General Knowledge Interview Tips

The Art of Selling Yourself in an Interview

The moment a candidate walks into the room where maybe one or even three interviewers are sitting there, they could be awfully nervous. Yes, anyone for that matter would be but today we are going to go through some important points to better ourselves. The one thing that stands out from all that we will discuss here is the word “Presence”.


From a certain point of view, People generally want what they can’t have. You can see it in advertising. The amount of work in words and visuals to make something so simple to be so appealing, so desirable. The type of font used, to the graphics and colours. Did you know that the fragrance industry is one of the moststable ones out there. When you pop open a bag of chips, you’re immediately greeted by the fragrance that is actually pumped into the packet.

This is food fragrance and is used widely in packed confections. The smell is intended to invite your senses to dig in. You can also sense this in shopping malls, where the smell of cookies, cinnamon or even French fries fill the air intending to permeate the noses of those passing by. Or an elegant hotel washroom that gives out some Eau de Toilette. This is creating desire, a curiosity to delve deeper.

What is your presence?

Dressing properly and having the rights items with you is basic but we are talking about something stronger. The moment some candidates step into an interview, they are confounded by feelings of being in the wrong and thinking of how to answer each question. In most jobs, even entry level, confidence and a bit of thick skin is a prized attribute. 

The ability to handle people and command them and the ability to communicate things clearly. To handle objections and not be intimidated. To communicate to people of all levels and not succumb to timidity. This and many other points come under experience, maturity and professionalism.

But above all these, the ability to see and align to what the company needs from an affinity and shared goals angle. To communicate that you understand where they are coming from and where they are going.

What are the interviewers’ expectations?

Other that your physical appearance, perhaps the things that the interviewers will evaluate if you are someone they can work with.

Have you ever met people you don’t like,…in the first meeting? They have a certain way about them which sends your alarm bells ringing. It only takes a few moments for you to know what sort of person this is. From the way they talk, they could pass on as being boastful, indifferent, talking too much, not down to earth and perhaps even lying.

Interviewers have a lot of experience in this area. They want to know if they are looking at a like minded candidate, that can bring value to their business, more so understand why they are in such a business. They want to know if you know what it takes to be in that business and what and how much are you willing to do to keep them in business. The value that you can bring to them.

Perhaps your qualification and experience is good, but is it a proper fit into their organisation? Some people are less concerned about qualifications and experience but more on the person, if they can fit into their kind of work system. This is where some research and homework on your part is crucial before this meeting. Otherwise you might end up wasting your valuable career time and vice versa.

Projecting the right presence : An affinity of shared of values and thinking

Your prior research will help you understand what type of culture and perhaps values this company drives itself with. Perhaps talking to a friend who has worked there or visiting their website to finding  out their business reach and anything else you can. This kind of heads up information, however incomplete, can be helpful.

Not every company is the same. Some are committed to their philosophy or core values. Some are customer focused while others are data driven. To whichever you choose to work for, find some common ground. Once you’re in the meeting, there can be this affinity. A sharing of values and thinking. You can become that candidate that’s more attuned to their kind of thinking and they start to identify with you. This is how you can create that desire in your employer to want you. That being said, this meeting can also be a preview that can inform you if this company is right for you and vice versa. We’re not saying that you should put on some drama just to snag the job.

Once you hit a series of affinities and shared outlook, you can turn out to be that desired candidate. Everything will flow naturally at this point. Just be the best that you can be. Communicate well, listen more when necessary and speak well when it’s your turn.

Realising where you are at this point in time in your career.

Everyone needs something to fall back on. What are you falling back on? Is it just your vast work experience and your expertise in your field, but yet you still can’t get hired? Maybe you are not a good fit for them. There’s no affinity of any kind. Or perhaps you could be, but your feedback is vague and not what they’re looking for. They can’t see if you fit their work culture and all the other things we mentioned before.

An interview is not just about experience, skill and the ability to answer questions. Don’t you agree? It has to be much more so. You’ll be spending hours everyday with these people so they definitely want to know if they should “invite” you in. You should be like minded, share the same goals and have that affinity. Then you can potentially be that welcome and desirable presence. Be the right person.

As always, let’s summarise our points.

1. Presence : The right presences creates desire

2. What is your presence : The ability to see and align to what the company needs from an affinity and shared goals angle.

3. What are the interviewers’ expectations? : Are you someone they can work with?

4. Projecting the right presence : An affinity of shared of values and thinking.

5. Realising where you are at this point in time in your career : It’s not just experience and expertise but it’s being the right person.

And here’s a bonus. If you’re not able to do the necessary research to see who fits where, then reach out to us at Xremo. It does not matter if you’re a jobseeker or employer. This is what we do day in and day out. We seek out the right candidate for the right fitting job and vice versa.