How to describe yourself for a job interview to highlight your skills

Posted by Fed Finance Canada in Our employment advice
Posted at 24/11/2022
How to describe yourself for a job interview to highlight your skills
"Now what are your skills?" Do you also get confused when asked this question in a job interview and start babbling?

A job interview is an often stressful but necessary step in almost all professional careers. It is an opportunity that the employer gives you to persuade them: seize it. To do this, Fed Finance, a recruitment firm in Montreal, tells you how to talk about your skills in an interview, whether directly or indirectly!

Adapt and describe yourself appropriately for each job interview

Every employer is different and you will have to adapt yourself to the interviewer, the offer and the type of company you are applying to. Adjust to the atmosphere of your future workplace: a start-up will not have the same way of doing things as a large accounting firm, to take a case of two extremes.

To adapt, it is important to be well prepared - it is essential and also helps you manage your stress during a job interview. For example, refer to the job offer for which you have applied: it generally outlines the skills expected by the recruiter for the position in question. Without lying, pick out the skills you have and incorporate them into your speech during the job interview.

Adapting also has an element of improvisation: the interviewer often begins by introducing the company, the position and its functions. This is your chance to remember the skills or values that are being highlighted and to address them later when it is your turn to introduce yourself and talk about your skills.

How to introduce your skills in a job interview

If you want to ace a job interview, you will have to make an impression on the employer, who may have met other candidates. You will therefore have to provide them with as much relevant information as possible so that they will remember you. There is no mystery to this: be concise. Try to build a common thread that will connect everything you say in your presentation; ideally, start with a personal trait and work your way up to your career plan.

You can describe yourself during a job interview and value your soft skills in four steps:

1. Describe your current situation and personality

First, you should describe your current situation as a candidate for the position. You can start by saying who you are, what character traits qualify you and what you are looking for right now. Don't go into too much personal detail: you're not on a dating site, but with an employer, so stay professional.

Don't forget to be human! This may seem obvious, but the ability to adapt to a team or work environment is very important to get a job. You will therefore have to show that you not only have the training and experience to work in a company, but also the values and suitability.

2. Talk about your career path as it relates to the job offer

After discussing your current situation, you will need to share your experience. However, avoid repeating your CV: the employer is looking at it. If you were asked to come, it was so they can learn more.

Start by discussing your academic background by answering these questions yourself:

  • Why did you study?
  • What did you get out of it?
  • What tools and knowledge have you acquired?

Always try to direct your answers to the position to be filled, when possible. Be careful, don't overdo it! If you are constantly trying to enhance the value of the position without it being relevant, it could make you lose credibility. 

The important thing is not to cite random experience without drawing conclusions that are beneficial to the target position. Did you study for 5 years? Did it teach you resilience, determination, patience? Why or why not? Did you learn a language there, did you use it for international travel?

3. Address your career path in a goal-oriented way

Next, describe a professional experience related to the position. Explain how it helped you acquire new skills, while justifying your departure from the position.

Don't just list your experiences as if they were irrelevant. Drawing the positive from each job in your speech shows that you know how to learn from your past and that you know how to analyze situations. These indirectly demonstrated qualities will appeal to recruiters.

Have you had several professional experiences? Instead of leaving the doubt that you can quickly get tired of your experiences, emphasize your versatility, your thirst for learning and finding the company that will allow you to express the variety of your skills.

4. Explain the motivations that led you to apply

After talking about the past, turn your presentation towards the future, always following your common thread. Explain your motivations by describing why you became interested in the position. This is the time to connect with all the information you have given so far to show what you can bring to the company.

However, be careful not to focus the interview only on your aspirations and skills. You don't want to sound narcissistic. It's all about balance: without devaluing yourself, show that can remain humble while emphasizing your abilities. The goal is not to appear proud, but to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

What are your skills?

Talking about your skills in a job interview still requires knowing some! Don't always quote the most expected ones. Here's a short list of 10 skills you can mention, always, remember, incorporating them into your speech, explaining how you got them! And if you actually possess them. 😊

  • The ability to negotiate
  • The sense of priorities
  • Diplomacy
  • Pragmatism
  • Diligence
  • Sensitivity
  • Flexibility
  • Meticulousness
  • Perseverance
  • Relational ease

There are many others. Once again, adapt to your recruiter's expectations and stay natural. A cobbled-together personality shows from afar.

Fed Finance assists you in your finance job search

Caring recruiters do exist, and thankfully so! The goal is not to trick you when you go for a job interview. Don't be afraid to go there: tell yourself that if you go for an interview, it's because your CV has already been convincing and that your profile is appealing. The rest should take care of itself, as long as you are prepared while keeping your naturalness.

At Fed Finance, we believe in the potential of all candidates. Our experts are dedicated to providing you with all the tools you need to get the job you want. If you are looking for a finance job in Quebec, we are the right recruitment agency for you! Contact Fed Finance for help with your job application process.