By Tiro Talent Services
Research shows 87.6% of all job interview start with one of three questions:
• “So, tell me about yourself.”
• “What are your greatest strengths?”
• “Why should I hire you?”
Generally the reaction to these questions is one of panic. Yep, the good old British issues come into play and even the most seasoned of sales people struggle to talk positively about themselves. We can get on any social media platform going and showcase our lives without hesitation however up close and personal we are not so confident.
Why are we so bad at selling ourselves? If you’ve done your research, done all your interview preparation and planned for possible questions, why is it so hard to hit the ‘play’ button and start promoting yourself? When the spotlight’s on, why do we look like a deer in headlights?
Psychologists would say it’s the fear of rejection or humiliation. Maybe it’s the lack of basic ego, the belief that anything that comes out of your mouth is just worthless waffle, or the fear that you’re not actually showcasing what it is the Interviewer wants to see. All sounding a little familiar? Well I have news for you, you are not alone. Those butterfly’s hit the best of them when it’s time to sell themselves. The higher the stakes – I really want this job! – the bigger those butterfly’s seem to be. But just because everyone suffers the same reaction doesn’t mean that you can’t master some basic techniques to pull yourself together and blow prospective employers away.
Cut to the Chase
One big thing to remember is employers aren’t interested in who you are. What they want to know is what you can do for them.
The next principle is that you need to learn how to sell yourself in the past tense. To put a finer point on it, employers want to know what you have already done. If you can give them examples what you have already done it shows what you should be capable of for your next employer.
• “I am a very good project manager.”
• “I have always performed best in situations that required strong project management abilities.”
The 2 sentences above look the same but I’m sure you would agree the 2nd sounds more convincing as it isn’t just self-praise
Keep It Simple
Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of using fancy words that you wouldn’t normally use. If you drop in a bunch of high-level words and phrases not used in everyday speech, the interviewer will likely think that your answers are rehearsed and you stop giving them a true idea of who you are. Interviewers can detect fake from a mile off. Being prepared for an interview is good, but looking like you’ve rehearsed stock answers and impressive-sounding words is definitely not. Anything that suggests your answers are not spontaneous makes it look like you’re trying to trick the interviewer.
Once you’ve learned how to sell yourself in the past tense, try a few specific techniques on for size. One comfortable way to sing your own praises is to let other people do it for you. This could be called the “other people tell me” approach, and it sounds like this:
Well, my staff tells me they like working for me more than any of their prior supervisors because, they say, I’m fair, listen to their point of view, and provide clear performance values and feedback.
The source of such praise can be informal, such as “My friends tell me I am a great listener,” or it can be official: “I was named Salesperson of the Year in 2005, 2007 and 2008.” This method may sit better as you are only passing over past compliments as opposed to having to sing about how great you are.