We make first impressions every day when we go out in the world. They are essential experiences when it comes to relationship-building, which stays true in the professional realm. Hiring managers look at many factors when considering a new employee, but the first impression of that applicant is a lasting one. Still, specific attributes make individuals blend in among the majority of other potential employees, and some characteristics help an individual stand out from the other applicants.

Applying for any job requires some degree of self-marketing. To better understand how to promote oneself at a job interview, a person should see themselves as a product they are trying to sell to an organization or business. CEOs and interviewers want to know that the person they’re considering will be an asset to the company and an excellent cultural fit. The question then becomes: How can one make an impactful first impression and market themselves successfully at a job interview? Here are a few ways:

Identify Your USP

A USP, or unique selling point, is a fantastic way to stand out. Unique selling points are not just applicable to a business’s products; they are also relevant to human capital. Any specific business needs to know what makes one individual different from the others. 

To form your USP, look at your combination of experience, years of training, certifications, personal interests, and specialties. Identify a niche that encompasses your professional expertise, and leverage that in your communications with the company. If your niche aligns with the business’s goals or values, you’re sure to make a great impression.

Tailor Your Appearance

Much of your first impression will be communicated through non-verbal means. Body language, facial expressions, tone, cadence, and overall appearance are just as essential to the content of your conversation when it comes to marketing. Again, an applicant should think of themselves as a product. When companies advertise their products for sale, plenty of time and money is spent promoting and advertising that one product. It’s vital to look professional when going to a job interview—even if the workplace allows for casual dress. 

Ask Purposeful Questions

When it comes time for the interviewee to become the interviewer, you should be prepared with a set of questions. Ask for information that couldn’t be found on the company website, and request that interviewers expound on company culture, hardware and software used, and other vital factors. By asking questions, you’ll demonstrate your preparedness without acting as if you know everything you need. Prove that you’re a life-long learner by asking great questions!