“Tell me about yourself.”
It sounds simple enough, but if you stumble on this question you may as well consider the interview over.
To answer this question the way a potential employer expects you to, it helps to have a 30 to 60 second elevator speech prepared that flows naturally. Some experts refer to this as your personal brand, while others call it your 30-second commercial.
Either way, it should incorporate the following pieces of information:
- Your most recent position
- Years of experience
- Major responsibilities
- Proudest accomplishment
- Reason for leaving your last job or why you want to leave it
- What you are looking for
Here’s an example:
“I am a marketing and communications professional with 15 years of experience in the financial industry. Most recently I worked for ABC Corporation where I was a communications manager handling internal communications for 11,000 associates. This involved working with senior executives to create business updates, Powerpoint presentations and employee messages. I also acted as managing editor for the corporate intranet. I left the company in September due to downsizing, and am currently looking for a position where I can use my exceptional writing, editing and organizational skills.”
It may seem like a mouthful, but if you take your time and speak clearly your personal brand acts as an icebreaker and creates a pleasant interview experience.