A good resume will get you called in for an interview. But it's the interview that can fetch you the job. An interview is not just a conversation to discuss a potential opportunity with a prospective employer – it's also about positioning yourself for the job.
So, how to get that right? How to demonstrate that you stand apart from the competition?
It's by honing this skill of “Selling yourself!”.
A job interview is unlike any other form of interaction. The interviewer wants you to talk about how you’ll be the best fit for the job. Their job is to pick the best candidate.
But it's difficult to get a wholesome idea about the candidate in a 25-30 minute interview, so he relies on limited data – what you tell them in the interview.
Selling yourself doesn’t mean deception – it's about identifying your key accomplishments and communicating them in a concise and compelling way!
Now that we know what to do in an interview, let us check out how exactly it can be done.
Think of it as a marketing challenge. The key is to market yourself appropriately as well as adequately.
Take a good look at the job description. What makes you a great match? What are the skills that you can bring to the table? Can you show some key accomplishments or expertise that separates you from the pack?
Understand what the employer is looking for and analyze how you’ll specifically fit those needs.
Hone your speaking points
Your analysis will now give you a clear picture of the key selling points your prospective employer would be most interested in. Now it’s time reframe these points so that you can communicate them effectively and powerfully!
it's useful to do some preparation around what you want to say and how do you want to say that. Think about the approach and language that will be most natural for you – that will still feel like You, just more confident and articulate about your key strengths.
Take a notepad and list your top-selling points. When you walk out, what should the interviewer remember about you? Think about it. Aim for at least five crucial points – your areas of expertise, education, key accomplishments, soft skills and/or other strengths.
For each of these points, write a proof statement. This proof statement should be a demonstration of your key strengths in the past.
For example, for a management role, you’ll demonstrate that you’ve successfully led a team.
Proof Statement 1:
"In my current role, I started as a team member and went on to become the manager and built a team of my own. Now my team consists of about 10 people and is recognized as the most productive team in the company. Now all the new joiners are sent to me to mentor! ”
This statement proves that this guy has built a team themself and now is mentoring junior coaches as well. Clearly, this stands as a supplement to their statement of being a good manager.
Also, many candidates claim that they are “hard workers” in an interview. Although a strong work ethic is a great asset and is desirable for almost any position, keep in mind that interviewers hear this a lot and may not see this as a key differentiator. If you choose to keep this as one of your selling points (which most candidates often do), then it's vital to amplify this with a proof statement again.
Proof Statement 2:
“In my previous role, I had to wear several hats since it was a startup and we were running short on staff. At a point of time, I managed all the activities related to content marketing – be it writing blogs, social media marketing, developing the website’s content alongside many others. But it turned out to be a huge success eventually, with an increase in the traction to our website and blog. There was an appreciation from all over!”
Notice that this example not only personifies the candidate’s hard working ability but also projects one more selling point – being a great content writer! This is a canny way of handling the question, and it works the best!
Practice Until it Feels Natural!
Just like you’d practice for an important speech or a big performance, you must practice for your interview as well. A handful of candidates actually put enough practice (if any) time into effective practice.
Having outlined your main speaking points in writing, you now have to deliver this crucial information in a memorable and persuasive way. For this, you need to speak those selling points out loud (with your notes at first and eventually without them). This practice allows you to work out the kinks before you walk into the interview and helps you in remembering the points even when you are a bundle of nerves!
An interview is all about making a lasting impression. If you’re able to hold the interviewer’s attention and make them remember you, you’ve already paved your way to getting the job! All the best!
- Hone your speaking points
- Practice until it feels natural
Image credits: Nik MacMillan on Unsplash