Some job interview questions that are guaranteed to come up in all of your interviews — regardless of your industry, experience level, and job type. At the top of this list is the universal and classic topic:
“Tell me about yourself.” Your response to this request will set the tone for the rest of the interview.
While this is often among the first questions asked at the beginning of the interview, the goal of this question is not to become best friends with the interviewer. The goal is to prove that you’re are the best candidate for the job. This question may also come as, “What should I know about you?”, “Walk me through your background”, or “What would you like me to know about you.” This is a perfect opportunity to market yourself with a sales pitch, presenting yourself as the best solution for any problem or challenge they’re facing. The key is to present things that emphasize how your accomplishments and experience make you the ideal candidate for the job you are applying for.
An Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or business and its value proposition. It answers the question: “Why should I buy/invest/hire you?” It should be concise enough to be delivered during a short elevator ride.
You need an elevator pitch for yourself as a job candidate — and it should be customized for different job opportunities. You must keep it focused and short, ideally less than a minute, and no more than 3 minutes. You won’t be able to fit all of your qualities and skill into 3 minutes, so you’ll have to spend some time thinking about how to present yourself in a way that starts off the interview on the right note.
Tell Your Story with The Job In Mind
Although it may sound like the hiring manager is asking for your life story, they don’t want to hear a long, personal tale. Plus, they already have your resume in front of them, so you don’t have to summarize everything you did in the past. In fact, the interviewer only wants to know the parts of your story that relate to your potential success in the job.
Ask yourself, “What is it about me that this company will care about? What quality do I have that could help the employer on this specific job?” Keep the job requirement in mind and show the hiring manager that you are aware of what they’re looking for.
Focus On Your Strength
Particularly, the pitch in your answer to this opening question should highlight your strength. Summarize what you have done that qualifies you for this opportunity. But don’t recite from your resume or job application.
Present the most significant highlights that are most relevant to this job. These are the deciding factors that potentially presents you as a good candidate for the job.
List 5 strengths you have that are crucial to this job, it could your highly relevant experiences, your popular personal traits, your professional training and technical skills, etc. Think about what you want the interviewer to know about you when you leave, then tailor your answer to it.
Follow your script
Prepare a script in advance that includes the information you want to convey will help you when answering the question. Begin by talking about skills you gained from your past experiences, and address goals you’ve achieved in the past that relates to the responsibilities of this job. Next, mention the strengths and abilities you think will differentiate you from other candidates. Finally, conclude with a statement about your current situation and express your interest in this job.
Practice Until Your Sound Natural
Practice with your script until you feel confident about what you want to emphasize in your statement.
Your script should help you stay on track, but you shouldn’t memorize it, or else you’ll sound stiff and rehearsed. It should sound natural and conversational.
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