Do you think of each job interview as a sales opportunity? If not, it might be time to change your mindset. When you’re vying for a position against dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of applicants, you need to sell an employer on your value if you want to be one of the top picks. Keep reading and learn how to sell yourself in an interview.
Like most people, you’d probably think twice about buying a car, a piece of jewelry or even a cheap trinket from someone with a bad attitude or a cold demeanor. There’s a good chance an interviewer will also hesitate to endorse a candidate who gives off an unpleasant vibe.
The more likeable you are, the better an interviewer will feel about going to bat for you – especially if she’s trying to decide between you and someone who’s equally qualified. While you shouldn’t try to alter your personality, take simple steps like being polite and making good eye contact. Do you research on your interviewer and, if possible, find a common interest that might create a stronger connection and a lasting positive impression. As a recruiting professional who pays close attention to candidates’ verbal cues and body language, I know first hand how effective these small adjustments can be.
In a sales situation, it never pays to downplay the strengths of a product, and the same is true when you’re selling yourself for a job. Before you sit down in front of an interviewer, make a list of your professional accomplishments that are relevant to the position you want. Great examples include a time when you saved your company money, helped with a merger, or finished ahead of a deadline on a major project. As you practice your answers to common interview questions, aim to incorporate all your top accomplishments into your responses.
Ask the Right Questions
Asking insightful questions is a powerful interview technique because it gives you a better grasp of what the interviewer is really looking for in a candidate. With the right questions, you can get a more detailed or a nuanced description of job responsibilities and day-to-day tasks.
Posing smart questions about the position also shows that you’re not just looking for any job, but that you’re serious about finding the right job. Showing a true interest in a mutually beneficial partnership is a classic sales technique that will set you apart from the crowd of candidates.
Don’t Forget to Close
One of the biggest mistakes interviewees make is neglecting to end the interview with a statement or question that “closes the deal.” To show hiring managers that you’re serious about the position, conclude with a direct question such as “What are the next steps?” Another great question to ask is “Do you have any reservations about my background?” Depending on the response you receive, you can address – and hopefully erase any concerns about your application before you leave the interview.
What advice do you have on selling yourself in an interview? Share your thoughts in the comments below.