Do you think selling yourself in a job interview is “selling out?”
I hear this from clients from time to time: “I hate the idea of marketing to prospective employers. I am just me. I shouldn’t have to ‘sell myself’ to get a job!”
I think the problem is that our definition of marketing conjures up feelings of going against our authentic selves. After all, if someone doesn’t like us for who we are, then the job probably isn’t suited for us anyway, right?
Let me offer another perspective on selling yourself to a potential employer: when you are able to communicate your strengths in a way that compels others, you are doing yourself and them a great favor. After all, you can’t help a company that doesn’t hire you.
To boost your “know, like and trust” factor in job interviews, it’s vital you know how to encourage potential employers to hire you in a way that’s ethical, full of integrity and authentically you.
The more you learn and understand how to truly “sell” yourself, the more you will attract the interest of employers, receive bigger and better job offers, and feel confident communicating the multiple ways you can help potential businesses get the results they want and that only you can deliver. Then everyone gets what they both need and desire.
Below are three tips use can use in your very next job interview.
Tip #1: At the beginning of the interview, ask what the potential employer is looking for in a star candidate.
As you casually jot down what they share with you, pay attention to those key words and phrases that match what you love to do the most. Let’s say for example you are a marketing manager who is an expert at product launches; they mention they just had a problem with their latest product launch and are looking for help there. Circle that challenge! You have just been given a BIG gift by your interviewer!
Tip:2 Dig by asking more questions about their challenge.
Utilize the gift you have just been given and ask more questions about their product launch challenge such as:
- Why do they think they were not successful with their product launch?
- Who has tried so far to fix the problem?
- What would it mean to them if the problem was fixed?
Tip #3: Seed the interview by frequently mentioning your value in terms of your product launch expertise.
If you are a marketing expert, you will frequently share the results of your marketing efforts throughout the interview.
Plus, you can mention plenty of stories that highlight results you have achieved. The best ones clearly paint a before and after picture (and the worse the better, so don’t hold back). Think of all the problems, challenges and dire situations with past product launches with previous companies that you have taken on and how great things are now that you have helped them.
BONUS TIP: Make THEM an offer they can’t resist.
The point is to create an “offer” that’s so irresistible, your interviewers think, “We have to hire this person!”
To do this, you need to offer something they believe they can’t get anywhere else. Be creative!
Continuing with the product launch example, you could offer to fix the problem within a certain time frame. Or, as part of your interview, come in for a couple hours and evaluate the product launch in more detail. Then you could offer some solutions (don’t give too much away when you do this though; they have to hire you for that!).
Here are some additional examples:
- One of my clients quickly received a robust offer because he promised to produce at least two potential solutions to a challenge the company was facing within 60 days.
- As part of her interview process, another client set up a 1/2 day, on-site observation of the potential employer’s media company. She then presented an outline of 10 ideas to improve their work environment and boost their ratings. They offered her a whopping 100K over what she had been making previously. All this, even after she was let go from that previous position. I love it.
You will benefit from shifting your thinking if you look at selling from the vantage point that you must be disingenuous, or that to “win” someone else must lose.
When you unburden yourself from these limiting beliefs, you will instantaneously feel more free to communicate to your interviewers how you can authentically help them. By doing so, you will be removing the obstacles (including money, time and your competition) that might otherwise stand between you and the job offer(s) you want.