Hiring the right person to fill a position is tricky, and getting it wrong can cost an employer over $25,000 or even $50,000 according to a recent study by CareerBuilder.
That's why interviewers are not going to take your word for it when you say you're a great team player, extremely organized, a fast learner, or any other claim you make.
You need to prove it. Here are eight ways to truly convince an interviewer that you are as good as you say you are.
- Put your accomplishments into other people's words. Quote the exact words an employer has used when praising your work, quote the employer by name, and mention that this person will be giving you a reference.
- Tell who noticed your work. "I got an email from the CEO saying she was impressed with how I kept the department going after the manager left." (Extra points if you printed and saved that email and can show it to the interviewer!)
- Have recommendations in your LinkedIn profile. If you have done good work in your past jobs (or in school, if you're a new graduate), it is relatively easy to get past managers, clients, colleagues or others to put in a word for you on this extremely visible and valuable social platform. Endorsements in the Skills section may also be useful, to a lesser extent. LinkedIn is essential for nearly anyone who is interested in finding a new or better job.
- If you know someone who knows the interviewer, ask them to put in a good word for you, as early in the process as possible. (The problem with traditional references is they come too late!)
- Back up your claims with specifics. If you tell about a project you did a good job with, describe in detail the situation, actions you took and results – preferably quantified. If you "improved customer service," what are the metrics that prove it? Did 98% of clients renew at the end of the year? See Success Stories that SOAR for tips on telling success stories convincingly.
- Managers, marketing experts and other professionals often research and write a proposal ahead of time outlining possibilities of how they might address the employers challenges and goals. (Of course, this proposal should be humble, acknowledging that you would be learning from those around you.) This proves not only your expertise and good judgment, but your strong interest in the job.
- Demonstrate your skills in everything you do. If you're applying for a job in sales or marketing, make sure you sell and market yourself brilliantly. If the job involves research, research the company and the job very thoroughly. If the job is highly detail oriented, plan and execute every detail perfectly.
- Practice interviewing, either with a friend or a professional career coach.
Reassure your anxious interviewer by showing real evidence that they won't regret hiring you – and be the one who gets the offer!