Selling yourself in an interview is often hard. Even if you have the right skills and would be the best fit for the position, putting it into words can be rather difficult. However, if you want to increase your chances of getting the job, you will need to sell yourself the right way.
Many job seekers end up using the same old clichés when they step into the interviewing room. Look at it this way, employers and recruitment managers have gotten tired of hearing the same old statements from every interviewee.
Yes, you’re trying to tell the employer that you’re a workaholic, a team player, and the most suitable candidate for the position.
What should you keep away from, and what should you say to ensure you have sold your skills and experience?
Cliché #1: I’m hardworking
This is the perfect answer to the ‘Why should we hire you?’ question right? Wrong!
While this is one of the most common responses, it has zero emotional appeal.
Instead of using this line, illustrate it by using examples from your previous work experience. You might, for instance, say ‘I’m results-oriented, while I was working at …’
Cliché #2: I’m a team player
You’re obviously not going to say you don’t work well with other people, neither will you call yourself a control freak, but neither should you simply say you’re a team player.
Recruitment officers want to hire someone who builds to the company’s synergy. You can position yourself as a team player by illustrating this from past practice.
Talk about the teams you have been in, the contribution you have put in, and the successes achieved. If you also have leadership roles, you can include how you managed and handled internal conflicts.
Cliché #3: I’m a workaholic
When the interviewer asks you what your greatest weakness is, you should keep away from calling yourself a workaholic. This is another common phrase that has lost its emotional appeal.
This is one of the questions that determine if the employer will seriously consider you or not. You should not incriminate yourself with your weaknesses, but neither should you flip the script and talk about your strengths.
If for instance, you’re being interviewed for an accounting position, you can say something like ‘I’m not good at speaking in meetings or in public…’ and then proceed to talk about how you’re working to overcome these weaknesses.
Cliché #4: I’m open to anything
Never ever be open to anything while in an interview. There are two ways this statement can be interpreted by the interviewer; one, you don’t know what position would be applicable to you. Two, you’re okay if you have the job or not. While you should never despairingly beg for the job, you should not look like you’re indifferent about getting the job.
Always act interested in filling the position, and phrase your words in the future tense, picturing yourself in the company already.
Cliché #5: I’m perfect for this position
This is another commonly used phrase. Some interviewees go as far as terming it severally through the interview.
The interviewer called you in for the interview because they were impressed with your CV and thinks you could potentially fit the position.
When you feel like this is the answer you want to give, change it to something like ‘I Know this organization is into farming/philanthropy/beauty products…’ then talk about how important the field they’re in is to you. To phrase it otherwise, you’re telling them why you’ll fit into the company and specific position.
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There’s an art to selling yourself. You want to come off as unique and memorable amongst all the candidates. The golden rule to answering most questions in an interview is to show, not to tell.
If you’d like more personalized training on how to ace any interview, you can book an interview coaching session with an experienced recruiter.