How to Sell Yourself Like a Product in a Job Interview
In many ways, interviewing for a job is comparable to a sales person making a sale. If
you were a sales person and were about to sell a product to a customer you would do some
homework or research so that you could convince your customers that your product was the
best product on the market to fill their needs.
If you think of this scenario and apply it to the job interview process you will find
that it is a powerful tool to use for your interview preparation. What do you have to
offer (as a product), to the customer (the employer)? What do you have that will fill
their needs (the requirements of the job)? What can you bring that is unique or added
value to the position/company? (that sets you apart from the pack)?
Let's begin with "what you have to offer." Think of ways to present your key qualities
throughout the interview. An example of this technique is when interviewing for a position
that requires "strong organizational skills." You will want to let the interviewer know
you are not only organized, but that your organizational skills have made a significant
difference in your performance.
If you can give an example of a particular event that you organized and how your
organizational skills made a difference in a past job you will make an even stronger sell.
Anyone can say that they have "strong organizational skills," but not everyone can give
specific examples of a time when they had a success using those skills. Don't tell them
- sell them - with proof of a past experience or success.
You can understand the employer's needs by studying the job description or posting.
Begin to think about how you, as the product, can fill those needs. Read through the
posting or job description once for content. Then, read it a second time for specific
words that are emphasized. There will be specific words used according to the job or
industry that you are applying for. Make a list of these words to use as "key factors" needed.
Now, return to the job posting and read it once more. This time read "between the
lines." What would it take to do this job? If for instance, there is a statement such as,
"Position will require frequent collaboration and interaction on all levels of staff and
management," you can gather that "strong interpersonal" and "communication" skills will be
needed to do this job. Make a list of the "key requirements" and match them against what
you have to offer.
Don't dismiss your personal traits in your sales "pitch" preparation. Identify skills
that make you unique such as "interpersonal skills," "attitude," and "willingness to do
whatever it takes to get the job done." These skills could make the difference between
yourself and an equally qualified candidate getting the job offer. Prepare for your sale
to let the employer know that you have the ability to "fit in" and be a "team player." The
interviewer will not only be looking to see if you can do the job, but they will also be
checking to see if you will be a good addition to the team.
Preparation for the sale of the product - YOU - will give you a better chance of
convincing the customer or buyer that you are just what they are looking for. By the time
you leave the interview the interviewer should have a strong sense of what you have to
offer and why they should hire you - why you are the best person to fill their needs.
Carole Martin is a celebrated author, trainer, and an interview coach. Her
Books, have sold
thousands of copies world-wide. Receive Carole's FREE nine-week job interview e-course.