Your resume gets you in the door to an interview.  At that point it’s up to you to sell yourself to get the job.  Many people feel uncomfortable talking about themselves and their accomplishments and hesitate to do so in an interview.  They think that their resume can do the talking.  Just remember that companies hire people, not resumes.  It’s critical that you clearly state your skills and accomplishments while in the interview.

In an interview it’s just you and the interviewer (or interviewers, whatever the case might be).  There’s no one sitting next to you to speak out about your background and achievements.  You need to do it!

Don’t ever lie or embellish about your background.  That’s easy enough to find out.  But don’t be afraid to speak up about yourself.  Would you consider yourself an expert in a software program?  Have you successfully managed multiple projects?  Have you been given a special award or recognition?  Don’t assume the interviewer can figure it out from your resume – come right out and tell them.

job interview

When you get past the interview the potential employer will go ahead and check your references who will verify what you’ve said.  But if you can’t get past the interview the hiring manager will never get the chance to speak with these people who will tell the interviewer how great you are.  It’s up to you to tell the interviewer why you are the person to hire.  Don’t be passive in the interview – tell that person why you are the person that should be hired.

What not to say when asked “do you have any questions” in the interview

In the course of any interview for any position you’ll be given the opportunity to ask questions of the interviewer.  The first mistake you can make is not having any questions prepared.  The second mistake you can make is asking the wrong questions of the interviewer.

So what are the wrong questions?  Questions about salary, vacation, personal time and benefits are not appropriate.  It’s too soon in the early stages of the interview process to ask these questions.  This information is important to have in order to make an informed decision of whether or not to accept a position.  You need to first evaluate if this is a job you’d like to have.  You also need to sell yourself to the interviewer as the best candidate for the position.  If the only questions you ask are about salary and benefits the interviewer will think they are the only reasons you’ll take a job and when a better paying job comes along you’ll be gone.

Wait until you’ve sold yourself to the interviewer and have received a job offer to ask questions about benefits.  Chances are good those questions will be answered for you before you even have to ask them.