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How to Sell Yourself to Interviewers

Updated on June 25, 2012
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

Have you always believed that a job interview is a friendly discussion with someone who has your best interests at heart? Absolutely not so! An interview is a classic sales encounter. You are the seller who meets a potential employer, the buyer, and you must perform like a dynamic salesperson to convince that buyer that you are worth purchasing.

Successful sales people follow specific strategies to sell a product. You can be just as successful selling your product - you - to an interviewer. Here are the strategies to use:

1. Know your market. The catchword in real estate is location, location, location. In interviewing, it's research, research, research. Market research is the key to success. Learning about a potential employer allows you to identify sales "hot buttons" and link your answers to company objectives. Before you interview, learn all you can about the company's culture, mission, products and structure.

Here are some comprehensive research:resources: a) Google the company name to discover its website. b) - the leading source for press releases, photos, multimedia and regulatory filings from companies throughout the world. c) - company overviews and rankings as well as career advice. d) - company information with detailed business reports and industry profiles. d) The Annual Reports Library - original annual reports from corporations, foundations, banks, mutual funds and public institutions. e) Thomas Register ( - comprehensive information on suppliers of industrial products and services in North America.f) - free corporate profiles. g) - earnings information for corporations directly from securities analysts.

2. Know your product. You! What are your strengths? Your skills? Your accomplishments? How will you benefit the company? Do you have complete product knowledge of yourself? Not just your functional talents like marketing, finance, IT, human resources, etc., but the broad abilities you possess such as negotiating, forecasting, organizing. And personality-based traits like assertiveness, dedication, and interpersonal skills.

3. Show the benefits of your product. Example: men don't buy electric drills. They buy the holes that the drills make. Women don't buy shampoo. They buy the softness, shine and clean hair that the shampoo produces. What can you as a product do for the company? What benefits can you provide? Review your career for examples of exceptional performance and accomplishments. Write down brief anecdotes describing these successes and how they relate to the employer's goals.

4. Counter objections. Identify potential objections in your background and develop answers to difficult questions about your skills, experience level, or education. Then if an objection is raised, you can quickly and assertively offer a solution. This is called "cushioning" an objection by salespeople.

Example: Interviewer: "I see you have only a 2-year degree. We prefer candidates to have their bachelor's. Your answer: "Yes, I can certainly understand the need for more education and that has been one of my career goals. I have completed more than . . . "

5. Use the ABC's of sales - Always Be Closing. If you are interested in the position, then like a good sales person, you want to ask for the order. Say something like: "I am very interested in this position. What is the next step?" or "Where do we go from here?"

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2012 rev. All rights reserved.


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    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      You would most certainly be seen as forthright, firm and assertive, epi, with that approach. Would it get you the job offer? Doubtful! :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ...well first of all and right off the bat I tell them I follow DRBJ's hubs religiously - and if you don't like that - well you can take your job and shove it!!!! (with respects to Johnny Paycheque who wrote the song - lol lol)

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      froggy - I'm so glad you found this hub and that you find it useful. No matter how many times we interview, it is often a harrowing process and rehearsing possible responses to the interviewing questions ahead of time will help.

      Maneuver to and you will find the best answers to 38 common and also tricky interviewing questions.

      I agree, an interviewer that drones on and on will either put you to sleep or cause your eyes to glaze over.

      If you have any concerns about any potential intrviewing questions, just ask me and I promise to come up with an answer.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      drbj this was a useful and informative read. I'll be job hunting soon and although I don't have a huge problem being interviewed, I still like to be ready. And it's been a while so ... notes taken.

      It is kinda horrifying when you get a squirmy question or worse, an interviewer that talks so much that you forget what the questions is. All their waffle muddies the water.

      Makes for moments that tend to start off with 'errr what was the actual question?'.

      My favorite interview was one where I stormed out. I was pretty cheesed off with the set up and in the end, refused to be interviewed :)