Can You Sell Yourself On a Job Interview?

Whether you are applying for a job at the local mini-mart or as a top executive for a small or large business, being able to sell yourself is critically important.

So, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being poor and 10 being great), how would you consider your selling skills when it comes to the job hunt?

While some job applicants find the interviewing process a piece of cake, others sweat their way through it, oftentimes doing something along the way that eliminates them from the competition.

Appearance and Communication Top the List

When going for an interview, your appearance and means of communication with your interviewer are just as important if not more so as what your resume says about you. It is important for those interviewing to concentrate on their non-verbal means of communication so they make a mistake or mistakes. Remember, your non-verbal communications can actually make or break the results you want.

When you first meet and greet your interviewer, do you make good eye contact and deliver a firm handshake? If not, you could lose points right off the bat, leaving you to have to play catch up over the course of the interview.

Some other missteps that can doom an interview include not smiling, appearing unusually nervous, demonstrating bad posture, bad wardrobe or grooming and being animated when asked simple questions. Oh, this seems like a no-brainer, but don’t be late to your interview; you’d be amazed what message a little tardiness (non-emergency) can mean to an employer before you even sit down for a one-on-one chat.

A good way to avoid many if not all of these mistakes is by doing a practice interview the night before in front of family, friends and/or a mirror. While you don’t want to come across as too rehearsed, a little practice never hurt anyone. This also holds true with getting to your interview on time. It never hurts to do a practice run so you know the exact location of the interview and about how long it will take to get there.

When it comes to actually starting the meeting, be sure to maintain good eye contact with the person interviewing you. By being focused in on your interviewer, you’re engaged in the discussion and interested in what the company may be able to offer you; staring past the interviewer is surely not sending a good signal.

Know the Right Questions to Ask?

While not talking over or continuously interrupting your interviewer, it is to be expected that you will have some questions regarding the company, so prepare them ahead of time. This allows you to come ready to learn about the position you’re applying for, how your role will impact the employer and what the company can do for you.

One question that should not be at the forefront of your list is how much money the job will pay, as nothing looks worse than if you’re only interested in the salary. While it is only natural to want to know what your income will be with your new employer, don’t be overly aggressive in getting to that issue.

Finally, the reason you’re on an interview in the first place is that you either lost your last job or are looking to switch jobs. With either being the case, do not talk bad about your former or present employer. The last thing an individual should do is burn bridges with a former or present boss. Doing so can have a negative impact going forward on your career, not to mention come across to a potential employer as negative and one reason not to hire you.

When you land a job interview - the bottom line is simple - Sell, sell and sell yourself.

Dave Thomas, who writes on subjects such as VoIP phone service and credit card processing writes extensively for SanDiego-based Business.com.

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