Are you struggling with selling yourself in an interview and nerves getting to you? We understand that the interview stage of the recruitment process can be tough. Filled with moments where you are vulnerable and putting yourself out there; mix that with the excitement of possibly landing that job you really want, it can be hard to keep a clear head.
We’ve provided a few simple tips below to make it easier for you to get through the interview process and ensure you know how to sell yourself in a job interview.
1. Be prepared
The job advertisement is only a snapshot of the role you are applying for. To ensure you are ready for any questions you may get during the interview, you really should do some research on the company and the industry if relevant. Most companies expect interviewees to visit their website to understand more about their business and will expect you may have broad questions about them and what they do, not just your job.
While they may seem like little details, planning out what you will wear, if you need to bring anything to the interview and how you will attend are all things to think about. You don’t want to be surprised by issues with public transport or a faulty webcam making you miss a video interview.
2. Be a STAR
Keeping your cool during an interview is tough. Sometimes a hairy question throws off your rhythm, and you miss out on specific details and may start to ramble. You can avoid this by using the STAR method to talk about what you’ve done:
- Situation – Give your story context.
- Task – Describe the task you were doing.
- Activity – Detail how you went about completing your task.
- Result – How was the situation resolved.
Remember to speak in specifics. The interviewers want to hear about what you have to offer, not generic stories you think they want to hear.
3. Be positive about previous employers
Most people have had challenging jobs that may not have ended as amicably as they could have. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it - just remain positive.
You don’t need to give all the details and you don’t want to come across as negative. Focus on positives you took away from the job, such as the skills you learned or a great team culture. More importantly, emphasize how these lessons could benefit your new job.
4. Be aware of nonverbal communication
Selling yourself in an interview isn’t just about what you say but also how you say it.
- Use hand gestures when speaking – it will help with nervous energy and will make you both feel and appear more comfortable.
- Lean in slightly, maintaining posture – your interviewer will notice your interest.
- Nod your head while you are listening – this shows engagement.
- Maintain good eye contact – don’t just stare at the interviewer, break your gaze occasionally so you appear more relaxed and at ease.
- Take a drink and don’t forget to pause. Make sure you don’t rush responses and take the time to have a sip of water.
5. Be proactive
An interview shouldn’t be a one-way process. Asking the interviewers some questions doesn’t just make you look more interested in the role; it helps you work out whether the job is a right for you also. Normally an interviewer will leave space at the end for questions but its ok to ask some as you go.
You could ask things like how the new role fits within the team or why the role was created. Questions like these can give a good insight into a company and help you work out if it’s the right fit.
Armed with these helpful tips, your next interview should be relatively stress-free. You now know how to market yourself for a job, go out there, get it, and good luck!