How to Sell Yourself in Any Job Interview

With the right preparation and a few tried-and-true techniques, you can ace any job interview. So, don’t worry any longer if you’re feeling nervous for an upcoming interview! We’ve put together this great list of useful tips and tricks, starting with what to do before your interview, followed by ways to behave and talk in your interview, and finally what to say after your interview is over.

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Get familiar with your resume to answer questions about it.

  1. The interviewer will ask you questions in regards to that information. Read your resume over a few times to ensure you can talk about everything on it. Try to come up with a few different things you can say about each role you’ve held, the work you did in that role, and the skills you used and gained.[1]
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    • For example, if you put search engine marketing on your resume, make sure you have some talking points about how you used Google Adwords and/or Bing Ads to run campaigns for clients and achieve marketing goals.
    • If you notice that your resume is missing any experience or skills, update it at this time and bring a printed copy of the updated version with you to give to the interviewer. They’ll appreciate the initiative and be able to ask you about all your relevant skills and experience!

[Edit]Research the company so you can talk knowledgeably about it.

  1. This shows the interviewer you’ve put in effort and are interested in the company. Research the company’s mission statement and values, their past work, their clients and competition, and general trends and developments in their industry. This will give you knowledge that you can work into your replies to interview questions to impress the interviewer.[2]
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    • Develop a few questions from your research that you can ask at the end of your interview. This will show your interviewer that you took the time to learn about the company.
    • For example, if you found out that the marketing agency you’re applying to work at recently took on Microsoft as a client, you could say something like: “What’s been the most exciting thing so far about working with Microsoft?”

[Edit]Prepare examples of your past work to wow the interviewer.

  1. Interviewers love to see and hear about concrete successes and accomplishments. Show off your work with a portfolio if it’s appropriate for the type of job you’re interviewing for. If not, come up with a list of times your work directly lead to measurable successes and be prepared to go into detail about those accomplishments when the opportunity arises in the interview.[3]
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    • For example, architects could include pictures of structures they have designed in a portfolio, or journalists could include writing samples of published articles.
    • When showing off a portfolio, remember to explain any drawings or images to the interviewer, so they have some idea of what they’re looking at.
    • If a portfolio doesn’t make sense for your line of work, you can make statements like: “My digital marketing work with our cookie manufacturer client lead to a 150% increase in their annual sales.” You could say this when asked about your past job and what you achieved there.

[Edit]Choose an appropriate outfit for the job you’re interviewing for.

  1. Plan what you will wear ahead of time, so you’re ready on interview day. Your outfit will be one of the first impressions your interviewer has about you, so make sure you put thought into it. Regardless of the type of job you are applying for, you should dress sharp and never be too casual. Iron your clothes if necessary to make sure they’re unwrinkled and don’t wear anything with stains or tears.[4]
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    • For men, a suit, tie, and jacket is a strong look that shows you are professional, but in this day and age it’s not always necessary. You may go this route for a corporate office job interview, but for a more casual company you could wear clean, fitted jeans and a shirt with a blazer.
    • Women can wear a blouse with slacks or a pencil skirt for a versatile professional look.

[Edit]Project confidence through your body language.

  1. Much of your communication is done through body language. Keep your shoulders back and your feet fixed on the floor. Keep your hands by your side and gesture when you’re talking as you normally would. Maintain eye contact and smile while you talk with the interviewer.[5]
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    • Practice good posture by keeping your shoulders back, your back straight, and your chin up.
    • Don’t keep anything in your lap like a briefcase or purse. Keep your hands and arms steady, and free of objects that you may subconsciously play with during your interview.
    • Placing your hands on the table and leaning slightly forward can show you’re interested and engaged in the conversation, as well as prevent you from accidentally fidgeting if you’re nervous.

[Edit]Limit your answers to 2-4 main points.

  1. This holds the interviewer’s attention and keeps your answers focused. Listen to the interviewer’s question carefully, then begin your answer with 1 main statement that directly answers the question. Follow it up with 2-3 supporting points that qualify you further.[6]
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    • For example, if the interviewer asks: “Why should we hire you?” say: “My years of experience in the software industry make me the best candidate for this job.” Then, follow up by saying: “I spent the past 5 years working for the top software development company in this city, and prior to that I worked with 2 successful startups to develop their apps right after I graduated college.”
    • You can call out your separate points to the interviewer by saying: “First…second…third.” Or, by saying: “To begin with…next…finally.”
    • Try to complete your main point within the first 8 seconds of your answer, which is the average attention span of human beings.

