The Interview: Selling Yourself

Being interviewed comes second-nature to a salesperson.¬†¬†He or she knows to ask questions,¬†listen intently to their prospect’s responses/objections and obtain their¬†feedback, all of which helps them¬†derive an understanding of what the prospect is looking for and¬†then, they meet those needs with suitable products or services.

In selling ourselves, the mechanics are the same.¬† But for those of us who may be unfamiliar with the sales process—or “rusty”¬†at¬† being interviewed,?¬†as some clients say,¬†the analogy may be helpful.¬†¬†Of course, you will be required to answer some questions first, predicated on some combination of the job description at hand along with your accomplishment statements listed on your resume.¬†¬†You might anticipate what these may be and prepare accordingly.

Because the interview is a two-way process, however, you want to ask questions of your interviewer.¬†¬†These are¬†appropriately tailored questions¬†for that position, based on your research, both to demonstrate your interest and allow you to conduct your own evaluation.¬†¬†In the end, you will want to¬†seal the prospect’s interest by delivering yourself as one to help them meet their goals—as a company, a department , an individual.

Remember that the¬†prospective employer wants to have confidence in your skill set, knowing that you¬†can do the job, but he also needs to know that you desire this position, that you are indeed motivated to perform in this particular capacity.¬†¬†Your resume got you “in the door,” now¬†the intent of the interview is to “kick the tires,” as my¬†colleague likes to say.¬† They want to see and hear you in person and determine your “fit.”¬† They want to like you.

But again, you are both looking for the same thing.¬† You¬†also want to like them, so you are mindful that as you obtain the answers to¬†your questions, you will assess from your perspective, whether you can do the job, whether your interest level is adequately¬†substantial and if this position in this organization feels like a good “fit.”

Ultimately, the feelings have to be mutual or they won’t work anyway.¬†¬†So take heart, do your best to convey your assets and meet the employer’s¬†needs, but remain mindful about¬†your own objectives.¬†¬†Framing it in this manner will also help in maintaining composure that places¬†you in a position of self-control and confidence.

About the author, Saleh

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