You have landed a job interview through your stellar resume.
But getting selected for an interview won't get you the job.
Once you are in the interview, you need to sell yourself to an employer to make them understand why you're the right candidate for the job.
How To Sell Yourself in an Interview?
Fortunately, there are multiple steps you can take to sell yourself in an interview and make the decision in your favor.
You already know your strongest selling points. You have to be confident and be proactive to find ways to pitch yourself during the interview.
Table of Content:
- Understand the job requirements
- Create an elevator pitch
- Get familiar with your resume well before the interview
- List down your own selling points before the interview
- Practice behavioral interview questions
- Research about the recruiter
- Have a confident body language
- Ask questions and engage with the interviewer
- Talk about your hobbies and interests along with your work
- Don’t answer irrelevant questions from the interviewer
- Be Enthusiastic but Talk Slowly
- Quantify Your Answers
- Dress Well for the Interview
1. Understand Their Requirement
Before speaking in an interview, you need to understand that recruiters want to know how you can help them grow, not what you are passionate about.
You should also follow the given points before coming on the interview:
Read the job description carefully.
Research the company on the internet.
Research about the recruiter you'll be talking to.
If you are not doing that, then it's a mistake. You can't sell anything to anyone if you don't have a clear idea about the audience.
So, before you go into the interview, take a complete perspective change, and start thinking from the employer's perspective. This will help you come up with answers for company benefits and make your case more strong.
2. Create an Elevator Pitch
Statistics say that you only have 30-60 seconds in the interview to make an impression on the recruiter.
You might be wondering, "How can I sell myself in 30 seconds?"
The answer is an elevator pitch.
Most interviewers start the interview by asking questions like:
- Tell me about yourself
- Walk me through your resume
- Tell me about your professional experience
This is an excellent opportunity to show the recruiter that you have done your research and you are the perfect candidate for the role.
You can do this by creating a 30-60 seconds elevator pitch for yourself, highlighting your skills, experience, and professional achievements relevant to the job you are applying for. Don't talk about stuff that won't get you the job.
Note: A single elevator pitch won't work for every company. You need to research the company well, understand its pain points, and craft your elevator pitch to address its pain points.
3. Understand Your Resume Well
It's important to remember all the things you've mentioned in your resume.
The resume is the only reference point to the recruiter, and they will ask you questions about it.
If you forgot what you have written in your resume, it would be challenging to answer the recruiter's questions.
It's natural to forget what you added in your resume 2-3 months back, as it takes longer to get to an interview. That's why you need to review your resume before going on the interview to make sure you don't have any loose ends during the interview.
4. List Down Your Top Selling Points
You can only sell yourself in an interview if you know your selling points.
Before the interview, it's important to have some time to prepare your case by listing down your top selling points.
Try to find at least five selling points in multiple areas - these can be by technical knowledge, areas of expertise, key accomplishments, certification, soft skills, etc.
More importantly, prepare proof statements for each of your selling points, aka brief examples, to demonstrate your strengths.
Example Selling Point: Management Skills
Proof Statement: “In my last role, I built the marketing team from scratch for our new product and grew the team from 3 people to 12 people in 2 years. During this time, I learned a lot about hiring the right people building relationships with them to set up a successful path for the company. Now, I'm proud to say that our team has been receiving the "Most Productive Team" award for the last two quarters.”
Example Selling Point: Web Development Skills
Proof Statement: “I have been working as a freelance front-end web developer for the last two years, and I have worked with brands like Chillipiper, SimilarWeb to create a front end for their products. Apart from that, I have created multiple front-end dashboard templates and sold them via ThemeForest. And, I'm proud to say that my templates get 4.5+ star ratings from customers because of their fast loading time and customization.”
5. Ace the Behavioral Interview Questions
Interviewers nowadays are bound to ask some behavioral questions like "Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult customer."
These questions are designed to get information about your past work and how you resolved it. Use the STAR method when you answer these questions. STAR stands for:
This framework will help you frame the answer cohesively and give the interviewer an idea about your thought process.
Also Read: What are some of the Phone Interview Questions
6. Know Your Audience
Always research the person who will interview you before going on the interview, if it's the company's CEO, Manager, or HR person.
All these people have different requirements in their minds, and you need to cater to their requirements when selling yourself in the interview.
