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Tell Me About Yourself

2011 February 11
by Shannon Lowder

I’m going to take the next couple posts and cover some of the interview questions people have told me they struggle with the most during an interview.  I want to do this to help you.  If you ask yourself these questions, you can start building a stock answer to the question.  From there, you can tweak it a little bit during each interview to make it fit with the flow and rapport you build with the interviewer during the interview process.

Me and my soon to be wife in my favorite city!

Me and my soon to be wife in my favorite city, right before our wedding!

So, Tell me about yourself.

Unfortunately this question comes first in an interview and you really don’t have a read on your interviewer yet.  How do you answer?

Let me give you a hint.  Give them your elevator pitch.

What that?  You don’t know what your elevator pitch is?  Let me fill you in.  Your elevator pitch is what you would tell the hiring manager if you only had a minute (say the amount of time it takes to go to his office on the 20th floor of your local high-rise).  You’ve got about 60 seconds to talk about who you are professionally.

You want to cover: what you’re good at, what you’ve been praised for.  You might want to add: what have you done in your most recent job.  During this pitch you want to give them a quick overview why you’re the perfect candidate for the job.

In most interviews you’re going to get far longer than 60 seconds.  But you want to get that summary to them as quickly as possible, so they have a sound bite to hold on to during the interview, and hopefully after the interview.  Something that will stick in their head and make them think of you positively, when they are deliberating on who to give the offer to.

So…tell me about yourself.  Give me your elevator pitch, and I’ll give you honest feedback on it.  Perhaps you can craft your pitch into the perfect opening pitch.  One that you can pull out and win any job you want.

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