Sell Yourself in Any Job Interview

When walking into a job interview for a position you really want, intimidation can overwhelm your nerves and bring you doubt. However, that job you so eagerly want can be yours if you learn how to sell yourself. Regardless of the type of job you are interviewing for, there are certain tips and tricks you can use that every interviewer is looking for.


Preparing for Your Interview

  1. Tune-up your resume. Chances are you already have a resume that lead you to an interview. However, be sure to read your resume over once again, and make any necessary changes. You may have an experience you would like to add, or contact information to update. It is also important to read over everything outlined in your resume because the interviewer will ask you questions in regards to that information.
  2. Research the company. Before sitting down for an interview, make sure you have gained some knowledge about the company you are applying for. Research their mission statement and values, so you can gain a better understanding on some of the possible questions you may be asked during your interview.[1]
    • Develop a few questions from your research that you can ask at the end of your interview. This will show your interviewer that you took the time to learn about the company.
  3. Practice with a friend. Job interviews are not something you do everyday, so when you finally sit down for one, it can feel unnatural. Try practicing your interviewing skills until it begins to feel easy. Say your strengths and work experience out loud like you would at your formal interview, and have your friend listen to you. This will help you feel more confident when you sit down for your formal interview.[2]
    • Let your friend ask you interview questions and give you feedback to help you improve.
  4. Plan what you will wear. Your outfit will be one of the first impressions your interviewer has about you, so make sure you put thought into it. Regardless of the type of job you are applying for, you should dress sharp, and never be casual. Your clothes should be ironed, there should be no stains or tears, and your shirt should always be tucked in.
    • For men, a suit, tie, and jacket is a strong look that shows you are professional.
    • Women can wear a blouse with slacks, or a pencil skirt.
  5. Show off your work with a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of works (art, writing, photos, etc.) you've accomplished in the past. Some careers require this, while others do not. For example, architects could include structures they have designed, or journalists could include writing samples.
    • When showing off your portfolio, remember to explain any drawings or images to the interviewer, so they have some idea of what they're looking at.

Having a Successful Interview

  1. Have your materials ready and accessible. There are certain traits you want to convey during your interview, and one of those is organization. After you sit down, bring out your resume, portfolio, or anything else you may want to show, and keep it in front of you.[3]
    • Bring several copies of your resume to hand out to anyone who may take part in interviewing you. This will show you are prepared.
  2. Highlight all of your best qualities. An interview is your chance to share all of your best attributes to your interviewer, and convince that person why you are the best candidate to hire. Be sure to plan exactly what features about yourself you want to convey during your interview and how you will express them.[2]
    • Decide what your best trait is, and have a supporting example ready for your interview. Chances are, your interviewer will ask you about it.
    • Reflect on your best workplace, or life achievement, and be ready to share it during your interview. If possible, bring in proof to reinforce your story, such as an award, or certificate.
  3. Be the solution. Companies hire on vacant positions only. In other words, when a company feels they cannot work efficiently with their current staff, they announce positions they feel they need to fill. In this way, you are the need of the business as well as the interviewer. Let him feel as you are the person he needs to get the job done.
    • Explain your qualifying experience. If you have any past experience on solving problems similar to ones your prospective company is facing, mention this during the interview.
  4. Speak positively. Don’t complain about your past work to the interviewer, or give them any blame. That type of behavior comes across as immature and useless. Instead, speak of the future. Talk about what you have learned from your past employers and how excited you are to begin new endeavors. This will show you are a positive person.[3]
  5. Demonstrate your willingness to learn and change with the company. Flexibility is a major selling point to employers. Your interviewer will love hearing how you are eager to learn new skills and evolve with the company.
    • If your interviewer asks you about a technology or procedure during the interview you are not familiar with, don't get nervous. Instead, admit that you are unfamiliar, but that you would love to learn more about it.
  6. Give detailed examples of your strengths. Interviewers are looking for more than simple word descriptions of why you are great. They are listening for you to share a great example from your experiences.[1]
    • For instance, don't just say you are a great team player. Instead, give an example of a time you were required to collaborate on a project with coworkers and how you dealt with that.[4]
    • Not all of your examples need to come from the workplace. Give an example of a personal struggle you have endured and how you overcame it.
  7. Be interesting. It can be easy to get nervous during an interview and give quick, expressionless answers that show your employer you are crumbling under pressure. Here are some tips to try to keep your interviewer engaged:
    • Pause occasionally before you answer a question.
    • Use your hands to gesture as you talk.
    • Change the volume of your voice throughout your responses.
    • Smile frequently.

Making a Great Impression

  1. Display confident body language. Much of your communication is done through body language. Be conscious before, during, and after your interview, to maintain strong body language that will help you make a positive, lasting impression on your interviewer.[3]
    • Practice good posture by keeping your shoulders back, your back straight, and your chin up.[3]
    • Don't keep anything in your lap like a briefcase or purse. Keep your hands and arms steady, and free of objects that you may subconsciously play with during your interview.
  2. Greet with a firm handshake. First impressions go a long way, and one way to make a great one, is by greeting your interviewer with a handshake. This will show you are a confident, welcoming person.[3]
    • Practice your handshake with a friend to make sure it is not too soft, or aggressive.
  3. Send a thank you note. After your interview is over, follow up with your interviewer to show your appreciation, and once again, highlight why you are a strong candidate. You can send an email, or a card in the mail. However you chose to send it, be sure to do it within the next day.

Additional Help

Doc:Job Interview Questions and Responses,Interview Strengths and Weaknesses,Interview Tips and Tricks

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