For example, when you talk to your potential manager, they would want to know about your skills and experience to do the job well.
In contrast, when you talk to the CEO, they will look for a good personality, growth mindset, willingness to learn, etc.
7. Exude Confidence in Body Language
Studies have shown that words are just 10% of your communication and 90% of the communication comes from your body language and non-verbal cues.
So, make sure that you have positive body language when giving the interview.
Here are some tips for maintaining good body language:
- Maintain eye contact with the employer
- Sit straight
- Make subtle hand gestures, avoid big hand movements
- Always wear a smile
- Don't touch your face or hair
You'll come across as a confident and positive person by following these examples.
8. Ask Questions
Most people think of interviews as answering the recruiter's questions.
It's a two-way street, and interviewers will love to see that you are engaging with them and their company by asking good questions.
They want to see that you are careful in your job searching process as well and trying to gain as much information as possible from the interviewers. It shows that you are as serious about the job as they are.
You can ask about the company's mission, vision, job role, company culture, etc.
Also Read: What are some questions to ask the interviewer?
9. Talk About Things Other Than Work
Nobody wants to hire a person who is not culturally fit for the company, even if they are excellent at their job. So, make sure to show some personality in the interview by talking about your hobbies and interests with the interviewers.
It lightens the mood and creates a good atmosphere for a positive and likable interview.
10. You Don't Have To Answer All The Questions
It may feel like you have to answer all the questions in an interview. But practically, it's not the case.
If there is some sensitive information that you're legally bound not to disclose, you can politely decline to answer, stating the reason.
Similarly, if the interviewers ask something irrelevant to the job, you can choose not to answer and smartly move the conversation back to your skills. For example:
"I'm not sure how this is relevant to the work, but I'd love to tell you about the React.js I made during my last role."
If they still keep pushing about unnecessary information, then this is an insight into the company culture. At this point, you can wrap the interview up by thanking them for their time and stating that you might not be the right candidate for the company.
Note: Don't dish out on the interviewer. Always be professional, even if you don't like it.
11. Be Enthusiastic but Talk Slowly
No matter what is the question that recruiters ask, you need to show your enthusiasm in your responses. It shows a positive personality and eagerness to learn.
However, while being excited is a good idea, you have also to ensure that you're not talking fast. It won't be easy to understand what you're saying when you speak fast. And it might turn off the recruiter's attention.
"Show your confidence by talking slowly."
12. Quantify Your Answers
Do not just talk about your responsibilities in the interview. Show recruiters the result of your job or action by stating figures and statistics. Numbers speaks louder than words.
So, make sure to add quantitive information in the interview answers whenever possible to sell your skills and experiences.
For example: Instead of saying, "I managed new customers and followed up with them to increase sales," you can say "Managed 50+ clients and followed up with them to close deals, thereby increasing monthly sales by 21%"
13. Dress Well for the Interview
We have always heard that "Don't judge a book by its cover."
However, people judge a book by its cover in real life.
Else companies won't put so much money into creating attractive covers.
Similarly, in an interview, your dressing and grooming matter as much as your skills and experiences.
Research the company and its culture and sees what type of dressing they prefer.
Although even the company has a casual dress code, still try to wear a formal dress in your initial interviews.
The key to selling yourself in an interview is to be prepared for the interview and be professional. Here are some tips for you:
- Research about the company and your interviewers before going to the interview. It will give you more context regarding their tone, culture, and what the interviewer is looking for.
- Prepare a list of 3-5 selling points before the interview. This way, you don't have to think about your responses during the interview
- Have a confident body language to make you likable
- Engage with the interviewer by asking questions. This will build rapport, and the recruiter will feel that you're genuinely interested in the job.
- You don't have to answer all the questions asked. If the recruiter asks inappropriate questions, feel free to decline the answer politely and divert the conversation back to your skills and experience.
Lastly, if you don’t get selected for the role, still follow up with the interviewer to thank them for their time and let them know that, even though you’re not selected for the position, it will be of great help if they can give you feedback on your interview.
This may help you get better at your interviews; if not, it will end the job interview process on a good note.
Apart from that, if you are looking for a platform that can help you with interviews, go to Hiration Career Service platform. It has 24x7 chat support for all your career-related queries, from resume building cover letter writing to LinkedIn review and interview preparations.
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