Although it can be exhilarating to get a call for an interview and realize that you have made it to the top of the pile of candidates for a particular position, it can also be quite daunting as this is where you must sell yourself. Those conducting the interview will have a significant say in whether or not you are hired in the end, so learning how to make yourself seem like the perfect fit for a position is crucial. Fortunately, by preparing for the interview and understanding what the interviewer is looking for, you should be able to produce a strong case for your hire by the end of the conversation.
1. Show yourself to be an immediate value
One of the most important parts of selling yourself is convincing the hiring professional you are speaking with that you are the solution they are looking for. This might mean demonstrating how you bring workers together into strong teams or it might mean showing fantastic and successful advertising campaigns you have run in the past. Make whatever value you bring to the table clear to the interviewer and be able to back up your words with examples.
2. Present yourself confidently while also appearing friendly and professional
Companies are not only looking for someone to do a specific job, they are also looking for someone to join a team. A person who comes across and unfriendly or not professional enough may not be perceived as a good fit. CBS News recommends that interviewees build a rapport with the person interviewing them, and suggests it may be one of the most important things they can do in the interview. Building this relationship involves having a firm and warm handshake, watching eye contact, and using names in the conversation. Even careers that don’t typically demand excessive formalities will care about basic professional courtesies. It is important to not use first names unless requested.
3. Be prepared with a personal summary – an “about yourself” question is basically guaranteed
According to Carrington College, just about any interview will include some kind of ‘talk about yourself’ question, so this is a crucial area to rehearse and feel confident in answering. Be able to give specific examples of your strengths and show what your greatest accomplishments have been as well as what sets you apart from other candidates.
4. Be able to elaborate on your resume with short stories and sound bites that show value
Your interviewer will likely know little about you outside of your resume, and thus will be using this information as an outline for the interview. Use the interview as a chance to elaborate on the resume beyond what you have written. Give specific examples and short stories of how you have demonstrated skill and your value.
5. Pay attention to all nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication is almost as important as verbal communication, even if it is not as obvious. Job-hunting site Monster.com, recommends that interviewees pay attention to details such as their posture and facial expressions. Those who hold bags in their laps tend to seem closed off while those with a weak handshake may seem to lack confidence. Instead, candidates should strive to sit straight, maintain eye contact while they are answering questions, and smile. The handshake, which often begins and ends the interview, should be firm and confident and not overly aggressive. It may even be a good idea to practice the handshake with a friend the way you might practice some of the other interview questions.
Finding a new job or beginning a new career can be a long process, from researching job openings to sending out resumes and preparing for an interview. Follow the above advice to make a good impression on the next interview and improve your chances of finding a fantastic new job.