Learn how to “sell” yourself during an interview?

Teodora Kovacheva

Imagine that you are invited to a job interview for a position you want. Sounds amazing, right? Now you have to present yourself successfully during the interview, and here’s the most difficult part for many candidates.Once you're in the hot seat, it's up to you to sell yourself to the employer.Unless you’re working in the sales industry, the concept of marketing yourself during a job interview can be daunting. You don’t want to sound arrogant or stupid, or worse, desperate. But learning how to self-promote convincingly is what the job interview is all about.However, we understand how difficult it is and we are here to help with the following five top tips. At the end of the article, you will find the data from the surveys we posted this month in our LinkedIn profile about the topic of "job search".

1. Identify your “brand”

Think of Apple, Coca Cola or McDonald's. The most successful brands recognize themselves: their purpose, mission, vision, culture, and values. Likewise, employers are looking for people who know and live their 'brand purpose,' because with clarity comes passion. You have to understand for yourself what drives you forward and what is important for you to successfully present yourself and prove that you’re a good fit for the company.

2. Get comfortable talking about yourself

Learn how to talk about yourself positively and to take pride in your accomplishments. You can practice this skill before the interview by talking into a mirror, asking a friend to listen, or just talking out loud to yourself while you’re doing another task.One technique that can help you is putting metrics with your achievements. Make a list of specific things you achieved, like how much money you saved on a project, the percentage by which you reduced staff turnover over a certain period, or exactly how much sales increased under your leadership. This will add a level of objectivity to your statements.

3. Know your audience

One of the most important sales tactics is to know your customer. To sell yourself during an interview, it is vital that you understand the potential employer’s needs and desires to the best of your ability. Know the company, the industry, and try to learn more about the person that is going to lead the interview. Understand their style and their culture. Examine their most recent corporate news. Ask yourself, “What does the company need from someone in this role?” After developing your answer, be sure to craft your answers to common interview questions in a way that showcases your understanding of their position and your unique ability to fulfill their needs.

4. Plan your talking points

Write down exactly how you are the best candidate, choosing words that align with the qualities the employer is seeking. Memorize your main points so you can discuss them naturally. Preparation and practice will help you to sell yourself smoothly in your interview. One way to practice your talking points is to develop a 30-second speech about yourself. You can create a personal summary by combining the key highlights of your experience and personality in 25 words or less. Your goal here is to stay on topic and make every word count. One possible structure for your speech is an introduction followed by career objectives and accomplishments that set you apart from other candidates. For maximum impact, keep your audience in mind, and avoid vague terms like loyalty, courteousness, and kindness unless you can relate them directly to the job.

5. Differentiate yourself from the competition

Try to ask questions that show you have researched the company in advance. You might ask about the company’s products or plans for the future. Consider tactfully sharing something positive about your experience with the company as a consumer, if you can. You could even present some ideas for a new product or service. Hiring managers may interview dozens of people for a position, so try to make them remember you in a professional way that stands out.To apply these tips appropriately, consider the position you are applying for and your qualifications as you begin. You will find that advanced preparation helps you to relax as you begin your interview.Here are some statistics from our over 12,000 followers on LinkedIn about their job search experience.

„How long have you been searching for a job?”

It is great to see that a significant part of the subscribers in our LinkedIn network is not looking for a new job. That means they have a stable job that satisfies them and another 29% are in the process of fewer than 6 months. The pandemia of COVID-19 made the situation in the labor market quite complex and many lost their jobs. We could take this result as a sign of the coexistence of the market and its return to the normal state in which businesses grew and often looked for new employees.

“What are the main criteria for which you apply for a job offer?”

As expected, most of the people who have answered this question say that the key elements that motivate them to apply for a position are the salary and career opportunities. On the other hand, it is surprising how small a percentage of voters are excited about the social benefits that the employer company offers.We assume that most companies offer a similar package of social benefits that don't differ from their competitors. When everyone offers the same thing, it is logical that it is not among the key factors in choosing an employer. This leads us to the fact that the additional benefits are an underdeveloped niche to stand out from the competition on the part of employers.

“What are the main channels through which you’re looking for a job?”

The answers to this survey prove that despite the availability of increasingly innovative and interactive job search platforms, classic open job sites remain the most popular. As many as 70% of voters confirm that this is the main source of job search for them. On one hand, this is understandable because they are not yet applicable to all sectors of labor, but on the other hand, we can conclude that the platforms are not adequately positioned among people to be recognizable and sought after.

“What is the most important element of a successful job search?”

47% of voters consider a strong network of contacts to be the most important element for a successful job search. This is logical because different contacts can offer various development opportunities as well as give recommendations. On the other hand, as many as 43% believe that a strong resume is a key to a new job. This is true but to some extent. A good CV can lead to an interview invitation, but the job is only won if the candidate successfully presents himself. That is why it is so important to be able to "sell" your brand properly.

“What aspect of job hunting do you generally find to be the most challenging?”

Each aspect of the job search is a challenge itself, but certainly, some make it difficult for most people. In this case, according to 37% of respondents, the most difficult is the negotiations for the offer itself. This is quite normal, especially when it comes to a candidate without sufficient experience, which in turn automatically leads to lower self-esteem in front of the potential future employer. Writing a resume and cover letter is also difficult for candidates and this is also not a surprise, as they often need to be edited and customized according to the job announcement and requirements of company X. That is why here we will invite you to join the Talent Lab of HRS, within Tuk-Tam Hive, where we will have workshops with useful advice from experienced consultants on both topics!

“What is your biggest job search headache?”

The majority determines the lack of feedback after applying for an open position as the most irritating element of the job search, and this is quite understandable. When a candidate has taken the time to personalize his CV or write a cover letter, he logically expects to receive some comment, but unfortunately, this rarely happens as selection experts are often overwhelmed with work. Now is the time to remind you of the nPloy app, which always guarantees feedback once the application has been processed.

“What is the most important office benefit for you?”

As one of our followers explained in a comment, lunch breaks are often too short to get to a nearby restaurant, have lunch and get back on time. In this line of thinking, quite logically, as many as 42% of respondents believe that free snacks and drinks in the office are a very important benefit that would motivate them to apply or choose a particular employer. Many companies are starting to offer this type of compliment to their employees, and this is due to the need to develop the employer brand.

Bonus: Job searching is always a challenging activity, especially if this will be your first job. To make it easier for you, we’ve prepared a detailed checklist with all important steps during the whole process. Subscribe here to get it ➡️ https://subscribe.hrs-news.com/checklist_en