Whenever I talk to someone about potential interview questions I always let them know that ‘talking yourself up’ is one of the most important things you can do. You will inevitably be asked a question along the lines of ‘What do you have to offer us?’ or ‘Why should we appoint you?’. Instead of relishing this opportunity to sell ourselves a lot of us shy away and hate answering this question. People tell me it makes them feel uncomfortable talking about their achievements and successes. Why is this? Tall poppy syndrome perhaps?
Whatever the reason you should not be afraid to talk yourself up. You’ve been asked to this interview for a reason – they liked your CV and feel that you have the ‘paper’ qualities to potentially make a success of this role. So go for it! This is your interview, your chance to make yourself look like the ideal candidate. Go in confident and talk about the qualities you have that make you a fantastic person for the job, including your desire to do the job. Talk up everything you’ve accomplished, whether in university, school or in previous companies. And remember you are not boasting, merely stating “quantifiable facts about what you have to offer, based on proven achievements and future potential.” RobertHalf.co.nz
Simply put, if you don’t talk yourself up at the interview then who will? If you haven’t already done so take the time to sit down and identify your qualities, achievements and successes. If you can’t think of any particular reasons why an employer should pick you over someone else then ask a family member or a friend. Get them to list the top 5 qualities they see in you. Then practice! Even if you feel silly doing it stand in front of a mirror and talk about your qualities until you feel comfortable enough putting them forward to a potential employer. Or, use that same family member or friend as a sounding board so you can get a feel for what it’s like to say those things to an actual person. The more times you say it out loud the more confident you will feel saying it in the interview.
Once you’ve done all this practice and you’re at the interview the easiest way to ensure the confidence flows is to try and relax. Easier said than done but I found these tips on Yahoo.com
- Breathing deeply and slowly (and quietly, of course).
- Sit up straight and don’t cross your legs or arms.
- Speak slowly and pause for breath often.
- Keeps your hands and jaw relaxed; no clenching.
- Smile — it really is contagious!
If you’ve done your practice and you follow those tips to keep cool, calm and confident then your words will flow and talking yourself up will come naturally.