Sell yourself at an interview! Easily said, no one explains how to do it. Your objective is to “sell yourself” at an interview, to convince the interviewer that you have all the skills, experience and knowledge to do the job. It is your responsibility to convince the employer of this.
You won’t do that by simply answering the questions. You must prepare your own “selling messages” and plan to get them across at the interview.
The planning stage consists of making a list of:
· The specific skills, knowledge and experience you have that will enable you to do all the duties of the job. Look at the duties (or responsibilities or outcomes) of the job to see what skills you need to focus on. If they have a set of selection criteria – they may call it workplace requirements or required skills, or whatever. Check the advertisement again. They might make a statement in the advertisement like, “We are looking for an enthusiastic self-starter, with good people skills and able to communicate with customers, dedicated to customer service and able to handle difficult situations’. In this case there are six skills you can focus on.
· Write out a list of statements that clearly say you have the skills. They might be something like:
o I have had a lot of experience in handling difficult customers.
o Communicating with customers is one of my strengths
o I am really enthusiastic about designing new products. It is what I have been trained for and I have designed many successful ….
o I can work well with people in teams, but my strength is really in using my initiative and making well-reasoned decisions on my own.
Having planned and written out your sales statements, the trick is to plan when to insert them into the interview without seeming to take over or to simply brag. One of the ways to use them is in the introduction to your answer to the question.
For example, if the interviewer asks you about your staff training experience, you can open with, “ I have had had two years working as a team leader of a sales team and I developed very strong training skills in that time. For example, when I was at Meyer I trained all of the new staff in ……” Then tell your story about how you trained them. Finish off your example by repeating your sales message, “ I think that shows you that I will be able to train your team of on-line sales staff”. (Training on-line staff was listed in the duties of the job.)