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

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 September 2022

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.

A job interview is a chance to convince the interviewer or your potential employer why you're professionally desirable and why it's good to hire you. When preparing for an upcoming job interview, you may wish to present the best version of yourself to your potential employer or hiring manager. Learning how to sell yourself and highlight your experiences, skills and attributes which make you a good fit for the role may help increase your chances of success. In this article, we explain what it means to sell yourself in an interview, show you how to do it and share some interview tips on how to prepare for an interview.

Related: How to Prepare for an Interview

What does it mean to sell yourself in an interview?

Selling yourself in an interview is a figurative way of describing how you highlight the best attributes of yourself to your hiring manager. The aim is to convince the interviewer that out of all the candidates applying for the role, you're the best fit for the company. You may wish to share your relevant experiences, attributes and skills which make you suitable for the job. Your goal is to convince the hiring manager that you're the right person for the job.

Related: Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

How to sell yourself in an interview

Here is a guide to selling yourself in an interview:

1. Be comfortable talking about yourself

As you're selling yourself, you're the main focus of the interview. You may shy away from talking about your achievements or accomplishments when with friends but an interview is not the time to be overly humble. Take pride in your achievements over the years and give yourself the permission and leeway to talk about yourself positively. If you're uncomfortable with sharing about yourself with other people, try practising talking about yourself in the mirror. You may also wish to record yourself speaking to hear how you sound to others.

Another way to get comfortable speaking about yourself is to project confidence during your interview. A confident attitude will show the potential employer that you know you're a good fit for the position. You can appear confident through your tone of voice and body language, and you're very likely to feel more confident with more preparation.

Related: Interview Question: “What are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?”

2. Tailor your responses to the company's needs

One of the most important sales tactics is to know your customer. In the case of selling yourself in 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. Think about what the company requires 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.

Related: Stepped Guide on How to Ace an Interview: Tips and Examples

3. Use examples to explain your points

You may think that the interviewer is following your stories and points but the interviewer may have had a long day and missed certain things you say. To help the interviewer follow what you're saying, provide examples to substantiate and clarify your point. For example, if you say that you're good at coding, give some examples of coding languages that you're familiar with. If you're able to raise specific instances in which you successfully used Python or C++ languages, you may have a higher chance of impressing the interviewer.

Examples also help to inject a personal element into the interview. Your examples may be anecdotes and these examples indirectly give your interviewer a chance to get to know you better. Knowing more about you helps the hiring manager assess your fit for the role and company. When explaining, you may also wish to quantify your achievements as numbers tend to back up your claims more effectively than giving sweeping statements such as being a team player and being productive.

Related: How to Use the STAR Interview Technique

4. Distinguish yourself from the competition

There are likely to be quite a few candidates vying for your position. To secure the job, you want to show the hiring manager why you're the best fit for the company instead of the other potential employees. You may distinguish yourself in several ways, such as highlighting a rare skill set, demonstrating your connections in the industry that could help the company or even showing a willingness to learn and work hard.

Being affable may also help you stand out from the competition. If two candidates possess similar levels of technical skills, it's not difficult to see why a hiring manager may end up offering the position to the more well-liked candidate. Try to relax and smile naturally during the interview to project an approachable persona.

Related: Your Guide to What to Wear for an Interview

5. Ask unique questions at the end of the interview

At the end of the interview, your hiring manager or interviewer may ask if you have any questions for them. Seize this opportunity to ask unique questions about the company. Ask questions about information that's not publicly available. This demonstrates to the interviewer that you have an interest in knowing more about the company and are serious about the company. If you ask memorable and well-considered questions, the interviewer may also have a better impression of you and this could help you stand out from the competition.

Asking questions is another way to direct the conversation back to you. If you wish to highlight another of your strengths, ask your interviewer a question related to the strength you want to highlight and lead the conversation to a point where you may comfortably share your strengths with the employer.

Related: Phone Interview Tips to Get You to the Next Round

Tips to prepare for an interview

These are some tips that may help you prepare for and ace your next interview:

Analyse the job posting

A job posting usually has a job description that indicates some skills and qualities the interviewer is looking for. Remember to use some of these keywords in your interview so that the hiring manager knows that you suit the open role. This may give you a higher chance of successfully outperforming the other candidates for that job position. You may also wish to consider using synonyms of adjectives in the job description to highlight your suitability for the role.

Prepare some template answers

You may wish to spend some time researching the common interview questions asked during an interview for a similar job. Carefully considering and preparing some responses ahead of time can help you feel more confident when answering these questions during the actual interview. Preparing a response beforehand can allow you to design your answer to make it coherent and articulate. You may also wish to consider asking a close friend or family member to read your answers to ensure that they directly address the interviewer's question.

Related: Common Interview Questions and Answers

Practise interviewing with your friends and family

Answering professionally can help you stand out from the competition. To understand how you present yourself, try to practise answering some interview questions with your trusted family members and friends. They may give you valuable feedback about your presentation and whether you're overly formal or casual in your tone. These rehearsals could help you answer questions more fluently on the day of your actual interview.

Related: How to Succeed in a Virtual Interview

Research the company and interviewer

It's common practice to research the company you're applying to. Having the relevant knowledge about the company indicates to the interviewer that you're serious about the job opportunity and have invested time and effort in doing homework about the company. It may also be worthwhile to understand who the interviewer is and their background. This helps you tailor your responses to suit what the interviewer may be looking for.

Related: How to Answer 'What Can You Bring to This Company'?

Plan what to wear

The first impression is highly important so dress appropriately and smartly for the interview. Preparing your outfit ahead of time helps reduce your stress and anxiety on the day of the interview itself. It would be a good idea to do some research on which style of clothes suits you and to try on clothes of different styles and colours.

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