Few of us like talking ourselves up. Afraid we’ll be misconstrued as conceited or boastful, we often leave others to do the talking for us.
But when it comes to job interviews, it’s time to leave modesty at the door.
Employers are relying on you to tell them about your experience, knowledge and expertise.
They have limited time and might not be able to speak to your job referees, so it’s imperative employers hear everything they need to know about you, directly from you, said Kirsty Ferguson, interview coach and founder of InterviewChix.
“Employers or interview panels don’t know you,” she explained.
“They have read your resume and maybe seen a video interview, but they don’t really know who you are or how you work.
“Your everyday skills, your attitude and aptitude are just as important as your qualifications and experience, so if you cannot articulate your skills you might miss out on a large chunk of the hiring criteria.”
Get over the awkward
Talking about yourself doesn’t have to be a hard sell.
Think about what sets you apart from others and what it says about your personality.
“Perhaps you are a great listener who people trust and confide in, or a perfectionist who follows through on every task with awesome attention to detail and accountability,” Ferguson suggested.
“It’s OK to be you. You are great. Employers want to see the real you, so show your personality. You don’t need to be some stitched-up formal version of you. Those days are gone.”
To get you thinking, take some online personality tests to find the unique traits that will make you a great addition to any team.
Practice makes perfect
Conveying all the information in a clear and succinct way takes preparation.
Practice means you will remember everything you want to say, won’t talk about irrelevant matters, and you’re less likely to stumble over your words.
It helps if you do your research about the role and the company, Ferguson said.
“This might be researching the employer or hiring team on LinkedIn so you get a feel for what matters to them, figuring out what you like about the company and the job, deciding what your skills are and how they relate to the role, or reading their media releases so you are up with industry news and knowing their values,” she said.
A confident delivery stays with people long after the interview.
If you display confidence and show trust in your abilities, employers are more likely to have confidence in you as a new hire.
Some simple tips can help, said Ferguson. “Use professional language, but words you use day to day,” she said.
“I find that candidates try to use fancy words that they trip over and it just makes the job harder. And it’s OK to start again if you mess up an answer. They won’t mind, trust me.”
Remember, the interview is your chance to shine. Show employers you have what it takes, and more, to be part of their team.
You’ve got more skills than you know.
Visit SEEK Career Advice to discover your hidden talents today and put your skills to work.