Sell Yourself During a Job Interview!

As a child, I was told it was inappropriate to brag. Singing one’s own praises was considered impolite.  In fact, most of us have heard the expression, “No one likes a braggart.” I agree that boasting about oneself is not looked upon favorably and arrogance is certainly not an admirable character trait.  However, there are times in life when it is important to speak of one’s accomplishments and talents.  And the job interview is one of those times.

A job interview is an opportunity to meet a prospective employer face-to-face, to provide details that explain the bullet points on your resume and bring to life your LinkedIn profile.   After all, if you are called for an interview then the employer has already reviewed your application and has knowledge of your education and work experience.  Now they want to learn more about you to determine if you are the right person for the job.

So how do you talk about yourself without coming off as a braggart?  Select a few key attributes to discuss, give relevant context to those accomplishments and present them in a manner that is informative, engaging and professional.  While what you say is important and how you say it is critical, why you provide this information is perhaps most significant.  Whatever details you choose to communicate to a potential employer should be relevant to the job.

For example, discuss a project or work experience that you are particularly proud of but be specific about what makes you proud of this accomplishment.  Did you foster teamwork amongst a non-cohesive group of reluctant co-workers?  If so, this demonstrates leadership.  Did you develop a creative solution to an existing problem?  This shows innovative thinking.  Perhaps you encountered an obstacle that forced you to get out of your comfort zone in order to overcome that hurdle. Then you are willing to face challenges to reach a goal.  Share specific examples that reveal something about your personality and use these examples to highlight your strengths and abilities.

While you are preparing answers to questions regarding your work and experience, take time to compose a few questions of your own.  According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, many job seekers spend most of their time developing answers to interviewer’s questions but the questions a candidate asks can be what makes them stand out from the others.  Questions that not only reveal an interest in the company but also illustrate an ability to discuss aspects of the business can make a lasting impression.

So go ahead and brag a little.  It just may land you a job.

Career Advice, Interviewing, Recruiting

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