'Tell me about yourself' - preparing a strong elevator pitch for job interviews← Back
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There’s high chances you’ve been asked ‘Tell me about yourself’ in a job interview before. It’s a simple question, but one that many people don’t know how to answer. In a recent article “How to Craft a Job Search Elevator Pitch”, Forbes runs us through the key points to help you build a strong answer to this question. Susan Adams talks to career coaches Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, Anita Attridge and Win Sheffield to find out their advice.
So what exactly should you be aiming for with your answer? An elevator pitch should last approximately 15-30 seconds (the time of a lift ride) and give a convincing, concise summary of your career.
Susan Adams summarises the advice given by the coaches in six steps:
Tanasoulis-Cerrachio suggests writing out a page and then gradually condensing it – first cut it by half, then halve it again. From that edit, you should then be able to isolate three key points that offer a concise overview of your career.
Once you’ve crafted your pitch, practice it out loud. Career coach Anita Attridge recommends asking friends or family to listen to you and give you feedback, or repeat it to yourself in front of a mirror or a video recorder. Your delivery should flow and seem natural
You should have more than one pitch prepared, suitable for different circumstances. One should be for the formal setting of a job interview, whilst a pitch used to network in a social scenario might include more personal elements.
In addition to summing up your career, you should also be highlighting how you can benefit company.
You may have delivered your elevator pitch hundreds of times over, however it’s important to remain enthusiastic and show you’re keen. Attridge says: “Force yourself to sound enthusiastic. Too often job candidates recite their pitches in a monotone or rush through them without passion.”
You should research the company and adapt your pitch to each job interview. “Develop your pitch with a specific person in mind,” recommends Win Sheffield.
In short, it isn’t easy to sum up your experience in 30 seconds. However, Forbes’ article is a helpful guide on how to put together a good elevator pitch that will get the job interview off to a strong start.