Selling Yourself in an Interview

How to change your perspective of the word “selling”

 “Selling” has a negative connotation. Don’t think of yourself as “selling yourself to an interviewer” because it creates the impression that you need to brag about your achievements or beg for the job. This is, in fact, wrong. Most interviewers would rather have you be instilled with confidence than desperate to prove your worth. I have, therefore, created an easy way for you to “sell yourself” without needing to feel like that’s what you’re doing.

Know the Job

The first thing that will happen when the interviewer starts firing questions at you, is the clarity that you have either done research about the position or not. Researching allows you to educate yourself with the environment you could be finding yourself in as well as the position you are applying for, so that the interviewer can determine the extent of your interest in the company. You will also need to be able to anticipate challenges  you can be faced with and determine ways to resolve any issues the company might have. If you can do this, you will increase your chances of getting the job.

Know the Possible External Factors

Your research will determine the environment you will find yourself in. This doesn’t only include the job description and its expectations  but also the social environment you will be confronted with. Chances are, you would have pictured yourself in the company’s work environment in preparation for the interview.  You need to know the culture of the company. On top of that, there is also the interviewing process you will need to get through. Remember, first impressions last and it is crucial that you look the part. You should also establish common ground between yourself and the interviewer so as to make the interview more comfortable and pleasant. After this, the interviewer will start firing questions at you, and, having done thorough research, you will be ready for this and will be able to anticipate the types of questions the interviewer will direct at you.

Know Yourself

An interview is one of the few things in life where everything is about. You are in the spotlight and the interviewer will try and find out as much about you as he or she can. Therefore I have divided the You-factor into three categories:

  • Your attitude
  • Your abilities
  • Your knowledge

Your Attitude

You cannot afford to have a bad attitude during the interview, therefore it is advised that you remain positive throughout. Perhaps that goes without saying, but most people don’t realize the message they convey in their body language. Interviewers tend to read into body language because words are easy to dispute whereas your body language cannot lie.

Your Abilities

By the time you get to the interview, your physical abilities would have been summarized in your resume. Don’t be surprised when you find the interviewer with your resume open before him or her upon entering the interview. Be willing to discuss your resume  because this will be your chance to speak about your accomplishments as well as strengths and weaknesses. However, remember that your accomplishments go well with specific examples and you need to elaborate with every statement you make. Interviewers detest vague answers.

Your Knowledge

When the interviewer decides he or she has heard all they’ve needed to about you, you will get the opportunity to ask your own questions. Start preparing them well in advance so that you can put enough thought into them. Asking thoughtful questions creates a good impression and leaves the interviewer feeling impressed. This also creates the image that you are interested in what the company has to offer without showing your desperation – a perfect combination.


It is important to go into the interview thinking that you are going to “prove yourself” to the interviewer rather than “sell yourself” to the interviewer. You are not a cheap object sold in flea markets. You are a valuable employee with all the necessary skills to perform the job you are applying for.


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