How to Sell Yourself in an Interview in 6 Steps (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Job interviews are often an employer's first impression of you. When an employer invites you to take part in an interview, it's vital to promote yourself to show that you're an excellent candidate for a position. Learning how to sell yourself in a job interview may help you appeal to the interviewer and secure a position. In this article, we provide a list of steps that you can take to set yourself apart from other candidates during a job interview.

Related: Email Examples: How to Respond to an Employer Interview Request

Why is it important to sell yourself in a job interview?

It's important to sell yourself in a job interview to show the interviewer that you're the right candidate for the position. It's important to convince a potential employer that you have the skills and qualifications that they're looking, while also demonstrating that you're a good match for their work environment and company culture. By talking about your knowledge, skills and achievements confidently during an interview, you may increase the chances of you securing a job offer. Here are some other reasons why it's important to promote yourself in a job interview:

  • Leave a lasting impression: Selling yourself may help you leave a lasting impression on your interviewer, which can help them keep you in mind while making a hiring decision.

  • Demonstrate your skills: While you may describe your skills to the interviewer, you have the opportunity to demonstrate them throughout the interview by speaking confidently, dressing professionally and arriving on time. Showing these skills may help you position yourself as the best candidate for the job.

  • Set you apart from other candidates: Interviewers may meet with dozens of people for a position, so it's important to help them remember you in a professional way that sets you apart from other candidates. Selling yourself with confidence can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and show that you can bring a positive attitude to a workplace.

Related: 4 Interview Invitation Email Examples to Make an Impression

How to sell yourself in an interview

Here are the steps that you can take to promote your qualifications and demonstrate that you're a valuable addition to a workplace:

1. Dress professionally

Often, the way that you dress for an interview influences the first impression that interviewers may have of you. To better promote yourself, it's important to dress in a way that showcases your professionalism and close attention to detail. Try choosing an outfit the night before the interview, so that you can have a proper amount of time to decide on an outfit that works for you. While a company's environment or dress code may be casual, it's typically best to wear formal clothing for an interview.

2. Improve your body language

Body language is an essential part of showing that you feel calm and confident while speaking to the interviewer. Try improving your body language beforehand. Try to maintain good posture and eye contact. Consider asking a friend to observe your body language to identify areas of improvement that you may work on before the interview.

Related: Body Language Tips for a Job Interview

3. Get comfortable talking about yourself

Give yourself permission to talk about yourself positively and to take pride in your accomplishments. You can practise this skill before the interview by talking into a mirror, asking a friend to listen or just talking out loud to yourself while you're doing another task. One technique that can help you talk about yourself comfortably is by using metrics to describe your achievements.

Make a list of specific things you achieved, like how much money you saved on a project, the percentage by which you reduced staff turnover or how much sales increased under your leadership. This adds a level of objectivity to your statements. Another way to get comfortable speaking about yourself is to project confidence during your interview. You can appear confident through your tone of voice and body language. The more prepared you are for an interview, the more confident you may feel.

Related: 15 Common Difficult Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

4. Tailor your qualifications to the job description

One of the most important sales tactics is to know your customer. In the case of selling yourself for an interview, it's vital that you understand the potential employer's needs and desires to the best of your ability. Read the job description, investigate the company's history and learn about its corporate culture. Ask yourself, What does the company need from someone in this role?

After developing your answer, be sure to craft your answers to common interview questions in a way that showcases your understanding of their position and your unique ability to fulfil their needs. Try including keywords mentioned in the job description. For example, if a job description mentions that a company is looking for candidates with marketing experience, tailor your answers to include your familiarity with marketing techniques and processes. By doing so, you can show the interviewer that you're a good match for the position.

5. Plan your talking points

Write down exactly how you're the best candidate for the job, choosing words that align with the qualities the employer is seeking. Memorise your main points so you can discuss them naturally. Preparation and practice can help you promote yourself smoothly in your interview.

One way to practise your talking points is to develop a 30-second elevator speech about yourself. You can create a personal summary by combining the key highlights of your experience in 25 words or fewer. Your goal here is to stay on topic and make every word count. Structure your speech so that your self-introduction is followed by a brief overview of your career objectives and accomplishments. For maximum impact, keep your audience in mind, and avoid vague terms like loyalty, courteousness and kindness, unless you can relate them directly to the job.

Related: Common Job Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers and Experienced Professionals

6. Ask questions

At the end of the interview, the interviewer may ask if you have any questions for them. This is a good opportunity for you to continue selling yourself by showing your interest and enthusiasm in the position and company. You might ask about the company's products or plans for the future. Consider tactfully sharing something positive about your experience with the company as a consumer, if you can.

Here are some other questions you may ask:

  • How does your team measure success for new employees?

  • Are you familiar with the projects that I may work on when starting with the company?

  • What do you enjoy about working for this company?

  • What are management's expectations for team members?

  • What does a typical day in the position look like?

  • Do you expect the key responsibilities of this position to change within the next year?

  • What are the attributes of an employee who may succeed in this role?

  • Can you list some challenges that employees in this role may face?

Tips to help you sell yourself

Here are some tips to help you present your skills and qualifications effectively:

Bring additional materials

Consider bringing additional materials to the interview, like a resume or cover letter. This can show that you have close attention to detail and that you're a well-prepared candidate. If your industry uses portfolios, consider taking advantage of this tool to demonstrate your talents. A well-organised display of your accomplishments can help you remember your talking points and showcase your professional skills. Be sure to create a minimum of two copies of each document that you decide to bring, so that you can offer a copy to the interviewer.

Create a meaningful summary

Though interviewers may not require that you provide a summary of yourself at the beginning of the interview, it may be useful to prepare a thoughtful summary to demonstrate your achievements and skills. Typically, a professional summary, sometimes called an elevator pitch, is 30 to 60 seconds long and provides interviewers with a brief insight into your background, qualifications and reasons why you're a good fit for the role.

It's important to tailor each elevator pitch to the role you're applying for, so be sure to change the details about your talents and experience depending on the role's requirements and duties. Here's some information that you may include in your summary:

  • full name

  • one to two skills

  • work experience

  • career goals

  • why you applied for this role

  • what sets you apart from other candidates

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