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How to Successfully Promote Yourself during a Job Interview

27 March 2009 95 Comments

Be Prepared

The best way to be prepared to sell your skills during a job interview is to start at least a few days ahead. Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked and plan some answers. Make sure you’re ready to be convincing about pointing out how your skills and experience make you the ideal choice for the job.


Bring a neat looking folder or case to hold any items you’ll need on the interview day. Don’t forget to bring a stack of business cards plus extra resumes. Even though you most likely submitted your resume before the interview, it’s still a good idea to bring extra ones. Interviewers see many resumes and you want yours to stand out even if that means giving it to the company twice. Besides, you may end up having more than one interviewer and if you are prepared to give each person your business card and resume at the interview you’ll seem very professional as well as organized.


One thing many job seekers forget is to be prepared with questions for the interviewer. Many interviewers form an unfavourable opinion about job seekers that don’t have one or two questions about the position. Have two or three questions prepared and adjust them during the interview to fit in with the particular discussion you have with the interviewer.


Sell Your Skill Set

You’ve made it to the interview stage, so presumably they’ve seen your resume and figured you looked good on paper. Now, during the interview, it’s up to you to promote your skills and background to let the interviewer see that you’re the right person for the job. Bringing extra resumes with you is a good idea because if all of the interviewers have your resume, they can ask you questions from it. You should be prepared to discuss anything on your resume in a convincing way.


When you get a question during an interview that you didn’t expect, your interviewer will likely be taking notes on how you react. Stay calm and poised and think before rushing to answer. Make sure to really listen to the interviewer and don’t be either too short in your answers or too long. If he or she discusses the job duties with you, be sure to mention why you’re the ideal person to handle these responsibilities. The interviewer’s job is to find the right person to do the work needed, so convince him or her that you’re the one.


Use Appropriate Body Language

You’ve probably heard it said many times how important it is to maintain eye contact in job interviews. There’s no getting around it. It’s very important. If you feel nervous about this, practice in a mirror or with another person. The idea is to maintain eye contact comfortably and naturally. Don’t stare the person down!


Posture is important too. Sit up straight during the interview, but don’t lean forward in the chair as this may be seen as aggressive. Keep from fidgeting such as wringing your hands or tapping your feet.


Be Ready to Follow Through!

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