Selling yourself during a job interview is all about preparation. You’ve made it to the interview stage, so you know you have the skills and experience required. All that’s left to do is dazzle your interviewer with your answers. If you struggle in an interview setting and want to know what you can do to have the best chance of landing your dream job, read on.
The first step to selling yourself in an interview is to make sure your CV and cover letter offers the best possible representation of your skills and experience. This all starts with learning how to analyse a job description and then match it to your skills. When it comes to the interview stage, your job is to follow up with everything you mentioned in your CV and prove that you are the right person for the role. By following these five tips, you will be well on your way to selling yourself effectively.
Be aware of your body language
It’s easy to forget that the interviewer isn’t only listening to your answers, they are also looking at the way you present yourself. Some body language is the result of nerves, such as playing with your hair or biting your nails. However, this can easily be interpreted as a lack of interest in the role. Sit upright in your chair and try to make eye contact with the person speaking to you. If you are in a panel interview setting, don’t just stare at one person. Instead, try to move your focus to different people on the panel.
Choose an outfit suited to the industry
Being overdressed is usually better than being underdressed. However, turning up to a casual workplace in a power suit can make it seem like you didn’t do your research on the company beforehand. As a general rule, you should always err on the side of being too smart. Just because everyone in the office wears jeans and trainers to work every day, it doesn’t mean you can wear it to the interview. Put simply, you should dress to impress.
Practice your answers
When you are aiming to shine in an interview, preparing your answers is the best way to achieve this. You won’t know the exact questions you are going to be asked, but you can have a good guess at them. Refer back to the job description and pick out the skills and competencies they are looking for. Next, try to think of situations in your career where you were required to put these skills to work. They don’t always have to be positive answers. In fact, some interviewers will ask to hear about times when things have gone wrong to determine how you cope with adversity.
It can be difficult to think of situational answers on the spot so taking the time to prepare a few answers can help to take the pressure off. When you are preparing your answers, make sure you can be specific about the details. When an interviewer asks for an example of a time when you were required to be creative within your job role, don’t just say that you are a creative person. Give the interviewer a specific situation where your creativity was an asset.
Start by outlining the situation, then tell them the task that was set, then explain the actions you took, and finally, share the results. This is called the STAR method. If your negotiating skills enabled you to bring an event in under budget, don’t be vague about this. Tell them exactly how much you managed to save your client using your negotiating skills.
By preparing your answers in this way, they will be far more memorable and you will be able to recall the details without much effort in the interview. This can help to save you from the fate of offering vague answers.
Think about what the interviewer wants to see
You might have a dazzling CV and years of relevant experience, but if you don’t let the interviewer know about this, you can say goodbye to your dream job. Before going into any interview, make sure you do your research so that you fully understand what the interviewer is looking for.
When formulating your answers, link your past experience to the current situation. How could you help this company? What would you bring to the table that no other candidate can do? Once you know the answers to these questions, your interview answers will be a lot more concise and relevant.
Don’t be afraid to highlight your accomplishments
You might be a modest person in your day-to-day life, but interviews are no time for modesty. Be bold and brazen about your accomplishments. Don’t fall into the trap of giving credit to your entire team, make sure you take credit for your work by saying “I” instead of “we”. There is value in recognising the contribution from others, but not at the expense of your own value.
Live Recruitment is a leading events recruitment specialist operating throughout the UK. We are currently looking to fill a number of roles in the Manchester and Leeds areas, in addition to nationwide opportunities. Get in touch today if you’re interested in getting expert career advice from our events recruitment specialists.