Most of us hate job interviews and they can become particularly horrible after we’ve had a few “thanks for coming but you have been unsuccessful” letters. This is particularly disappointing when someone who we think is less qualified, less experienced or even an outsider, gets the job.
Obviously our resume did the job because we were invited for interview. So what went wrong!
Well generally it’s about salesmanship (or saleswomanship if you prefer).
The ability to sell yourself is the key to being successful at interview! Consider the last time you went out to buy something you really needed. You checked out the range of available products: you evaluated “the products” in terms of their benefit to you; their fit for purpose and their cost effectiveness. As you looked on the shelf, you saw many products that would do the job, each with different features, product reputation, and levels of support.
In the end, you chose the ONE that you decided would offer the best benefit for your personal circumstance. The decision to hire is very similar.
The interviewer is looking for the best available “product”. Think of yourself as the product”. The aim is to convince the interviewer (the buyer) that you are the “most fit for purchase”.
So ask yourself:
Am I that product? How will I demonstrate I am the best product – right fit, cost effective, and the best overall choice?
Often the best person for the job is rejected at interview because they cannot sell themselves. We fail to convince the interviewer because we’re worried about over-selling ourself or so coming across as arrogant. It that’s the case for you, its time to re-think. Selling yourself at interview isn’t about boasting; you are simply providing evidence that you are the right person for the job. The best way to do that is with examples.
How to say you’re good without actually saying you’re good
Rather than say, I have good time management skills, simply provide examples. ”There have been times when I have had to manage my time carefully to get things done. Last year, I worked on a special project with the Work Health and Safety Committee. It involved [briefly tell the story]. It meant juggling this commitment with my usual workload and so from time to time I had conflicting work priorities. I was able to get the final project report in on deadline and still complete my monthly work summaries. It did involve some early morning starts, but I knew the proposed safety changes needed to be implemented.” In this example, the candidate isn’t explicitly saying they’re good at time management, but it’s clear that they are.
You can also throw in something along the lines of “My manager complimented me on the quality of my WHS report and my time management skills.” (if it’s true, of course).
This is only one technique to help you put your best self forward at interview. We cover lots more in the workshop Putting Your Best Self Forward at Job Interviews.
We also offer private coaching interview technique.
Feel free to contact us for more info.