Sell yourself in job interviews

I love helping clients to prepare for job interviews. It's the favourite part of my work. Improving a client's confidence and helping them to articulate their skills and unique selling points is so rewarding.


Most clients are surprised by my general advice regarding job interview preparation:


That you should focus on preparing and practicing the introductory 'tell us about yourself and why you are a good fit for this role' -type question, more than focusing on the behavioural questions.

Why? Your answers to the behavioural questions are simply telling a story.


As long as you have some examples to choose from (which you do need to prepare!), you just need to convey the story to the listener, making sure that you give context (explain the situation), tell them what you did (your action), and finally briefly tell them the result of your action.


However preparing for the introductory question takes a bit more work and practice so that it sounds natural. You need to structure it so that you not only provide an overview of who you are at work, but that you sell your skills.


This is your opportunity to tell them why your skills make you the perfect match for the role!


So how do you structure your answer? I suggest the following:


  1. Overview of who you are and a very high level summary of your career. For example, "I am a XXXX who specialises in YYY. As you can see from my resume, I have Z years experience in a range of ..."

  2. Talk about your top 3 skills that you would bring to the role. For example, it might be your specialist skills and experience from working across a range of organisations; your people management/leadership; and your project management skills.

  3. Finish by reiterating why your skills make you a good fit and why you are excited about the role and/or organisation. You may wish to mention the organisation values or specific role/project interest.

But what if they don't ask an introductory question and launch straight into the behavioural questions? You can use the end of the interview (when they ask if you have any questions or further information) to reiterate your skills and excitement for the role (points 2 and 3 above).


Need help preparing for job interviews? Check out my coaching packages and please get in touch!


Want more help with job interview preparation? Check out these blogs:

Online job interviews 101

Reduce job interview stress

Nailing those curly interview questions




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