Be Careful About Over-Selling Yourself

Be Careful About Over Selling YourselfA few weeks back, I was catching up with an old friend of mine.
She was complaining about her dating life.
It turns out she'd just met this guy called Ryan, and had gone on a few dates with him, only to be disappointed.
You see, Ryan seemed like a great catch.

He was handsome, well-dressed, educated, and he had a decent job. But there was something about him -- something my friend had struggled to put her finger on -- that really turned her off.
After the second or third date, she called things off with him.
Ryan just wasn't her type -- and she didn't want to waste his time or hers.
Now, when we were talking about it last week, she suddenly realized what it was about Ryan that had turned her off -- it's something that also applies to job interviews, so you might want to make a note of this somewhere.
Ryan was a nice guy -- but he tried to hard to sell himself.
He'd "subtly" mention his car, or his recent promotion, or his business trips to exotic places. The first few times it impressed her. But after the third or fourth "hint", she could sense that Ryan was overcompensating for something.
And the more he kept trying to impress her, the more he kept trying to make her laugh -- the more he made himself look like a dancing monkey.
In the end, he blew it.
Like I said, there's an important lesson here for job interviews:
Yes, you absolutely should strive to make a good impression. And yes, you should shout about your accomplishments (nobody else will).
But know when to stop.
Because when you start to over-sell yourself, it creates a weird dynamic.
All of a sudden, it's like The X-Factor -- and the interviewers are the one with their fingers over the button while you're trying desperately to win them over.
You need to know when to draw the line.
Where is this line?
About three or four sentences into your answer.
For example:
Let's say they ask you:
"So... Kathleen, tell us why you left your last job."
If you give them a clear, succinct, and confident answer -- three or four sentences where you make your point and then move on -- that's great.
But if you spend three or four minutes explaining all the delicate politics, then you're over explaining yourself and trying too hard to win them over.
This is why you need to prepare clear, succinct, and confident answers.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.