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  • How to Sell Yourself in an Interview Without Bragging

    shutterstock_72450922The overwhelming majority of job applicants realize the importance of selling themselves during an interview and they’re correct. It’s imperative to leave any meeting with a prospective employer or recruiting professional firmly believing in your competence, ability to do the tasks at hand as well as fit in with their corporate culture.

    Not only does leaving the right impression almost always ensure higher pay via leverage during salary negotiation, but it also lays the groundwork for easier promotions and greater job autonomy via trust on the part of management.

    Regardless of its importance, many job seekers are still hesitant in getting across the points that will paint them in the best light possible due to fear of appearing over-arrogant or self-centered.

    Incorporating Self-Promotion Without Arrogance

    In order to promote oneself without appearing boastful or self-centered, three components must be present.

    1. All self-promotion must come across as matter of fact rather than opinion. For instance, a sales representative who says they killed the competition in selling and did awesome at their past job is not going to be as persuasive as someone who says they were able to achieve a rise in territory sales of 23% which was nearly double the 2nd place representative.

    In order to achieve a matter of fact tone, it is recommended that you utilize factual evidence to support any claims. Any numbers, awards or specific mentions from management are a solid example.

    2. The promotion must be in context and be subtle. The more random or “in your face” the self-promotion is, the less effective it becomes. Instead, work these strengths into the discussion in a manner that is relevant to the particular topic. Knowing when to promote yourself is a key component to knowing how to promote yourself.

    There are a few great places to work self-promotion into the conversation. These include:

    – When you touch upon why the job and company interested you.

    – What made you successful at your past jobs.

    – What your passions are.

    3. What you promote must be relevant and, thus of interest to the interviewer. If bragging points are relevant to the hiring manager or recruiter, they won’t come across as being boastful, but rather relevant and of interest to the hiring party.

    Conversely, if you talk up strong points that mean little to the interviewer, you risk appearing desperate, disconnected and less competent. It’s not difficult to determine what is crucial to the hiring manager or recruiter; a few minutes rereading the job description and taking the time to gain a firm understanding of the corporate goals will ultimately aid you in appearing empathetic and in hitting the right speaking points.

    Preparation and Self-Promotion

    In order to be able to promote yourself regardless of the specific interviewing questions asked or without appearing arrogant, egotistical or off-topic, there are certain exercises that should be done in preparation for the meeting.

    As a matter of fact, the right kind of preparation can be done via answering three questions:

    1. What strengths and skills you possess that will make the interviewer confident in your capabilities?

    2. What supporting evidence do you have that alludes to you having the qualifications?

    3. What methods did you use to go about obtaining those achievements (i.e. more efficient prospecting method, incorporating a more tangible way to emphasize with the prospect clients)?

    In the End

    Don’t be afraid to promote yourself during an interview, rather know the speaking points that are going to engage the interviewer and have the hiring manager leave the meeting focusing on the points you want them to be thinking about.

    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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    Posted in Interview, Job Search, Success Strategies, Workplace Success
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