More Than One Way to “Sell Yourself” in a Job Interview

November 08, 2012 |

There is a “hard sell” approach – the hard-core sales person – and there is a “consultant” approach – letting the customer you understand their problem.

Selling yourself doesn’t just come naturally to most people, but one of the first rules of sales is to understand where the customer is coming from. Anyone who works in sales would tell you that you should “qualify” your customer first before you begin the sale.

There are those sales people that can sell vacuums to people in dirt huts – but chances are that you are NOT a natural-born sales person or you wouldn’t be reading this article.

Step #1

Researching the company is essential to trying to sell yourself as a solution to a problem. First you have to define the problem –“sounds like you are looking for…”

Step #2

When you can fully understand what “they” are looking for only then can you let them know that you are the solution or best candidate for the job.

Step #3

Read through the posting or job description three times. once for content. Then, read it a second time for specific words that are emphasized. There will be specific words used according to the job or industry that you are applying for. Make a list of these words to use as “key factors” needed. Now, return to the job posting and read it once more. This time read “between the lines.” What would it take to do this job? If for instance, there is a statement such as, “Position will require frequent collaboration and interaction on all levels of staff and management,” you can gather that “strong interpersonal” and “communication” skills” will be needed to do this job. By making a list of “key requirements” you can match them against what you have to offer.

Step #4

Answer the question “Why should we hire you?”

This is the key to letting the interviewer know that you not only know your product (even if it is a vacuum cleaner) but let them know why they should invest in you.

Job interview expert Carole Martin has been a prime contributor to our Veteran Jobs blog, and now she’s offering her advice to veterans and service members who have questions, general or specific, about tackling the civilian job interview process. Send Carole your questions at interviewquestions@interviewcoach.com, and moving forward, we’ll feature her answers in this blog.

The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. She is also a contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio. Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. You can download her free worksheet for determining your Values Exercise at the Interview Coach website. Follow The Interview Coach on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin to learn about current workshops and seminars Carole is offering.

About Carole Martin

The Interview Coach, Carole Martin, is a celebrated author, job coach, and speaker on the subject of interviewing and recruiting. A contributing writer at Monster.com and featured on talk radio, Carole is using her proven methods for coaching job seekers on competitive interviewing skills in technical and non-technical industries. Learn more about her Federal Agency Interview Coaching and Coaching for Business Interviews at www.interviewcoach.com.
I've updated my website and products - more for your money, new free bonuses and Skype Interview Coaching. www.interviewcoach.com
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Comments

  1. PhelpsHumphrey says:

    So what is a good starter for someone to create an answer to the question "Why should we hire you?"….

  2. Guest says:

    You should hire me because..I've led thousands of men into battle with everything from horses and swords to artillery and tanks. I've seen the headwaters of the Nile, and tribes of natives no white man had ever seen before. I've won and lost a dozen fortunes, KILLED MANY MEN and loved only one woman with a passion a FLEA like you could never begin to understand..sum it up with my name is ________ and i can start tomorrow.

  3. kevin says:

    I believe that my qualifications suit the job description and my abilities will allow me to be a valuable asset to the companies growth and overall production.

  4. NetAdmin says:

    I’m good at what I do. My qualities are very skilled (depending on job) and there is nothing I can’t do. If there is something that I stumble across that I find complicated I’m sure with the right training (from the company) that I can figure it out and do it with no hesitation. ~This landed me a Network Administrator position with a fortune 500 company making a very warming salary plus bonus. I never said that before in any interview and I figured why not, their gonna train me to do it their way reguardless of what I know or went to school to learn.

  5. mike V says:

    You should hire me because I am good at proofing your work, and you're not. How can you get away with this…
    "…and there is a “consultant” approach – letting the customer you understand their problem…"

    It should read "letting the customer KNOW you understand their problem."

    • john says:

      thanks, what ever happened to "doctor, heal thyself". Aren't job seekers supposed to put out flawless copy? Do bloggers get paid?

  6. Monsoon says:

    It’s not that simple. I think in today’s competive job market most companies view employees as liabilities. Therefore you have to prove yourself and make your employer know there is value in your knowledge, skills and abilities. If your companies business model is where they put stockholders and investors before employees then chances are you’re working for the wrong company.

    When interviewing make sure you know the “hard skillset” they are looking for and the “soft skillset”. Just because you know how to do your job well doesn’t mean you’ll be a good fit for the company. I’ve applied for many position where I was 90 to 95 percent match with little feedback or job offers.

    There could be several factors who or who they not hire. To make yourself standout from the crowd consider getting a license or certification in what you do.