We’ve all been there before. You sit across the table from a potential employer, nervous but hopeful that you do well enough to be considered. They ask you a question, and suddenly your mind goes completely blank. Why would you be a good fit for this job? What are your biggest strengths? For some reason, you can’t seem to think of any.
Interviewing with potential employers can be a daunting, and even slightly terrifying, task. Especially if it’s a job you’re incredibly interested in, the interview process can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to make the process go smoother. Whether you’re in the market or you’ve had the same job for years, preparing for an interview is never a bad decision. Here’s how to sell yourself at your next job interview.
1. Know your audience.
First and foremost, it’s important to do your research on the company and interviewers—if you know who they are—before going in for the interview. You wouldn’t try and sell a product without knowing who your target audience was, so you definitely don’t want to try and sell yourself without knowing who your interviewers are.
Look up information about the company online, and then bring it up during the interview. This will (1) give you points to connect with your interviewers on, and (2) show that you care enough about the job to put in a little extra effort. When you know your audience, you’ll feel more comfortable talking and building a relationship, rather than trying to sell yourself to people you barely know.
2. Market your brand.
Once you know your audience, your next step is in marketing your brand. Again, imagine you’re selling a product. Your product has to have a brand, a certain image that draws consumers in and helps them identify your product as your own. In an interview, you are the product, so brand yourself. Are you strong and confident? Perhaps kind and gentle, or direct and a little sassy.
The most important part is recognizing your own character strengths and then playing those up as your brand. Be sure your outfit is inline with the image you want to portray, along with your resume, cover letter and business card. Every aspect of yourself should demonstrate your brand and who you are throughout the interview.
3. Be a solution to a problem.
If a company is interviewing potential new employees, that means they have a need to fill. Ask yourself: how can you fill the need? During the interview process, you want to demonstrate how you fill the need vastly more than other interviewees, so, be a solution to the problem. Do your research on both the position and the company, and any potential issues the company may have. Then, come up with ideas before the interview on how you can create a solution. When you demonstrate your skills to the company during the interview, they’ll be more inclined to hire you when they see how you can help them.
4. Show your stories.
And finally, one of the biggest rules of marketing: stories sell. During your interview, do more than just tell why you’re a good candidate. Show them why you matter by providing engaging, thought-provoking, examples-driven stories. Not only will this build a real connection and make you seem more personable, but it will truly sell yourself to the interviewers. Do you have an example of work you’ve done in the past? Tell the story behind it, what lead up to it and what you learned from it. Interviewers will feel more connected and buy your product—you.
Whether you’re still looking for a job or are happily employed, it’s never too early to learn how to nail an interview. Try out some of these marketing tactics at your next job interview and sell yourself to a potential employer.