Today I want to talk about the most asked question at every interview. You know you are going to get it so why show up unprepared? I’ve seen too many candidates ramble on this and no clear format or finesse. I call this your perfect pitch because that is what it is. How you answer this determines the flow of the rest of the interview. So let’s take a closer look and ensure you have this in the bag going forward.

TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

Some interviews are lost right at this point. This is not an invitation to go on ad nauseum about everything that has happened to you since you were five years old or since your first job out of college. Nor is it the time to shrug your shoulders and give an unplanned, one-sentence answer.

Some people, especially those who haven’t prepared, have a tendency to talk too much when they get nervous, they ramble. Here’s what you should do;

● Step 1 – Put together a nice little 2 – 3 minute verbal bio about your career, your qualifications, and why you are interested in the job. Also mention what your next goal for your career growth is and how this aligns with it.
● Step 2 – Know what you’re going to say in advance and put some life into it so the interviewer is actually interested in learning more about you.
● Step 3 – Practice, practice, practice till you can say it perfectly without it sounding rehearsed.

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Some other tips to remember

Knowing who you are, what you want, what you have to offer and what you’ve accomplished – and having it all on the tip of your tongue – can make or break you for a job offer – not just for your perfect job, but sometimes for even finding ANY job.

Being able to sell yourself, your skills, how you can benefit a potential company and then being able to close the deal necessitates taking the time to research and learn the company. It means knowing yourself well enough that you can apply aspects of your capabilities to the individual facts and details of that INDIVIDUAL company – and that you can do it smoothly without groping for words or just winging it.

And last, but not least, the words of Peter Handal of Dale Carnegie Training, echo the importance of interview preparation, including what strikes most people as silly – role playing. But as he said, “you only have one chance to make a really good impression,” and if you don’t take it seriously enough to study and thoroughly prepare, someone else will, and that’s the person who will get the job!

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