No matter what your job history, with a bit of preparation you can learn to sell yourself in an interview.
When you’re talking about yourself and your experience, keep the following five points in mind:
1. Be the solution
Companies create positions because they have problems that they want to solve. Prepare for an interview by identifying the problems hinted at in the job ad. If there's no job ad, research the company and industry. Give examples of how you'll solve their problems and how you have in the past – share specific results you've achieved.
2. Be specific
Be prepared to back up your claims about your skills or attributes with relevant and specific examples, eg, if you plan to say you're ‘detail-oriented’, be able to explain how your attention to detail achieved a great result.
3. Be ready to talk about your resume
Your resume will contain many things that can be explained in more detail. Often a resume explains the ‘what’. Use the interview to talk about the ‘how’ as well as skills you gained, praise you received, etc.
4. Be aware of nonverbal communication
You say a lot about yourself with nonverbal cues:
- Sit up straight
- Maintain eye contact and smile frequently
- Practice your handshake – an overly aggressive handshake can be as off-putting as a limp one.
5. Be positive
Turn any negative situations or feelings you have toward previous employers into positive. Even if you quit your last job in a rage, saying something like "I felt I was ready for a more challenging position – like this one seems to be", is an attractive statement for a hiring manager.
If you believe in yourself then the employer is more likely to believe in you too. Be confident in your abilities and show them your stuff.