Congratulations on landing an interview with a company you think would be a great fit. Now it's time to show and tell the interviewer all you have to offer. While you may find tooting your own horn awkward, there are plenty of tactful ways to promote yourself during an interview. Here are a few ideas:
- Fill in the Pauses Remember, interviewers are merely looking for a reason to hire you, so learn to fill those occasional pauses with little plugs about your skills and abilities. Just be sure you relate these skills to the interviewer's previous question or your most recent topic of conversation.
- Bring Your "Hall of Fame" with You
Is there an accomplishment you're extremely proud of? If so, stick it in a file and bring it with you. For example, your folder could contain that extremely difficult report you pulled together for your manager at the 11th hour and any accolades you received for your work on the project. Let's say the interviewer asks, "How do you handle tight deadlines?" This is your opportunity to say you rise to the occasion, and pull out your file. Make sure you have a copy you can leave with the interviewer.
- Remember and Rehearse
Once you leave the interview, spend 20 minutes or so going over how things went in your mind. Did you stumble over some questions? Write them down and decide how you could have answered them better. Write down those answers and practice them until you get them right.
- Identify Missed Opportunities
Despite all the preparation, you still might forget to tell the interviewer something important. But it's never too late to shine a light on yourself. Try including a brief sentence or two in your thank-you note. You could say something as simple as, "My past managers commended me on pitching in with my coworkers to help them out," or "I was the resident computer expert who coworkers always turned to, knowing they could get help."
- "Do You Have Any Questions about the Job?"
While you always use this classic question to get detailed information about the job and the company, you can also use it to promote your skills. Try including references to your skills in your questions about the job. You'll leave the impression that you are a growth-oriented person who would be an asset to the company.