The directive from the interviewer, “Tell me about yourself,” strikes fear in the hearts of even the most confident job candidates. That’s because they haven’t given serious consideration to how they’ll answer this directive.
It’s also because they haven’t taken time to construct a persuasive elevator pitch, which is one of the most important tools in your job search toolbox. There are three components necessary to answer, “Tell me about yourself.”
1. Keep it relevant. You must be aware of what the employer wants from their employees, which requires from you not only researching the job but also the company.
Let’s say, as a trainer, you’re aware of the employer’s need for satisfying people of cultural differences. You’ll begin your elevator speech by addressing this need.
You’ll begin your elevator pitch with something on the lines of:
Along with my highly rated presentation skills, I’ve had particular success with designing presentations that meet the needs of diverse populations.
Then you’ll follow it with an accomplishment, as accomplishments are memorable.
For example, the company for which I last worked employed Khmer and Spanish-speaking people. I translated our presentations into both languages so that my colleagues could deliver their presentations with ease and effectiveness. This was work I did on my own time, but I realized how important it was to the company. I received accolades from the CEO of the company; and I enjoyed the process very much.
Finally, you’ll close your elevator pitch with some of the strong personality skills for which you’ve been acknowledge. In this case, your innovation, assertiveness, and commitment to the company would be appropriate to mention.
2. Be on your toes. Being prepared is essential to job seekers who need to say the right thing at the right time to a prospective employer. This is where your research on the company comes into play—the more you know about said company, the better you can recite your elevator pitch.
One way to answer, “Why should we hire you?” is by using your elevator pitch. Throughout the interview, you’ve paid careful attention to what the employer has been saying regarding the challenges the company is facing.
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