Tell me a little about yourself…

There you are, sitting in the chair, about to begin your interview. You’ve studied up on the company, you’ve recognized your skills and have examples to back it up, but then they hit up with the hard one straight off the bat: “So, tell me a little about yourself.”

Sweat glistens down your neck. Your heart races. Your palms are sweaty. There’s a frog in your throat.

Wait… that’s not how it goes because you’ve prepared yourself. You have a great elevator speech already lined up to tell future employers who you are.

An elevator speech is a brief message talking about who you are, what you’re looking for, and how you can benefit the company with the skills you bring to the table. It has to be no longer than 30 seconds long, the time it takes to get to the top of a building in an elevator. It’s that speech that you can use at any time with anyone, even if it’s in an elevator. Get comfortable with your speech and rehearse it over and over until it feels natural to you.

Focus on these 4 points when creating your speech:

  1. Who are you?
    • Tell who you are and what you (or your company) does
    • Tell what you do (or want to do)
  2. What do you offer?
    • What problems have you solved or contributions have you made?
    • Tell why your listener should be interested in you
    • Use examples if/when you can
  3. What are the benefits?
    • What special service, skill, product, or solution do you offer your listener?
    • What are the advantages of working with you? Of hiring you? How do you differ from the competition?
  4. How do you do it?
    • Tell a story or talk about an example showing how you are unique

Make sure your speech flows naturally and all of the sentences tie in together. Avoid any specific jargon and answer the WIIFM for your audience: What’s In It For Me?

Have you ever been in a situation where you were put on the spot to tell about yourself? When has having an elevator speech in your ‘back pocket’ come in handy?

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