Interviews tend to take a shape of their own. The best are dynamic, organically flowing conversations that showcase your experience, thinking and personality. Even so, being prepared with a thoughtful response to the most common and most critical questions will quickly demonstrate your value as a candidate.
Among the standards is the old, “tell me about yourself”. While it can be tempting to simply recite your resume, when you consider the intention of the question, that just won’t do if you want to establish yourself as the lead candidate.
What the Interviewer is Really Asking
The core of this question, “tell my about yourself” is why the heck should I to talk to you.
Answer: Because I’m perfect for the job and here’s why.
So, how do you convey this? With a well planned and naturally delivered elevator pitch. I know, run for the hills, it’s the dreaded elevator pitch!!! 🙊 No, but really, the elevator pitch is the answer.
Why? Because it quickly summarizes what you’ve done, for whom and with what results. The keyword above is *naturally*. Most people hate the thought of an elevator pitch because it can sound so salesy. That’s not, I repeat, that’s not the intention here.
The reason this approach works when delivered well is that it gives you a tool to clearly state your value, experience and sets the tone for the rest of the conversation.
Here’s the Formula
How long + doing what + for what type of companies/people + getting what type of results. Current role + current leadership/notable contributions.
I’ve spent the last 10 years leading digital strategy for agencies like Impressive Agency Name where I’ve helped clients like X Brand and X Brand deepen their consumer engagement across social and digital platforms leading to significant increase in brandlove and all up revenues. I currently lead a team of 10 in support of 12 clients ranging from X Vertical/Category to X Vertical/Category.
You can leave the results portion out, if it doesn’t fit naturally. Here’s an example with and without it:
I’ve spent the last 15 years driving strategic partnerships in the digital space with clients like Relevant Client, Relevant Client, and Relevant Client. Through this work I’ve been responsible for over $XXm in work for the agencies I’ve worked for. I currently manage a team of business development managers responsible for about $XXM in new business each year.
I’ve spent the last 15 years driving strategic partnerships in the digital space with clients like Relevant Client, Relevant Client, and Relevant Client. I currently manage a team of business development managers responsible for about $XXM in new business each year.
As with most things, the more you practice the better you’ll get at naturally delivering your pitch (remember the keyword: *naturally*). So, practice, practice, practice. I find that saying the elevator pitch outload in the car is a good way to turn your commute into well used time (but, hey, believe me, I know that after work listening to this playlist can be a much better use of your car time than talking to yourself (about yourself).
To prepare for other questions like, “why do you want to work for us?” check out this article on The Big Interview
Happy elevator pitch practicing, friends!