Expect This Big Question in Your Next Job Interview

January 31, 2013

ID-10066417(3)Whether a job interview holds some surprises for you or not, one thing you can count on is the interviewer saying, “Tell me about yourself.” The way in which you respond can mean the difference between a job offer and a rejection letter, so don’t be caught off guard.

The best way to prepare for this question is to have a 30-second elevator speech prepared in advance. An elevator speech is a clear, high impact statement that tells your interviewer who you are, your background and experience, and how the company can benefit from hiring you. The term comes from the fact that it is so concise and focused that it can be imparted during the brief time it takes to ride in an elevator.

Don’t take this question lightly—it is your opportunity to highlight the unique value you can bring to the organization, as well as get some mileage out of the homework you’ve done. It might sound something like this:

“I’m a business major with a focus in marketing. My education and my internship with XYZ company has given me specific experience developing creative advertisements for start-up companies. In looking at your website, I know connecting with these up and coming organizations are important to you.”

Another great thing about the elevator speech is it can come in handy anywhere, particularly networking events, where meeting as many people as possible is the goal.

When preparing your elevator speech, here are 4 tips to keep in mind from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan:

1. It should contain information that is interesting, valuable, important, and useful.

2. It should be well rehearsed to sound natural and conversational.

3. It should be tailored to the situation, organization, interviewer, and/or position in which you are applying.

4. It should be continually reviewed and updated for greater impact based on the reaction of others.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Michigan. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @micarnegie.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Ambro

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