Have an Answer?
I have interviewed many candidates over the years, and one of the best qualities is the ability to listen and ask good questions. When you are asked a question about yourself, keep your response short. If the interviewer wants more detail, they will ask.
A big turnoff for me was a candidate that took too long to get to the point. I began to lose interest.
Here is a suggestion: As part of your research, develop several thoughtful questions to ask. Listen intently, then talk about how your skill set would fit. Also, practice anticipated questions by being short and to the point. I wish you all the best.
Its always good to be confident and emphasizing your strengths throughout the interview process. Overselling can happen if we are mentioning certain experiences that have nothing to do with the job. Pick the one you feel are relevant and run with them.
Mario has a great answer and I would reinforce the advice of just being yourself. So much of interviewing is wanting to connect with someone and really get to know who they are. Maybe the overselling is coming across as arrogant or exaggerated? That's the only other thing that comes to mind. It may be the way the information is presented rather than what you have accomplished. I'd be happy to give you feedback over the phone if you want to shoot me an email.
You mention that "its as if I am too good to be true, overselling myself and my skill-set..." but from whom have you received such feedback? Have recruiters, interviewers, or former colleagues mentioned this to you? Who has specifically said "it is like you are too good be true as a result of overselling yourself and your skill set"?
So often when were are interviewing over and over it can become frustrating and we begin to allow paranoia and self-doubt to creep in. We begin to try and convince ourselves that it is because of this or that, but in reality, it is often simply because the interviewers got a better vibe or feeling about a candidate who was not you.
Many times employers hire much like we choose our friends--which is based on the initial chemistry and vibe they receive from the employee. After all, depending on the person interviewing, she or he may just in fact have to work with you regularly. Accordingly, that person is going to want someone whom not only possesses the requisite skill and talent to perform the job, but also to "fit-in" into the working environment.
As someone who recently endured a lengthy (seven months or so) employment search which involved breaking into the public service sector, I empathize with you about what you are experiencing. However, what I learned is that you have to remain true to you and live with the result of doing so. If you are naturally someone who researches, practices, oversells your skill-set, and brings a ton to the table for each interview--then go with that and know there are several employers out there who want that type of employee.
I interviewed with the Cook County Public Defender's Office after interning there, and after my interview concluded I got the feeling it didn't go so well. As it turns out, the interviewers thought that I did not interview very well, and that my focus was on my passion to help the accused as opposed to being an objective advocate. At first I was upset, because I thought to myself, that is not what this role should be about. However, after some time passed, I realized that their perspective is what contributes to Public Defender's having a negative image--and that perhaps that was not the best place for me.
Well, fast forward a few months and I was hired with the City of Chicago in a position where I get to exercise my passion whenever I like, and that was a huge plus. Ultimately,
you want to work where you are wanted for you, so just hang in there!