Updated: Dec 14, 2020
Job interviews, they can be a pain in the neck. You want to present yourself as the perfect candidate but a lot of doubt and nerves may arise when you think about walking into the room. Selling yourself effectively is a task, but one you can master with the right tips and tricks.
Here are 5 tips to get ahead with a job interview
1. Do your homework: know your audience
You can’t sell yourself effectively without understanding your audience and making your job interview answers about what the company needs rather than about you. It is essential to keep in mind why they are hiring, what they want in a candidate. Be their solution. Know what you’re walking into and what you can offer the company by doing your research. Don’t list all your accomplishments but rather highlight the ones that tailor to them. You want to come across as someone who’s looked into the job, has thoroughly read the job application and is there to tell them what they can offer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either, that only shows your interest. Don’t limit yourself to their website but search the web beyond and list the points you want to bring up.
2. Preparation is key: Know your brand
What do you stand for? What do you want the interviewer to remember about you? The first question in job interviews is often something along the lines of “tell me about yourself”, which means you can anticipate your answer. Work this out so you can communicate it powerfully. You can do so in various ways: preparing an elevator pitch (a 30 to 60 seconds self introduction tailored to your audience) or by asking a friend to play the role of interviewer and ask common interview questions.
3. Be a storyteller
This ties to the previous tip. When talking about your qualities, have ‘proof’/an example ready. To stand out, you don’t want to just use the general words that everyone uses; you want to back them up with a story from the past. If you’re not an expert yet, admit that honestly and follow up with showing your willingness to learn. Don’t forget that that is also essential when selling yourself, people will notice when you’re not being authentic.
4. Carry yourself with confidence
Essentially, you have to radiate confidence. Go into the interview believing that you can do it, if you’re already doubting yourself that will show. Before you go into the room, take some deep breaths and ground yourself. Be aware of your body language throughout the interview, it speaks as loud as your words. In the midst of it all you may forget to make eye contact and to meet them with a smile, but your non-verbal communication also shows what you’re about.
5. Be proactive: Follow Up Follow Up Follow Up
After an interview, send out a thank you note saying that you appreciated the time spent with you, you can also include any points you have forgotten to mention. If you’ve gotten rejected, don’t just take no for an answer. People will tell you no for you to give them a reason to say yes. If you get a no then ask them why. Either you will find a way to overcome this or you will learn for next time. This is the most powerful way to grow.