A job interview is about selling yourself to the hiring manager. This means not just talking about yourself, but talking about yourself in a way that demonstrates why the company should hire you. It’s about showing your strengths without losing your humility, and knowing what to highlight and where to end your answers. Here are four points that will help you showcase your strengths during an interview without sounding like you are all about yourself:
Share What Your Manager or Other Respected Figure Has Said About You
Sharing what others have said about you serves two purposes. First, it’s easier for many people to talk positively about themselves when it’s somebody else’s words. Many people are raised to be humble and self-praise can feel awkward, but it’s less awkward to honestly repeat what somebody else has said. Second, it’s a testimonial of sorts. The opinions of neutral parties are slightly more credible than somebody who has reason to exaggerate. Even though you’re the one saying it, by putting it into somebody else’s mouth you make the interviewer more receptive to what you’re saying.
Be Concise In Your Answers
It feels less like bragging if you’re able to talk about your measurable accomplishments. This is great because hiring managers are looking for concise answers to job interview questions. Stick to providing facts and WIFM (What’s In It For Me), and don’t stray from the current topic. Taking a moment to think of your answer before you start talking will help you craft a more concise answer, and it will stop you from starting a two-minute monologue that doesn’t actually provide an answer. Remember: if the hiring manager wants you to expand on a certain topic, they will ask you a follow-up question.
Highlight the Facts, Not Your Opinions
Hiring managers are looking for facts about your accomplishments, not opinions. You want to talk about things that can be backed up, either by numbers (finances or growth), or by references. Think of what you have on your resume as a guide for what they are looking for. Stay away from anything that could be interpreted as an opinion, so instead of saying that you were the most knowledgeable person in your department, talk about how you took advantage of training opportunities and worked one-on-one with your manager, making you a subject matter expert in items related to your department.
Give Examples of How You Can Fill Company Needs
The company you are interviewing with is looking to hire you for specific skills and experience that you bring to the table. These needs are typically outlined in detail in the job ad, and bringing them up in interview answers will help bring context to why they need you on their team. By hitting on these specific points, you’ll be able to show that you are an answer to their needs, which will make you hard to pass up.