How to sell your skills at interviews

In this exclusive article from Go Zambia Jobs, we explain why you need to sell your skills during an interview and how this can be done.

Why sell yours skills at interview?

The definition of the word “sell” is to persuade or induce someone to buy or accept something. The candidate who gets the job is not always the one with the most skills or experience. It is often the one who has been able to sell their skills and experience during the interview.

Could it be that although you were the best candidate for the job you failed to adequately persuade the employer of this during the interview?

How can you sell your skills at interview?

1. Speak up. To sell yourself to an employer you need to verbally explain how your skills, experience and knowledge will improve their company. You cannot rely on the employer obtaining this information from your CV or application – you will have to explain this to them during the interview. If you say very little and provide only limited answers and information you will reduce your chances of obtaining the job.

2. Focus on you. For many people it is natural to speak modestly about their achievements. Some people will even talk more about the role of others rather than their own role in the achievement. If you fail to speak out about your achievements and/or over emphasis the role of others rather than your own role you are not giving the employer the best impression about how much you can help their organisation.

3. Prepare in advance.  In order to sell yourself at interview you must prepare adequately in advance. Find out all you can about:

  • The sector in which the company operates
  • The ethos of the company
  • The skills, experience and qualifications required for the role

You should also think of the types of questions that you may be asked by the employer. Check out the following articles on interview tips:

A practice interview with a friend or family member can also help you to improve your interview performance.

4. Listen and react.  Successful selling is also about listening and reacting. You can show that you are actively listening during the through the use of body language and verbal affirmations.  Ensuring that you listen carefully to the employer will also ensure that you can pick up on opportunities where you get the chance to sell yourself by outlining your qualifications, skills and experience.

5. Last chance. At the end of the interview you may be asked if you have any questions for the employer. This is a great time to ask the employer about any concerns that they may have about your suitability for the role. If you are not asked if you have any questions simply ask if you may ask a question. Few candidates are perfect so it is likely that the employer will raise an issue regarding your suitability for the role – this could be something such as a lack of formal qualifications or experience.  This is your last opportunity to sell yourself during the interview so make sure you listen and react to any concerns raised and try to turn any perceived weaknesses into a strength.

Further Information

To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice

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