Selling Yourself in the Job Interview

In this article, I cover how to develop your interview strategy and talking points. In order to craft your strategic message, you need to know what the employer is looking for in their top candidate. What do they need in the person filling this role? What top qualities are they looking for?

To answer these questions, carefully review the job description. If you don’t have the full job description, request it when the employer calls you to schedule the interview. Read it thoroughly and identify the top professional competencies the organization is looking for in the right candidate.

Think strategically from the hiring manager’s point of view and create talking points for the top five skills you possess that the employer seeks.

Example Top Competencies List

The following is an example of the top competencies list for a foreign affairs journalist position. This list was prepared by analyzing the job announcement distributed by the employer, in this case, a major leading newspaper.

Competency One: 
Ability to conceptualize, develop and write feature length articles on foreign affairs policy issues and current events

Competency Two: 
Ability to write both an insightful and personally engaging blog for the newspaper’s website

Competency Three: 
Ability to lead, manage and mentor a research staff of three

Competency Four: 
Excellent time management skills and ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines

Competency Five: 
15+ years of experience in the newspaper industry

Prepare Your Talking Points

Now that you have locked down the top five competencies, the next step is to develop your talking points.  Build a strategic message for each one.  Prepare an outline on the qualifications you possess for each competency including your training, experience, specific skill sets and accomplishments.

Be as specific and detailed as you can.  For example, rather than stating: “I have management experience.”  You could say: “I manage a team of 38 professionals based in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.”  If you are changing career fields, focus on the transferable skills you possess that directly relate to the new industry.

For each competency, develop talking points for a specific on-the-job accomplishment, outcome or result you have produced in that area.  These success stories demonstrate to the hiring manager that you have what it takes to solve their problems.  

The following power activity provides a structure for you to develop your talking points for the top five competencies.  Again, for each competency include your training, experience, specific skill sets and accomplishments.  Also, one of the top things employers are looking for is enthusiasm. Conveying your passion in the interview will help build rapport with the hiring manager.

Power Activity: Talking Points for Top Five Competencies

Competency One

Your training relating to this competency

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Your experience relating to this competency

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Your specific skill sets relating to this competency

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Your accomplishments demonstrating this competency

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Competency Two

Your training relating to this competency

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Your experience relating to this competency

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Your specific skill sets relating to this competency

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Your accomplishments demonstrating this competency

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Competency Three

Your training relating to this competency

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Your experience relating to this competency

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Your specific skill sets relating to this competency

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Your accomplishments demonstrating this competency

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Competency Four

Your training relating to this competency

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Your experience relating to this competency

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Your specific skill sets relating to this competency

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Your accomplishments demonstrating this competency

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Competency Five

Your training relating to this competency

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Your experience relating to this competency

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Your specific skill sets relating to this competency

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Your accomplishments demonstrating this competency

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Excellent work!  Now you have some very powerful talking points.  This outline is the basis for the strategic messages and selling points you will deliver in the interview.

If you feel you’d like assistance with developing your strategy to confidently sell yourself in job interviews, I invite you to schedule a one-on-one coaching session with me. 

Click here to schedule your personal coaching session.

Now, let’s move on to your Career Success Guide to Strategic Power Networking

© SkylarSaint.com

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