, never be aggressive.
Prepare your selling points
Here are 6 golden rules to sell yourself in an interview:
- Job description: You should know the job expectations/deliverable for which you have applied for. Simultaneously, you need match your skills in accordance to the skill sets required.
- Know the company culture: You need to be aware about the workplace environment, its mission/vision and the products/services offerings by the company to which you have applied.
- Don’t fall on the most common mistakes: Be prepared for the frequently asked questions and the most common mistakes done in interviews.
Refer to – job interview questions and answers index page.
- S.W. Analysis: Make a mental note of your ‘Strengths’ and ‘Weakness’. Demonstrate examples/instances to validate them. Also, you should be able to convince the hiring manager as to how will your strengths/skills contribute to the job. Refer to – weaknesses and strengths examples and how to answer weakness and strengths questions.
- First impression is the last impression: Be well dressed (in the required attire) and always maintain eye contact. A firm handshake and promptness are added advantages.
- Ice breaking: Look for a common ground in between you and the hiring manager. This way, you would secure a sound rapport with the hiring manager.
Last but not the least, put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and try to ascertain his needs for selecting the perfect candidate.