How to Answer DIFFICULT Interview Questions: Question One

Please tell me about yourself.

This is normally the first “question” that is asked when you sit down for an interview. Although this seems straight forward, I have found myself not knowing exactly what to say in the moment if I have not prepared. This is basically where you give your elevator pitch. If you haven’t heard of an elevator pitch, it’s a 30 second spill where you give a quick summary about yourself! When you give an elevator pitch, you want to highlight your background, your passion, and your goals!

Below, I have included two examples of an elevator pitch: one good and one bad.

GOOD:

Hello, I am Adrianna Clark.  I graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in Management Information Systems. One thing that I have always been passionate about is cheerleading, and I cheered for over 12 years before working for the Universal Cheerleading Association. By majoring in Management Information Systems, I found that I could use the same skills that I gained in cheerleading and apply them to technology. I have always been passionate about teaming, problem solving, and challenging myself.  In technology, I can work with a diverse team while finding creative solutions to solve complex problems. My goal is to work in a position that allows me to highlight my current skills while continuously learning new concepts.

BAD:

My name is Adrianna Clark. I’m from Mobile, Alabama, and I went to school at The University of Alabama. I have two sisters, one brother, and a dog. I was a cheerleader for 12 years, and I loved it. I like to hang out with friends and meet new people. I would consider myself very social which would make me a great fit for this position.

THE DIFFERENCE:

The difference in these two responses is clear here. The second response has a subpar approach and does not highlight the candidate’s background and strengths.

For a killer elevator pitch, here’s some advice I was given:

Think about your passion. Once you have identified it, translate it into what you want to do. For me, I’m passionate about cheerleading, and I did it for years. I can easily translate those skills I used in cheerleading to technology.

This works because most people don’t associate technology and cheerleading EVER. It gives the interviewer a different perspective.

MY ADVICE:

I know you’ve probably heard this before, but practice makes perfect! I would recommend writing down your elevator pitch and trying to memorize it. Of course when you recite it, don’t sound like a robot, but remember the key points you need to highlight. I also recommend tailoring your elevator pitch for different positions. This is important to me because each role you apply for may be looking for different skills set. Highlight those skills  that are relevant to the job.

 

Do you need help with your elevator pitch? Feel free to email me at Asclark2@crimson.ua.edu or leave a comment! Don’t forget to  follow me on Instagram @OnlyOneAdrianna

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