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  • How to Sell Yourself on an Interview

    Interview photo from ShutterstockMany candidates get into trouble when they attempt to “sell” themselves in an interview. Often, they end up coming across as overly eager and desperate, thus turning the hiring manager off to the prospect of recruiting them.

    In order to prevent this from happening and truly make a great impression, it’s important to touch upon the fundamental flaws of “selling oneself” as well as discuss some tips on how to consistently stand-out as an applicant.

    Fundamental flaws with selling oneself 

    First and foremost, nobody likes to be sold. People can see right through it and they hate it. Regardless of whether it is an employee or a car, the consumer wants to feel as if they are buying a solution to a problem. Begin to take the focus off of yourself and start to think in terms of the employer’s needs. Then, formulate the ways in which you can provide a solution.

    Also, understand that “selling oneself” is an overly vague target. Thousands of studies have shown that getting specific is one of the most critical steps to reaching a goal. The same goes for finding a job. Instead, strive to convey that you are a knowledgeable, confident, thorough and engaging applicant.

    Lastly, by focusing on an end-goal of selling yourself, you risk coming across as arrogant or desperate. Or even worse, both. The most efficient way to self-promote is to allow the conversation to become a give and take. If perceptive, the interviewer will realize that you are intelligent, capable and have or can acquire the desired skills through natural dialogue.

    Interviewing tips that land job offers

    1. As a recruiter, I recommend that you understand that interviewer is just as prone to feeling badly about rejection as the interviewee is. Show the hiring manager that you care, are interested in what he or she has to say and you’re well ahead of the game. Regardless of position, industry or company, one thing that every interviewer you meet will have in common is an inherent need to feel important.

    2. Adapt to the interviewer’s personality style, don’t ever expect them to adapt to your way of interviewing. Know that each employer will have a different style of conducting themselves.

    Some interviewers will just want the answers and that’s what you should give them. Others will want to have a casual conversation and, if they do, schmooze with them. Use your intuition.

    3. If you feel yourself getting nervous, shift your focus from your internal dialogue to what the interviewer is saying. By paying attention to your surroundings, you are able to concentrate less on the internal disorder and more on the conversation at hand. If you’re 100% focused on what the other individual is saying, psychologically you cannot be nervous.

    4. Know that people hire people that they like. One of the best ways to warm an interviewer up to you is a sincere compliment. Determine what you like about the company and politely convey that to the individual. People like others who make them feel good about themselves.

    5. Keep your cool. In a job interview setting when an employer is making a decision about competency and fit within an organization, the most successful candidates display a consistent vocal tone.

    In the end

    It’s sort of ironic. You have to sell yourself during an interview, however the moment the interviewer feels you are “selling” yourself, you’re going to appear as over-eager and desperate. It’s only when you begin to see interviewing as less of a question and answer session and more of a collaborative conversation, you naturally instill confidence in the employer.

    avatar

    Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Sales and Marketing Recruiters, a sales and marketing recruiting firm specializing in staffing business development and marketing professionals around the U.S. Ken has been published in Forbes, Chicago Tribune, AOL, Business Insider, Ere.net, Recruiter.com, Huffington Post and many others. He has also appeared on MTV, Fox Business News and spoken at some of the country's leading business schools on HR, job search and recruitment.

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