Ever been faced with the ‘’Tell me a bit about yourself’’ in an interview?
A question so basic we should be able to answer it in our sleep right? Wrong!
Many misjudge this question and believe it to be basic and mundane, they believe there isn’t really much the interviewer could get out of this. Well, dear friends, we are sorry to say that you thought wrong about this & here’s why:
These types of questions are also more commonly known as the ‘’Elevator Pitch’’ - where you have a short amount of time (30-60 seconds) to communicate the most important aspects & skills you possess.
The reason we strongly believe this interview question to be so important is because it can give you a chance to lead the conversation, focus their questions on your finer points.
Imagine a crucial statistic that is mentioned in your elevator pitch such as ‘’I have successfully reached my targets for the last 8 quarters of the year’’ - If this was a Sales Interview, there would certainly be a follow up question and a chance for you to shine some light on the prestigious achievement you have made.
How will you know it is time to bring out the Elevator Pitch?
This is usually a question the interviewer will use to open the interview up to try and keep you calm and more at ease.
There are a variety of ways they could ask, here are a few to keep in mind:
- Tell me a bit about yourself?
- Who are you & what do you do?
- Tell me something that isn’t on your CV
There are certainly more ways to dive into this interview question so be prepared and look out for this at the beginning of the interview.
How to answer the Elevator Pitch Question:
Know your Audience:
You need to be able to read and understand your audience. Of course, a pitch to get your group of friends to go out to party is not going to be the same pitch for a possible job.
Do your research, find out who is going to be interviewing you, see if you can dig up information on them whether it be the ‘’about us’’ page on their company website or connecting with them on LinkedIn to see how long they have worked there.
Understand the Job:
The Job description and you should be best friends during the recruitment process. You really should know the job spec off by heart. This way you can finely tune your elevator pitch towards the job and show yourself to be the ideal candidate.
Be the Solution:
Know the pain points of the recruiter/manager/interviewer! Basically, what we mean here is - there is a reason there is a job opening. The team is growing and not having enough staff could be a pain point.
Perhaps they have mentioned in the job description that it is a completely new department opening up and not fully understanding that particular sector is their pain point.
Knowing their pain point again means you can tailor your elevator pitch towards this and offer yourself as the solution with your skills and experience.
Think of it as a Timeline - a story:
We don’t mind reading bullet points - we all have busy, hectic lifestyles. But what if you were to read a story with short non-descriptive sentences?
- Working Now
- Interested in a change
- Want a new job
Would this pique your interest in any way if you were a recruiter? Try the next one on for size:
After [Number of Years] I graduated from [insert College/UNI] and received a [Cert/Bachelors/Masters/PHD] in [Year]. From there I have grown from strength to strength within [insert Company Name] for the last [X years].
I am the [insert Job Title] here now where I specialise in [insert field of expertise] and currently working on [insert interesting statistic/something geared towards the job spec].
Which would you prefer?
We know there is a lot that can be said when it comes to the elevator pitch and it can be hard to narrow it down but if you can follow our 4 simple steps, we know you make it!