Ace the “Tell Me About Yourself”​ Interview Question

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Ace the Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question

Have you ever heard that question in an interview? It’s the rather bland, awkward statement that comes out of the hiring manager’s mouth soon after “hello.” How you answer “so… tell me about yourself” sets the stage and tone of your entire interview. Why not prepare beforehand?

We ace this question in an interview by sharing your 30-second Elevator Pitch (30sEP). Your 30-second Elevator Pitch (30sEP) is a compelling, concise statement conveying your value to this person and the job, your unique abilities, and your professional brand. It explains who you are and why they should want to hire you. It’s called the elevator pitch because it’s meant to represent the amount of time you’d have if you were stuck in an elevator with someone riding from the bottom of the building to the top floor.

Your 30sEP can be used when networking, on your professional branding documents (resume, cover letter, thank you letter, LinkedIn profile), and to answer the “tell me about yourself” question while interviewing. It’s the statement that HOOKS them, leaving them wanting to ask you “How do you do that?”

You can create your 30sEP in three simple steps:

Step 1: Consider on paper what makes you valuable to this company for this job

  • What is your profession and general background overview?
  • What do you do that creates value and makes an impact?
  • What are your strengths – those things that help you stand out against your competition?
  • What evidence do you have that demonstrates those strengths?
  • What are you excited about doing in your next role?

Step 2: Fill in the blanks!

I am a ________________ professional specializing in ________________ . My strengths include ________________ and ________________ . I have achieved ________________ and ________________ and am excited about ________________ in my next role.

Step 3: Put it all together and edit as needed

  • Make sure it flows nicely, is easy to understand and is concise (30 seconds, remember?)
  • Practice delivering it to several different people (my wife and kids have heard mine, a LOT!)
  • Make sure you say it with energy and enthusiasm.

Here are some examples of a 30sEP:

I am a customer service professional with a track record of achieving company-leading customer satisfaction results. My strengths include turning around negative customer experiences and improving the performance of low-performing team members through mentoring. For the last five years I have consistently received customer satisfaction ratings above 97% and efficiency metrics above 90% and have helped more than 12 team members improve their ratings by at least 20%. I am excited to leverage these skills to help improve customer satisfaction in my next role.

Need further help in your job search? Head to our Shop for Career discovery, resumes that get you noticed and interview skills coaching for job seekers in transition!

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