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How to Sell Yourself in a Job Interview

Preparation is key when you're ready to sell yourself during a job interview. In order to sell yourself (that is, your skills and experience) to the interviewer, thoroughly research the company and job position. In addition, you need to be prepared to answer questions that the interviewer is likely to ask you.

Follow these tips to make the hiring gods choose you.

  • Focus on skills and other factors that make you immediately productive. Employers don't want to wait for six months before you deliver benefits to them. Concentrate on what you can do for the company, not on what the company can do for you.

  • Present a fitting image for the part you seek. Walk, talk, and look the part.

  • Likeability is vital. Act confident and friendly with good eye contact, a strong handshake, and a lot of smiles. Don't use first names unless asked to do so.

  • Memorize a 20-30 second branding brief. Your branding brief should tell your story very quickly. Prepare a longer personal commercial of 1-2 minutes that you customize for each job.

  • Master a one-to-two-minute "commercial" about yourself. Almost certainly you will be asked to respond to some version of the “Tell me about yourself” question. Memorize a short description of your background (education, experience, and skills) that matches your strengths to the job. Add a sentence or two about your curiosity, commitment, and drive to build mountains atop your already good skills base.

  • Don't chatter to fill a silence. You risk nervously blurting out harmful information. Instead, ask a question: "Would you rather hear about my skills in A or B?"

  • Avoid bringing up negatives. An exception is if you must do so to get ahead of the bad news that you're sure is coming. Don't trash your boss.

  • Develop a storytelling knack. Prepare short little true stories that support your claims of relevant skills and accomplishments.

  • Ask about the next step. Don't leave without asking when a decision will be made and whether you can call back to check progress on the decision.

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