How many golf balls fit inside an airplane? How would you describe the internet to a three-year-old? What's your biggest weakness?
Companies have been known to ask these types of tough brainteasers during an interview. And even if they don't ask absolute head-scratchers, you're still likely to come up against a few questions that stop you in your tracks.
How do you sell yourself in a job interview?
There are six crucial ways to sell yourself in a job interview. To summarize:
- Take an active role in the interview
- Research the company
- Anticipate interview questions and craft answers
- Choose particular accomplishments to discuss during the interview
- Foresee potential distractions and avoid them at all costs
- Send thank-you emails after the interview
Instead of worrying about all of the little things that can go wrong during an interview, you need to start focusing on the big picture: You. It's your job to sell yourself as the right candidate for the job, according to entrepreneur James Clear, who said you don't need to bloat your professional achievements, just make sure that you paint the best possible picture of yourself.
Let’s go into more detail about each point so that you learn how to sell yourself, keep your cool, and land the job offer:
1. Reverse the Roles
Instead of feeling like you're headed into an inquisition, try taking a more active role during the interview by asking a lot of questions to make sure the job is the right one for you.
Clear suggested that in order to be enthusiastic during an interview, you should only apply to jobs that you're really interested in. This will help you be fully engaged during the interview process and ask more questions about the company and the position. It's always best to focus on a few jobs that you really want, then tailor your resume to each specific opening.
2. Do Your Research
Before your interview, do as much research as you can about the company. This will help you ask important questions, but will also let the interviewer know you understand the what the company does and what your role would be if you got the job. You should also try to relate what you know about the position when answering questions.
3. Be prepared
Being prepared means more than just practicing your interview questions and making sure you arrive on time. It also means that you need to know exactly why you're applying for a job. If you understand the real reasons why you want the job in the first place, it will help drive a lot of your answers during the interview.
4. Create Your Go-To List
Clear said that once you understand what the company wants and why you're a good fit, you can create an "I can handle it" list. This list will highlight certain accomplishments from your past, and compare them to job duties in the target position. In essence, they'llprove that you can handle the job.
Also, think about creating a list of sound bites or short sentences that you want to include throughout the interview. These short phrases are a great jumping off point for telling stories or giving examples of how you used your skills to resolve problems or be a good team player.
5. Avoid Missteps
There are also many common mistakes you can make that could ruin your chance at landing the job.
You need to make sure that you're not distracting, so never bring a drink or food into your interview. Also, turn off your cell phone, pay close attention to what the interviewer is saying, and don't talk too much about irrelevant issues.
6. Follow Up
Always make sure you follow the interview with separate thank-you notes to each person you met. You can send a quick email immediately after the meeting, but always make sure to also send one snail mail message telling them why you're excited about working for the company.
Together, your resume and cover letter is your ticket to an interview. Do you have these documents in shape? If not, check out our helpful resources.