How to Sell Yourself


Know what you have to offer an employer and ensure you read the job description.

  • Be confident in your skills and abilities and never sell yourself short - small but telling actions and behaviours are very important.  Take the time to read the job description and ensure you have situations that highlight each of the requirements.  Bring the job description with you to the interview; it is a great reference tool for answering questions.

Be prepared to discuss your related strengths, accomplishments and personal qualities, supported by relevant examples.

  • If you are new to the interview process take the time to write out these examples and study them - a little bit of preparation before the interview really pays off.  Remember that these are your skills, accomplishments, and personal qualities, they separate you from the next candidate, speak highly of each of them and never underestimate them or yourself.

Research the company

  • Take the time do some research, you can do this by searching on the internet, trade magazines or publications, contacting the company itself, asking current or past employees and accessing community resources such as trade associations.  Know the basics of the company and in particular what division you have applied to.  Prepare a sheet with relevant information and take the time to go over it.

Anticipate questions you will be asked

  • We all know the basic questions; "Tell me about yourself?" "What is your best strength and/or weakness and why?" but what about those questions we don't expect?  There are numerous websites and books that provide endless interview questions to read and practice answering.  Use a friend or family member to ask you questions and help with answers where necessary.  Or better still drop into the YMCA Employment Services for our mock interview workshop!

Prepare good questions to ask your interviewer

  • Asking questions at the end of an interview is your opportunity to get the information you need from the employer to help you decide if in the end this is the perfect job for you.  Always write out your questions and bring them with you to the interview. Don't be afraid to ask them the tough questions - this is your career after all!  However, do avoid questions relating to the previous employee, financials, stability of the company, lay-offs, etc.  

Prepare your references

  • Be sure to have your references prepared to provide at the end of the interview.  Ensure you have contacted each of your references prior to supplying their names, and that they are aware of the position you have applied for.  A great idea is to provide each reference with a copy of the job posting/description, your cover letter and resume.  This provides them all the information they need about you and a reference point when asked questions.  Be sure you select individuals who speak well of you, who are excellent speakers and great at articulating their words - often your references are deal breakers, pick the best candidates!

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