Help! I have an interview and I’m scared of “selling myself”

One of the myths in recruitment and interviews, that I come across time and time again is that you must “Sell yourself” in an interview.

Now just bear with me whilst I make some huge sweeping statements. Yes, there all always exceptions to the rule but in general here we go …… Most of the candidates I deal with would be the first to class themselves as an “Introverted IT Type”. The thought of having to “Sell themselves” at interview sends shivers down their spine. They think that this “selling” part must be some kind of code for a type of Hocus Pocus, magic trickery whereby the interviewer will become spellbound and give them the job. Ok maybe I am getting a little carried away, but at the very least they normally say to me “Rachel, I’m a bit worried about this interview, I’ve never been one to blow my own trumpet, it just doesn’t sit comfortably with me” 

I laugh, and tell them they will be fine! Let’s be honest, who really likes the type of person who you meet and they just seem over keen to tell you how wonderful they are and frankly ram it down your throat. “I’m the best!, I’m the best” with confidence levels so high they are flying a bit close to the sun (Obviously never heard of Icarus). I am not against confidence, far from it, but this type of “selling” will see them stumble at the first hurdle. Which will be “Why are you the best?” Their reply, something along the lines of “I’m the best of the bestest best!!” yes you can see how annoying this is, so don’t worry. You do not want to be one of those people, repeating that you are the best. Frankly it is boring and they are boring and everyone is bored. It is simple, just SHOW THEM! 

Talk about your past work that you are proud of, how this helped the company that you worked for. Show them that you love what you do and do this by telling real life stories. Let the interviewer see that passion in your eyes for what you do.

Don’t worry about covering up all of your flaws in the pursuit to “Be the best”. People are human and people are fallible. I would much rather have a self-aware human on my team who was aware of their shortcomings and was doing something about it, than someone blindly and bullishly pushing forward under the misplaced confidence that they are the are the best. 

So to Sum up! It’s not about telling an interviewer that you are the best and blowing your own trumpet. It is about showing them why you are and the best way to do this is by preparing small stories and examples relating to their job requirements and the company culture. Let the interviewer make up their own mind.

Just change your mind set (no magic wands required) you are not boasting, you are not being arrogant you are just simply providing the evidence that you are the right person for the job.

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