[Edit]State how you can bring value to the company.

  1. You want to clearly explain why you are the absolute best candidate for the job. Share specific skills that helped you achieve something valuable in your current job or in past roles. Explain what you can do with those same skills if they hire you for this job.[7]
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    • For example, you can say your strong leadership skills allowed you to manage a team of sales reps to increase cell phone sales in the store you managed by 300% last year. Then, say that you believe you could help this new company at least double their sales if they hire you to manage their sales reps.

[Edit]Give detailed examples of your strengths to show instead of tell.

  1. Interviewers are looking for more than simple word descriptions of why you are great. They are listening for you to share a great example from your experiences that really shows who you are and how you approach things. Avoid using buzzwords like “collaborative” or “dynamic” to describe yourself. Instead, tell the interviewer about how you were an integral part of the marketing team at your past job and how you had to work with people from many different departments in the company your worked at.[8]
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    • For instance, don’t just say you are a great team player. Instead, give an example of a time you were required to collaborate on a project with coworkers and how you dealt with that.[9]
    • Not all of your examples need to come from the workplace. Give an example of a personal struggle you have endured and how you overcame it to demonstrate a personal strength.
    • For example, you could talk about how you moved from another country and how it was hard at first to adapt to the local culture, especially in the workplace, but you were able to get used to it and excel in your past job.

[Edit]Ask questions to show critical thinking and an interest in learning.

  1. Interviewers are looking for candidates who can ask questions as well as answer them. Come up with a list of questions about the company and the job before your interview and ask them at the end when given the opportunity. Keep track of anything your interviewer says during the interview that you want to follow up on and ask questions when appropriate.[10]
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    • If your interviewer asks you about a technology or procedure during the interview you are not familiar with, don’t get nervous. Instead, admit that you are unfamiliar, but that you would love to learn more about it, then ask them a question about it to show your curiosity.
    • For example, if you’re asked about your Google analytics experience, but you haven’t used that before, say something like: “I haven’t had the opportunity to use that tool in the workplace yet, but I’m really interested to learn it because I’ve heard how helpful it is. What’s the most important benefit your teams receive from using it?”
    • You can also ask the interviewer opinion-based questions like: “What do you think the biggest challenge I would face coming into this role is?”

[Edit]Speak positively about past employers to be professional.

  1. Negative remarks about old bosses or jobs look unprofessional. Don’t complain about your past employers to your interviewer. That type of behavior comes across as immature and is unproductive. Instead, speak of the future. Talk about what you have learned from your past employers and how excited you are to begin new endeavors. This will show you are a positive, professional person.[11]
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    • For example, when the interviewer asks you about why you left your recent job, don’t tell them how much you hated the role and couldn’t stand your last boss. Instead, say something about how you felt it was time to move on and find new challenges to grow as a professional and learn more skills.

[Edit]Think about your answers to keep them clear and concise.

  1. Not thinking before you answer can lead to overly long or poor answers. Knowing exactly what your answer is going to be also helps you avoid using too many filler words, such as “like,” “uh,” and “um.” It’s perfectly okay to tell the interviewer you need a second to think about your response to a certain question. In fact, it will show them you care about giving a good answer and are a good communicator.[12]
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    • For example, if your interviewer asks you a question you don’t immediately have an answer prepared for, say something like: “That’s a really good question! Give me a moment to think about that one.”

[Edit]Thank your interviewer to show your gratitude and interest.

  1. This lets them know you appreciate the time they took to interview you. Thank them immediately when the interview ends. After your interview is over and you’re at home, follow up with a thank you note to your interviewer via email or a direct message on LinkedIn. This is also an opportunity to re-state your interest in the job and briefly remind them why you think you’re a great candidate.[13]
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    • For example, you could send a message like, “I just wanted to thank you again for taking the time to interview me this afternoon. I really enjoyed our conversation and I’m very excited about this opportunity because I think I would be a really good fit for the marketing coordinator role due to my past experience with digital marketing in agency settings.”

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