Chapter 2 in my new book, Sell Yourself First, is appropriately entitled, “Your Next Job Interview.” I know for a fact after teaching this material for the last 8 months that it has already helped countless people who are in the job market, but that’s not really the purpose of the chapter.
Can we agree that a job interview is a sales situation, where qualified candidates will ultimately be trying to sell themselves to prospective employers? Well, it turns out that every sales call is also a job interview, where the prospect or customer is not only evaluating your products and services, they’re also evaluating you. You are indeed selling yourself…all the time!
That said, what if we discovered that how most people sell naturally is upside down and backward from how most customers make purchase decisions? That’s right! The natural tendency during a job interview (or on a sales call) is to try and put your best foot forward, right?
Well, at some point in the job interview scenario, the hiring manager is going to say, “Tell me about yourself.” During a sales call, the customer may say, “Tell me about your product.” Basically, it’s the same request, because even if you are selling a product or service, you are also selling yourself…FIRST!
Thus, the job interview scenario becomes the perfect metaphor for selling (anything) because it’s the pure sale. In essence, a qualified candidate is solely responsible for selling themselves, and they are also the product that’s being offered. At that point, your success is completely up to you.
Most people respond to this initial request to, “Tell me about yourself,” by basically throwing up on the customer. Unfortunately, the natural tendency is to rattle off and/or reiterate many of the key points already listed on the resume in the hopes of saying something that will connect with the decision maker.
What employers really want to know about you, however, is all of the things that are not actually listed on your resume. For example, are you a competent, confident, creative, easy to work with, respectful, experienced, thought leader in your chosen field?
That’s the trick—these qualities cannot be claimed by you without sounding arrogant. Instead, they have to be demonstrated, which is a function of simply implementing the techniques outlined in Sell Yourself First.
Truth be known, you’re probably not the only candidate (or vendor) who’s competing for the opportunity to sell yourself to the interviewer (i.e. customer). It’s more likely that you are competing against a handful of equally qualified candidates who will also be quick to highlight all their accomplishments as well.
That’s why the tradition approach to interviewing (or selling a product) actually put you at a competitive disadvantage. If you sound the same as everyone else, you forfeit your competitive edge.
Now that you’ve invested four years and thousands of dollars to earn a college degree, are you willing to spend less than the cost of a half tank of gasoline, and invest a couple hours of study and comprehension to give yourself an ‘unfair’ competitive advantage and transform the entire rest of your professional career?
Think about it this way: The employer is going to hire someone, it might as well me you. Your resume’ (or product information) just gets you in the door. Your ability to more effectively position yourself than the competition is ultimately how you will win the opportunity! At that point, it all comes down to superior technique and a sound positioning strategy. This book will change the way you communicate with others, and more importantly, it will change the way others perceive and deal with you!