Generation.Next

Special Series for Graduating Seniors: Job Interviewing Tips

by robertr

April 14th, 2008
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HOW TO RESPOND TO “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF”

The job interview may hold some surprises for you but one thing you can count on is the interviewer saying, “Tell me about yourself”. The way in which you respond can mean the difference between a job offer and a rejection letter, so don’t be caught off guard.

One way to prepare for this question is to have a 30-second elevator speech up your sleeve. An elevator speech is a clear, high impact statement that tells your interviewer who you are, your background and experience, and how the company can benefit from hiring you. The term comes from the fact that it is so concise, it can be used during an elevator ride.

Here is your opportunity to highlight the unique value you can bring to the organization, as well as get some mileage out of the homework you’ve done. It might sound something like this:

“I’m a business major with a focus in marketing. My education and my internship with XYZ company has given me specific experience developing creative advertisements for start-up companies. In looking at your website, I know connecting with these up and coming organizations are important to you.”

Another great thing about the elevator speech is it can come in handy anywhere, particularly networking events, where meeting as many people as possible is the goal.

When preparing your elevator speech, keep in mind the following 4 tips:

1. It should contain information that is interesting, valuable, important, and useful.
2. It should be well rehearsed to sound natural and conversational.
3. It should be tailored to the situation, organization, interviewer, and/or position in which you are applying.
4. It should be continually reviewed and updated for greater impact based on the reaction of others.

For more tips on job interviewing skills, check out our new blog section: Generation.Next! New tips will be added throughout April. Do post and share your feedback!

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